Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mathematical Sciences

First Advisor

Laura McLay


Since the events of September 11, 2001, the federal government is focused on homeland security and the fight against terrorism. This thesis addresses the idea of terrorist groups smuggling nuclear weapons through the borders of the United States. Security screening decisions are analyzed within maritime and aviation domains using discrete optimization models, specifically knapsack problems. The focus of the maritime chapters involves a risk-based approach for prescreening intelligence classifications for primary and secondary screening decisions given limited budget and resources. Results reveal that screening decisions are dependent on prescreening classification and the efficacy of the screening technologies. The screening decisions in the aviation security chapter highlight different performance measures to quantify the effectiveness of covering flights with the intent of covering targets. Results reveal that given scarce resources, such as screening devices capacities and budget, flights and targets can be covered with minimal expense to the system.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

November 2010