Forecasting Onsets of Mass Killing

26 Pages Posted: 12 May 2012

Date Written: May 4, 2012


This paper describes the first stage of a statistical analysis designed to help forecast onsets of mass-killing episodes in countries worldwide. This analysis is part of a study funded by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to assess the feasibility of building a public early-warning system for mass atrocities. The results of this preliminary analysis suggest that simple versions of familiar statistical techniques -- in this case, logistic regression -- will probably produce forecasts that are about as accurate as ones based on more complex techniques, including Bayesian model averaging and Random Forests.

Keywords: genocide, mass killing, atrocities, forecasting

Suggested Citation

Ulfelder, Jay, Forecasting Onsets of Mass Killing (May 4, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

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