Analysis of global terrorism dynamics by means of entropy and state space portrait

António M. Lopes, J. A Tenreiro Machado, Maria Eugénia Mata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the global terrorism dynamics over the period 1970–2014. Data about terrorist events are analyzed by means of several mathematical tools, namely fractal dimension, entropy, state space portrait and multidimensional scaling, that reflect the dynamics in time and space. In a first phase, we consider worldwide events and we unveil the space–time characteristics exhibited by the global terrorism statistics. In a second phase, we group the events into eight geographic regions, and we analyze terrorism dynamics in a regional perspective. Finally, in a third phase, we adopt a complementary analysis of global terrorism based on multidimensional scaling and clustering techniques. The proposed methodology reveals to support new directions for exploring terrorism data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1547-1560
Number of pages14
JournalNonlinear Dynamics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Dynamical systems
  • Entropy
  • Fractal dimension
  • Multidimensional scaling
  • State space portrait
  • Terrorism


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