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Staff information

Paul Whitney

Paul Whitney

Computational Mathematics
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: K7-90
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Paul Whitney is a Staff Scientist and Associate Division Director for Computational Mathematics at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. His research interests are modeling behavior of individuals and organizations; the analysis of data objects associated with the Internet content; and algorithm development for a variety of automatic text analyses. He has been a research scientist at PNNL since 1991. He has led the Computational Mathematics group since its formation in 2004. During this tenure – the group has grown from 6 to 25 researchers. In his research role, Dr. Whitney has developed information retrieval methods, exploratory analyses algorithms and software for these areas of interest, notably for image and text data. He has both led and contributed to the development of a variety of information visualization methods. His recent research focuses social and behavioral modeling. This research combines data analysis with models for organizations and individual behavior. Dr Whitney's involvement in this work includes managing projects, developing and implementing low-level algorithms for the characterization and analysis of graph data, leading projects to design transaction analysis tools, and designing/analyzing experiments to assess the effectiveness of the scenario analysis algorithms. Dr Whitney holds seven patents associated with information analysis, and is the author of over 40 peer reviewed publications. He is a key contributor for the recent IN-SPIREā„¢ software release.

Research Interests

  • Human behavior modeling
  • Mathematical statistics

Education and Credentials

  • University of Wisconsin, Ph.D. in Statistics
  • University of Oklahoma, B.S. in Mathematics

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Statistical Association
  • International Institute of Forecasters

Awards and Recognitions

  • NASA Space Act Award in 2007

PNNL Publications


  • Gastelum ZN, AM White, PD Whitney, LJ Gosink, and LH Sego. 2013. "The Lifecycle of Bayesian Network Models Developed for Multi-Source Signature Assessment of Nuclear Programs." In IEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics (ISI 2013), June 4-7, 2013, Seattle, Washington, ed. K Glass, et al, pp. 339-345.  IEEE, Piscataway, NJ.  doi:10.1109/ISI.2013.6578855
  • Gastelum ZN, PD Whitney, and AM White. 2013. "Bayesian Model Development for Analysis of Open Source Information to Support the Assessment of Nuclear Programs." In Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM 2013) , July 20-24, 2013, Atlanta, Georgia.  Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, Deerfield, IL. 


  • Riensche RM, and PD Whitney. 2012. "Combining Modeling and Gaming for Predictive Analytics." Security Informatics 1(August):Article No. 11.  doi:10.1186/2190-8532-1-11
  • Walsh SJ, and PD Whitney. 2012. "A Graphical Approach to Diagnosing the Validity of the Conditional Independence Assumptions of a Bayesian Network Given Data." Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics 21(4):961-978.  doi:10.1080/10618600.2012.657122


  • Coles GA, AJ Brothers, PD Whitney, AC Dalton, J Olson, AM White, SK Cooley, PM Youchak, and SV Stafford. 2011. Utility of Social Modeling in Assessment of a State's Propensity for Nuclear ProliferationPNNL-20492, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Dalton AC, PD Whitney, GA Coles, and AJ Brothers. 2011. "SOCIAL MODELING IN ASSESSEMENT OF A STATE'S PROPENSITY FOR NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION." In Institute of Nuclear Materials Mmanagement 52nd Annual Meeting, July 17-21 2011, Palm Desert CA.  International Nuclear Materials Management, Deerfield, IL. 
  • Jarman KD, and PD Whitney. 2011. "Integrating Correlated Bayesian Networks Using Maximum Entropy." Applied Mathematical Sciences 5(48):2361-2371. 
  • Sanfilippo AP, LR McGrath, and PD Whitney. 2011. "VIOLENT FRAMES IN ACTION." Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict 4(2):103-112. 
  • Sanfilippo AP, RS Butner, AJ Cowell, AC Dalton, JN Haack, SJ Kreyling, RM Riensche, AM White, and PD Whitney. 2011. "Technosocial Predictive Analytics for Illicit Nuclear Trafficking." In SBP'11: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction, March 29-31, 2011, College Park, MD. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 6589, ed. J Salerno, SJ Yang, D Nau and SK Chai, pp. 374-381.  Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany.  doi:10.1007/978-3-642-19656-0_51
  • Thompson SE, PD Whitney, MR Weimar, TW Wood, DS Daly, AJ Brothers, AP Sanfilippo, D Cook, and L Holder. 2011. Model and Analytic Processes for Export License AssessmentsPNNL-18189, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Whitney PD, AM White, SJ Walsh, AC Dalton, and AJ Brothers. 2011. "Bayesian Networks for Social Modeling." In SBP 2011: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, and Prediction, March 29-31, 2011, College Park, MD: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 6589, ed. J Salerno, SJ Yang, D Nau and SK Chai, pp. 227-235.  Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg , Germany.  doi:10.1007/978-3-642-19656-0_33


  • Coles GA, AJ Brothers, J Olson, and PD Whitney. 2010. "Assessing State Nuclear Weapons Proliferation: Using Bayesian Network Analysis of Social Factors." In Proceedings of the Pacific Northwest International Conference on Global Nuclear Security - The Decade Ahead, April 11-16, 2010, Portland, OR.  Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Deerfield, IL. 
  • Dalton AC, AJ Brothers, SJ Walsh, and PD Whitney. 2010. "Expert Elicitation Method Selection Process and Method Comparison." In 2010 Labsi Conference on Neuroscience and Decision Making, p. Paper No. 30.  University of Siena, Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory, Siena, Italy. 
  • Engel DW, PD Whitney, and NO Cramer. 2010. "Events and Trends in Text Streams." Chapter 9 in Text Mining: Applications and Theory, ed. MW Berry and J Kogan, p. 165-182.  John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, United Kingdom. 
  • Jarman KD, AJ Brothers, PD Whitney, J Young, and DA Niesen. 2010. "Integrating System Dynamics and Bayesian Networks with Application to Counter-IED Scenarios." In 10th International Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management Conference - PSAM10, June 7-11, 2010, Seattle, WA.  International Association for Probabalistic Safety Assessment & Management (IAPSAM), Mannheim, Germany. 
  • Shah AR, JN Adkins, DJ Baxter, WR Cannon, D Chavarría-Miranda, S Choudhury, I Gorton, DK Gracio, TD Halter, N Jaitly, JR Johnson, RT Kouzes, MC Macduff, A Marquez, ME Monroe, CS Oehmen, WA Pike, C Scherrer, O Villa, BJM Webb-Robertson, PD Whitney, and N Zuljevic. 2010. "Applications in Data-Intensive Computing." In Advances in Computers, vol. 79, ed. M Zelkowitz, pp. 1-70.  Academic Press Inc., San Diego, CA. 
  • Walsh SJ, AC Dalton, PD Whitney, and AM White. 2010. "Parameterizing Bayesian network Representations of Social-Behavioral Models by Expert Elicitation ." In IEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics (ISI 2010), pp. 227-232.  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc,, Piscataway, NJ.  doi:10.1109/ISI.2010.5484730
  • Whitney PD, and SJ Walsh. 2010. "Calibrating Bayesian Network Representations of Social-Behavioral Models." Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6007/2010:338-345.  doi:10.1007/978-3-642-12079-4_42


  • Cook D, L Holder, SE Thompson, PD Whitney, and L Chilton. 2009. "Graph-Based Analysis of Nuclear Smuggling Data." Journal of Applied Security Research 4(4):501-517.  doi:10.1080/19361610903176310
  • Engel DW, PD Whitney, AJ Calapristi, and FJ Brockman. 2009. "Mining for Emerging Technologies within Text Streams and Documents." In Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics - 9th SIAM International Conference on Data Mining 2009: Proceedings in Applied Mathematics, vol. 3, pp. 1291-1301.  SIAM, Philadelphia, PA. 
  • Sanfilippo AP, AJ Cowell, EL Malone, RM Riensche, JJ Thomas, SD Unwin, PD Whitney, and PC Wong. 2009. "Technosocial Predictive Analytics in Support of Naturalistic Decision Making." In NDM9: Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making, June 23-26, 2009, London, United Kingdom, ed. BLW Wong.  British Computer Society, Swindon, United Kingdom. 
  • Sanfilippo AP, JC Schryver, PD Whitney, EC Augustenborg, GR Danielson, and SE Thompson. 2009. "VIM: A Platform for Violent Intent Modeling." In Social Computing and Behavioral Modeling, ed. H Liu, JJ Salerno and MJ Young, pp. 190-201.  Springer, New York, NY.  doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-0056-2_24
  • Whitney PD, AJ Brothers, GA Coles, J Young, KE Wolf, SE Thompson, DA Niesen, JM Madsen, and CL Henderson. 2009. "Technosocial Modeling of IED Threat Scenarios and Attacks ." In AAAI 2009 Spring Symposium: Technosocial Predictive Analytics, vol. SS-09-09, pp. 142-147.  AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA. 
  • Whitney PD, DW Engel, and NO Cramer. 2009. "Mining for Surprise Events within Text Streams." In Proceedings of the SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (SDM 2009), vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 617-627.  Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Philadelphia, PA. 


  • Young J, SE Thompson, AJ Brothers, PD Whitney, GA Coles, CL Henderson, KE Wolf, and BL Hoopes. 2008. "The Use of Dynamic Stochastic Social Behavior Models to Produce Likelihood Functions for Risk Modeling of Proliferation and Terrorist Attacks ." In International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference: PSAM 9, May 18-23, 2008, Hong Kong, China, ed. TM Kao, E Zio, V Ho.  Edge Publication Group, Hong Kong, China. 


  • Tratz SC, AP Sanfilippo, ML Gregory, AR Chappell, C Posse, and PD Whitney. 2007. "PNNL: A Supervised Maximum Entropy Approach to Word Sense Disambiguation." In SemEval 2007, Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluations, June 23-24, 2007, Prague, Czech Republic, pp. 264-267.  Association for Computational Linguistics, Stroudsburg, PA. 


  • Gregory ML, N Chinchor, PD Whitney, RJ Carter, EG Hetzler, and AE Turner, II. 2006. "User-directed Sentiment Analysis: Visualizing the Affective Content of Documents ." In Proceedings of the Workshop on Sentiment and Subjectivity in Text, pp. 23-30.  Association for Computational Linguistics, Morristown, NJ. 



  • Chin G, Jr, OA Kuchar, PD Whitney, ME Powers, and KE Johnson. 2004. "Graph-Based Comparisons of Scenarios in Intelligence Analysis." In 2004 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, vol. 4, pp. 3175-3180.  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), New York, NY. 
  • Whitney PD, J Young, J Santell, R Hicks, C Posse, and BA Fecht. 2004. "Analysis of Medication Error Reports." In Proceedings of IMECE 2004 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition held in Anaheim, California, pp. 121-126.  American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY. 
  • Whitney PD, MR Weimar, and AJ Calapristi. 2004. "Exploratory Analysis of Transaction Data." In Proceedings of MLMTA'04 - The 2004 International Conference on Machine Learning; Models, Technologies and Applications , vol. Volume 2 , pp. 973-976.  CSREA Press, Bogart, GA. 
  • Whitney PD. 2004. "Toward the Routine Analysis of Moderate- to Large-Size Data." In Statistical Analysis of Massive Data Streams: Proceedings of a Workshop, December 13-14, 2002, Washington DC.  National Academies Press, Washington DC. 


  • Whitney PD, D Cox, DS Daly, HP Foote, DL McQuerry, and JM Sloughter. 2003. "Toward the Routine Analysis of Diverse Data Types." Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics 12(4):915-926. 


  • Seiders BAB, DL McQuerry, TA Ferryman, PD Whitney, and AJ Rybka. 2002. "Information surveillance." In Proceedings of SPIE AeroSense 2002: Technologies, Systems, and Architectures for Transnational Defense, vol. 4745, ed. Mark K. Hamilton, pp. 56-64.  SPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering, Bellingham, WA. 
  • Whitney PD, and G Chen. 2002. "Screening the Hanford tanks for trapped gas." Environmetrics 13(5-6):411-427. 


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