Combating money laundering networks with the firefighting problem
The Firefighter Problem is a deterministic, discrete-time model of the spread of a fire on the nodes of a graph. If a graph is a network where bank accounts are nodes, then an edge between two accounts is a transaction between one bank account and another. Imagine we have a suspicious bank account with suspicious transactions possibly tied to money laundering. We view this suspicious bank account as a place a fire breaks out. Then, those accounts that receive money from the suspicious bank account are considered suspect. Continuing transactions, the whole network will be involved with this suspicious account and fall under suspicion. We want to apply a strategy to contain the suspicious transactions to as few accounts as possible and identify which accounts are compromised. Although the research focuses on strong grids, it will develop techniques that may be applicable in more general graphs.