In 2008, Stephen M. Shellman founded Strategic Analysis Enterprises, Inc., to help support government agencies making national-scale decisions. The company has since worked on projects for the U.S. Department of Defense, the Joint Staff, and U.S. Strategic Command. It also did major subcontract work on the Integrated Crisis Early Warning System (ICEWS), a project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
DARPA funded ICEWS to create a platform that could reliably forecast upheaval and violence. It makes use of three major planks. First, it uses natural language processing to take unstructured news reports and turn them into quantitative indices. Second, it combines that data with other data to generate continuous forecasts of rebellions, international crises, insurgencies, and ethnic or religious violence. Third, it combs news feeds and blogs to measure public sentiment about events and organizations in a region.
ICEWS was created with a focus on the operations area of the U.S. Pacific Command. ONR extended the DARPA ICEWS project to the world. The Worldwide ICEWS or WICEWS project now includes global coverage of crises worldwide.