University of Konstanz
Algorithmics Group
Prof. Dr. Ulrik Brandes

Analysis and Visualization of Conflict Networks


We present a method for visual summary of bilateral conflict structures embodied in event data. Such data consists of actors linked by time-stamped events, and may be extracted from various sources such as news reports and dossiers. When analyzing political events, it is of particular importance to be able to recognize conflicts and actors involved in them. By projecting actors into a conflict space, we are able to highlight the main opponents in a series of tens of thousands of events, and provide a graphic overview of the conflict structure. Moreover, our method allows for smooth animation of the dynamics of a conflict.

Application Examples

We applied our method to two data sets that are freely available at the KEDS project website. The first data set covers about 57,000 events involving states of the Gulf region and the Arabian peninsula for the period 15 April 1979 to 31 March 1999. The second data set covers about 79,000 events for the major actors involved in the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia from April 1989 to July 2003.

The following image shows one frame of a generated example video. It depicts the situation during the war in Bosnia in 1995. The edges (conflicts) can be shown on demand. Below, only edges incident to UNO are shown. (Click on the image for enlargement.)

War in Bosnia in 1995



We generated example videos for the Gulf and Balkans conflict. Both videos are in dynamic SVG format and can be viewed with any browser, provided that it has an SVG plug-in. A freely available SVG plug-in can be downloaded from Adobe. (Note: if your browser opens the SVG-file but no animation starts, you need this plug-in.)
Former videos (different layout):


Data sets used to generate the above two videos. Obtained from the KEDS project website. Mapping from WEIS codes to Goldstein weights, which are scores indicating the degree of cooperation (positive) or hostility (negative) of an event.



Algorithmics, University of Konstanz
Box D 67 · 78457 Konstanz, Germany
Phone: +49 7531 88 4431, Fax: +49 7531 88 3577