September  2012, 32(9): 3223-3244. doi: 10.3934/dcds.2012.32.3223

Adaptation of an ecological territorial model to street gang spatial patterns in Los Angeles

1. 

University of California Los Angeles, Department of Mathematics, 520 Portola Plaza Box 951555, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1555, United States, United States

2. 

University of California Los Angeles, Department of Anthropology, 375 Portola Plaza, 341 Haines Hall, Box 951553, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553, United States

3. 

University of California Irvine, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, 2340 Social Ecology II, Irvine, CA 92697-7080, United States, United States

Received  December 2011 Revised  March 2012 Published  April 2012

Territorial behavior is often found in nature. Coyotes and wolves organize themselves around a den site and mark their territory to distinguish their claimed region. Moorcroft et al. model the formation of territories and spatial distributions of coyote packs and their markings in [31]. We modify this ecological approach to simulate spatial gang dynamics in the Hollenbeck policing division of eastern Los Angeles. We incorporate important geographical features from the region that would inhibit movement, such as rivers and freeways. From the gang and marking densities created by this method, we create a rivalry network from overlapping territories and compare the graph to both the observed network and those constructed through other methods. Data on the locations of where gang members have been observed is then used to analyze the densities created by the model.
Citation: Laura M. Smith, Andrea L. Bertozzi, P. Jeffrey Brantingham, George E. Tita, Matthew Valasik. Adaptation of an ecological territorial model to street gang spatial patterns in Los Angeles. Discrete & Continuous Dynamical Systems - A, 2012, 32 (9) : 3223-3244. doi: 10.3934/dcds.2012.32.3223
References:
[1]

A. S. Ackleh, B. G. Fitzpatrick, R. Scribner, N. Simonsen and J. J. Thibodeaux, Ecosystem modeling of college drinking: Parameter estimation and comparing models to data,, Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 50 (2009), 481. doi: 10.1016/j.mcm.2009.03.012. Google Scholar

[2]

A. Alonso, "Urban Graffiti on the City Landscape,", Western Geography Graduate Conference, (1998). Google Scholar

[3]

Elijah Anderson, "Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City,", W. W. Norton & Company, (2000). Google Scholar

[4]

J. Austin, E. Smith, S. Srinivasan and F. Sanchez, "Social Dynamics of Gang Involvement: A Mathematical Approach,", Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute, (2011), 08. Google Scholar

[5]

A. Barbaro, L. Chayes and M. R. D'Orsogna, Territorial development based on graffiti: A statistical mechanics approach,, 2011. Available from: \url{ftp://ftp.math.ucla.edu/pub/camreport/cam11-70.pdf}., (): 11. Google Scholar

[6]

Jordi Bascompte and Ricard V. Sole, On wolf territoriality and deer survival,, in, (1998), 105. Google Scholar

[7]

L. M. A. Bettencourt, A. Cintròn-Arias, D. I. Kaiser and C. Castillo-Chàvez, The power of a good idea: Quantitative modeling of the spread of ideas from epidemiological models,, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 364 (2006), 513. Google Scholar

[8]

P. J. Brantingham, G. Tita, M. B. Short and S. Reid, The ecology of gang territorial boundaries,, Criminology, (). Google Scholar

[9]

B. Briscoe, M. Lewis and S. Parrish, Home range formation in wolves due to scent marking,, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 64 (2002), 261. doi: 10.1006/bulm.2001.0273. Google Scholar

[10]

W. K. Brown, Graffiti, identity and the delinquent gang,, Internal Journal of Offender and Comparative Criminology, 22 (1978), 46. Google Scholar

[11]

S. H. Decker and B. Van Winkle, "Life in the Gang: Family, Friends, and Violence,'', Cambridge University Press, (1996). Google Scholar

[12]

Perri K. Eason, Gary A. Cobbs and Kristin G. Trinca, The use of landmarks to define territorial boundaries,, Animal Behavior, 58 (1999), 85. Google Scholar

[13]

J. Eck and L. Liu, Contrasting simulated and empirical experiments in crime prevention,, Journal of Experimental Criminology, (2008). Google Scholar

[14]

Mike Egesdal, Chris Fathauer, Kym Louie and Jeremy Neuman, Statistical modeling of gang violence in Los Angeles,, SIAM Undergraduate Research Online, 3 (2010). Google Scholar

[15]

S. Fortune, Voronoĭ diagrams and Delaunay triangulations,, in, 1 (1992), 193. Google Scholar

[16]

Linton C. Freeman, Centrality in social networks conceptual clarification,, Social Networks, 1 (1979), 215. Google Scholar

[17]

Celeste Fremon, "G-Dog and the Homeboys: Father Greg Boyle and the Gangs of East Los Angeles,", University of New Mexico Press, (2008). Google Scholar

[18]

Luca Giuggioli, Jonathan R. Potts, and Stephen Harris, Animal interactions and the emergence of territoriality,, PLoS Computational Biology, 7 (2011), 1. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002008. Google Scholar

[19]

Mirta B. Gordon, A random walk in the literature on criminality: A partial and critical view on some statistical analyses and modelling approaches,, European Journal of Applied Mathematics, 21 (2010), 283. doi: 10.1017/S0956792510000069. Google Scholar

[20]

Kristen Hawkes, Kim Hill and James F. O'Connell, Why hunters gather: Optimal foraging and the Achè of eastern Paraguay,, American Ethnologist, 9 (1982), 379. doi: 10.1525/ae.1982.9.2.02a00100. Google Scholar

[21]

Rachel A. Hegemann, Erik A. Lewis and Andrea L. Bertozzi, An "Estimate & Score Algorithm" for simultaneous parameter estimation and reconstruction of missing data on social networks,, 2012. Available from: \url{ftp://ftp.math.ucla.edu/pub/camreport/cam12-12.pdf}., (): 12. Google Scholar

[22]

Rachel A. Hegemann, Laura M. Smith, Alethea B. T. Barbaro, Andrea L. Bertozzi, Shannon E. Reid and George E. Tita, Geographical influences of an emerging network of gang rivalries,, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 390 (2011), 3894. Google Scholar

[23]

E. E. Holmes, M. A. Lewis, J. E. Banks and R. R. Veit, Partial differential equations in ecology: Spatial interactions and population dynamics,, Ecology, 75 (1994), 17. doi: 10.2307/1939378. Google Scholar

[24]

S. R. Jammalamadaka and A. SenGupta, "Topics in Circular Statistics,'', Series on Multivariate Analysis, 5 (2001). Google Scholar

[25]

Jill E. Jankowski, Scott K. Robinson and Douglas J. Levey, Squeezed at the top: Interspecific aggression may constrain elevational ranges in tropical birds,, Ecology, 91 (2010), 1877. doi: 10.1890/09-2063.1. Google Scholar

[26]

Matthew James Keeling and Pejman Rohani, "Modeling Infectious Diseases in Humans and Animals,", Princeton University Press, (2008). Google Scholar

[27]

Malcolm Klein and Cheryl Maxson, "Street Gang Patterns and Policies,", Oxford University Press, (2006). Google Scholar

[28]

M. A. Lewis and J. D. Murray, Modelling territoriality and wolf-deer interactions,, Nature, 366 (1993), 738. doi: 10.1038/366738a0. Google Scholar

[29]

M. A. Lewis, K. A. White and J. D. Murray, Analysis of a model for wolf territories,, Journal of Mathematical Biology, 35 (1997), 749. doi: 10.1007/s002850050075. Google Scholar

[30]

David Ley and Roman Cybriwsky, Urban graffiti as territorial markers,, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 64 (1974), 491. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8306.1974.tb00998.x. Google Scholar

[31]

Paul R. Moorcroft and Alex Barnett, Mechanistic home range models and resource selection analysis: A reconciliation and unification,, Ecology, 89 (2008), 1112. doi: 10.1890/06-1985.1. Google Scholar

[32]

Paul R. Moorcroft, Mark A. Lewis and Robert L. Crabtree, Home range analysis using a mechanistic home range model,, Ecology, 80 (1999), 1656. Google Scholar

[33]

Paul R. Moorcroft, Mark A. Lewis and Robert L. Crabtree, Mechanistic home range models capture spatial patterns and dynamics of coyote territories in Yellowstone,, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, 273 (2006), 1651. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3439. Google Scholar

[34]

Joan Moore, "Homeboys: Gangs, Drugs, and Prison in the Barrios of Los Angeles,", Temple University Press, (1978). Google Scholar

[35]

Joan Moore, "Going Down to the Barrio: Homeboys and Homegirls in Change,", Temple University Press, (1991). Google Scholar

[36]

Joan Moore, Diego Vigil and Robert Garcia, Residence and Territoriality in Chicano Gangs,, Social Problems, 31 (1983), 182. doi: 10.1525/sp.1983.31.2.03a00070. Google Scholar

[37]

Roger P. Peters and L. David Mech, Scent-marking in wolves: Radio-tracking of wolf packs has provided definite evidence that olfactory sign is used for territory maintenance and may serve for other forms of communication within the pack as well,, American Scientist, 63 (1975), 628. Google Scholar

[38]

S. Radil, C. Flint and G. Tita, Spatializing social networks: Using social network analysis to investigate geographies of gang rivalry, territoriality, and violence in Los Angeles,, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 100 (2010), 307. doi: 10.1080/00045600903550428. Google Scholar

[39]

D. M. Romero, C. M. Kribs-Zaleta, A. Mubayi and C. Orbe, An epidemiological approach to the spread of political third parties,, Social Sciences Research Network, (2009). Google Scholar

[40]

Pamela Effrein Sandstrom, An optimal foraging approach to information seeking and use,, The Library Quarterly, 64 (1994), 414. doi: 10.1086/602724. Google Scholar

[41]

M. Short, G. Mohler, P. J. Brantingham and G. Tita, Gang rivalry dynamics via coupled point process networks,, 2011. Available from: \url{http://math.scu.edu/~gmohler/gangnetwork.pdf}., (). Google Scholar

[42]

A. Stomakhin, M. B. Short and A. L. Bertozzi, Reconstruction of missing data in social networks based on temporal patterns of interactions,, Inverse Problems, 27 (2011). Google Scholar

[43]

Travis A. Taniguchi, Jerry H. Ratcliffe and Ralph B. Taylor, Gang set space, drug markets, and crime around drug corners in Camden,, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 48 (2011), 327. doi: 10.1177/0022427810393016. Google Scholar

[44]

F. M. Thrasher, "The Gang: A Study of 1313 Gangs in Chicago,'', University of Chicago Press, (1927). doi: 10.1525/sp.2005.52.2.272. Google Scholar

[45]

G. Tita, J. Cohen and J. Engberg, An ecological study of the location of gang "set space'',, Social Problems, 52 (2005), 272. Google Scholar

[46]

G. Tita, K. Riley, G. Ridgeway, C. Grammich, A. Abrahamse and P. Greenwood, "Reducing Gun Violence: Results from an Intervention in East Los Angeles,", RAND Corporation, (2003). Google Scholar

[47]

James Vigil, "Barrio Gangs: Street Life and Identity in Southern California,", University of Texas Press, (1988). Google Scholar

[48]

Stanley Wasserman and Katherine Faust, "Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications,", Cambridge University Press, (2009). Google Scholar

[49]

David P. Watts and John C. Mitani, Boundary patrols and intergroup encounters in wild chimpanzees,, Behaviour, 138 (2001), 299. doi: 10.1163/15685390152032488. Google Scholar

[50]

K. A. White, M. A. Lewis and J. D. Murray, A model for wolf-pack territory formation and maintenance,, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 178 (1996), 29. doi: 10.1006/jtbi.1996.0004. Google Scholar

show all references

References:
[1]

A. S. Ackleh, B. G. Fitzpatrick, R. Scribner, N. Simonsen and J. J. Thibodeaux, Ecosystem modeling of college drinking: Parameter estimation and comparing models to data,, Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 50 (2009), 481. doi: 10.1016/j.mcm.2009.03.012. Google Scholar

[2]

A. Alonso, "Urban Graffiti on the City Landscape,", Western Geography Graduate Conference, (1998). Google Scholar

[3]

Elijah Anderson, "Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City,", W. W. Norton & Company, (2000). Google Scholar

[4]

J. Austin, E. Smith, S. Srinivasan and F. Sanchez, "Social Dynamics of Gang Involvement: A Mathematical Approach,", Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute, (2011), 08. Google Scholar

[5]

A. Barbaro, L. Chayes and M. R. D'Orsogna, Territorial development based on graffiti: A statistical mechanics approach,, 2011. Available from: \url{ftp://ftp.math.ucla.edu/pub/camreport/cam11-70.pdf}., (): 11. Google Scholar

[6]

Jordi Bascompte and Ricard V. Sole, On wolf territoriality and deer survival,, in, (1998), 105. Google Scholar

[7]

L. M. A. Bettencourt, A. Cintròn-Arias, D. I. Kaiser and C. Castillo-Chàvez, The power of a good idea: Quantitative modeling of the spread of ideas from epidemiological models,, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 364 (2006), 513. Google Scholar

[8]

P. J. Brantingham, G. Tita, M. B. Short and S. Reid, The ecology of gang territorial boundaries,, Criminology, (). Google Scholar

[9]

B. Briscoe, M. Lewis and S. Parrish, Home range formation in wolves due to scent marking,, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 64 (2002), 261. doi: 10.1006/bulm.2001.0273. Google Scholar

[10]

W. K. Brown, Graffiti, identity and the delinquent gang,, Internal Journal of Offender and Comparative Criminology, 22 (1978), 46. Google Scholar

[11]

S. H. Decker and B. Van Winkle, "Life in the Gang: Family, Friends, and Violence,'', Cambridge University Press, (1996). Google Scholar

[12]

Perri K. Eason, Gary A. Cobbs and Kristin G. Trinca, The use of landmarks to define territorial boundaries,, Animal Behavior, 58 (1999), 85. Google Scholar

[13]

J. Eck and L. Liu, Contrasting simulated and empirical experiments in crime prevention,, Journal of Experimental Criminology, (2008). Google Scholar

[14]

Mike Egesdal, Chris Fathauer, Kym Louie and Jeremy Neuman, Statistical modeling of gang violence in Los Angeles,, SIAM Undergraduate Research Online, 3 (2010). Google Scholar

[15]

S. Fortune, Voronoĭ diagrams and Delaunay triangulations,, in, 1 (1992), 193. Google Scholar

[16]

Linton C. Freeman, Centrality in social networks conceptual clarification,, Social Networks, 1 (1979), 215. Google Scholar

[17]

Celeste Fremon, "G-Dog and the Homeboys: Father Greg Boyle and the Gangs of East Los Angeles,", University of New Mexico Press, (2008). Google Scholar

[18]

Luca Giuggioli, Jonathan R. Potts, and Stephen Harris, Animal interactions and the emergence of territoriality,, PLoS Computational Biology, 7 (2011), 1. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002008. Google Scholar

[19]

Mirta B. Gordon, A random walk in the literature on criminality: A partial and critical view on some statistical analyses and modelling approaches,, European Journal of Applied Mathematics, 21 (2010), 283. doi: 10.1017/S0956792510000069. Google Scholar

[20]

Kristen Hawkes, Kim Hill and James F. O'Connell, Why hunters gather: Optimal foraging and the Achè of eastern Paraguay,, American Ethnologist, 9 (1982), 379. doi: 10.1525/ae.1982.9.2.02a00100. Google Scholar

[21]

Rachel A. Hegemann, Erik A. Lewis and Andrea L. Bertozzi, An "Estimate & Score Algorithm" for simultaneous parameter estimation and reconstruction of missing data on social networks,, 2012. Available from: \url{ftp://ftp.math.ucla.edu/pub/camreport/cam12-12.pdf}., (): 12. Google Scholar

[22]

Rachel A. Hegemann, Laura M. Smith, Alethea B. T. Barbaro, Andrea L. Bertozzi, Shannon E. Reid and George E. Tita, Geographical influences of an emerging network of gang rivalries,, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 390 (2011), 3894. Google Scholar

[23]

E. E. Holmes, M. A. Lewis, J. E. Banks and R. R. Veit, Partial differential equations in ecology: Spatial interactions and population dynamics,, Ecology, 75 (1994), 17. doi: 10.2307/1939378. Google Scholar

[24]

S. R. Jammalamadaka and A. SenGupta, "Topics in Circular Statistics,'', Series on Multivariate Analysis, 5 (2001). Google Scholar

[25]

Jill E. Jankowski, Scott K. Robinson and Douglas J. Levey, Squeezed at the top: Interspecific aggression may constrain elevational ranges in tropical birds,, Ecology, 91 (2010), 1877. doi: 10.1890/09-2063.1. Google Scholar

[26]

Matthew James Keeling and Pejman Rohani, "Modeling Infectious Diseases in Humans and Animals,", Princeton University Press, (2008). Google Scholar

[27]

Malcolm Klein and Cheryl Maxson, "Street Gang Patterns and Policies,", Oxford University Press, (2006). Google Scholar

[28]

M. A. Lewis and J. D. Murray, Modelling territoriality and wolf-deer interactions,, Nature, 366 (1993), 738. doi: 10.1038/366738a0. Google Scholar

[29]

M. A. Lewis, K. A. White and J. D. Murray, Analysis of a model for wolf territories,, Journal of Mathematical Biology, 35 (1997), 749. doi: 10.1007/s002850050075. Google Scholar

[30]

David Ley and Roman Cybriwsky, Urban graffiti as territorial markers,, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 64 (1974), 491. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8306.1974.tb00998.x. Google Scholar

[31]

Paul R. Moorcroft and Alex Barnett, Mechanistic home range models and resource selection analysis: A reconciliation and unification,, Ecology, 89 (2008), 1112. doi: 10.1890/06-1985.1. Google Scholar

[32]

Paul R. Moorcroft, Mark A. Lewis and Robert L. Crabtree, Home range analysis using a mechanistic home range model,, Ecology, 80 (1999), 1656. Google Scholar

[33]

Paul R. Moorcroft, Mark A. Lewis and Robert L. Crabtree, Mechanistic home range models capture spatial patterns and dynamics of coyote territories in Yellowstone,, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, 273 (2006), 1651. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3439. Google Scholar

[34]

Joan Moore, "Homeboys: Gangs, Drugs, and Prison in the Barrios of Los Angeles,", Temple University Press, (1978). Google Scholar

[35]

Joan Moore, "Going Down to the Barrio: Homeboys and Homegirls in Change,", Temple University Press, (1991). Google Scholar

[36]

Joan Moore, Diego Vigil and Robert Garcia, Residence and Territoriality in Chicano Gangs,, Social Problems, 31 (1983), 182. doi: 10.1525/sp.1983.31.2.03a00070. Google Scholar

[37]

Roger P. Peters and L. David Mech, Scent-marking in wolves: Radio-tracking of wolf packs has provided definite evidence that olfactory sign is used for territory maintenance and may serve for other forms of communication within the pack as well,, American Scientist, 63 (1975), 628. Google Scholar

[38]

S. Radil, C. Flint and G. Tita, Spatializing social networks: Using social network analysis to investigate geographies of gang rivalry, territoriality, and violence in Los Angeles,, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 100 (2010), 307. doi: 10.1080/00045600903550428. Google Scholar

[39]

D. M. Romero, C. M. Kribs-Zaleta, A. Mubayi and C. Orbe, An epidemiological approach to the spread of political third parties,, Social Sciences Research Network, (2009). Google Scholar

[40]

Pamela Effrein Sandstrom, An optimal foraging approach to information seeking and use,, The Library Quarterly, 64 (1994), 414. doi: 10.1086/602724. Google Scholar

[41]

M. Short, G. Mohler, P. J. Brantingham and G. Tita, Gang rivalry dynamics via coupled point process networks,, 2011. Available from: \url{http://math.scu.edu/~gmohler/gangnetwork.pdf}., (). Google Scholar

[42]

A. Stomakhin, M. B. Short and A. L. Bertozzi, Reconstruction of missing data in social networks based on temporal patterns of interactions,, Inverse Problems, 27 (2011). Google Scholar

[43]

Travis A. Taniguchi, Jerry H. Ratcliffe and Ralph B. Taylor, Gang set space, drug markets, and crime around drug corners in Camden,, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 48 (2011), 327. doi: 10.1177/0022427810393016. Google Scholar

[44]

F. M. Thrasher, "The Gang: A Study of 1313 Gangs in Chicago,'', University of Chicago Press, (1927). doi: 10.1525/sp.2005.52.2.272. Google Scholar

[45]

G. Tita, J. Cohen and J. Engberg, An ecological study of the location of gang "set space'',, Social Problems, 52 (2005), 272. Google Scholar

[46]

G. Tita, K. Riley, G. Ridgeway, C. Grammich, A. Abrahamse and P. Greenwood, "Reducing Gun Violence: Results from an Intervention in East Los Angeles,", RAND Corporation, (2003). Google Scholar

[47]

James Vigil, "Barrio Gangs: Street Life and Identity in Southern California,", University of Texas Press, (1988). Google Scholar

[48]

Stanley Wasserman and Katherine Faust, "Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications,", Cambridge University Press, (2009). Google Scholar

[49]

David P. Watts and John C. Mitani, Boundary patrols and intergroup encounters in wild chimpanzees,, Behaviour, 138 (2001), 299. doi: 10.1163/15685390152032488. Google Scholar

[50]

K. A. White, M. A. Lewis and J. D. Murray, A model for wolf-pack territory formation and maintenance,, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 178 (1996), 29. doi: 10.1006/jtbi.1996.0004. Google Scholar

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