CMI Research

Deception and Intent

Deception and its detection have been a source of fascination for centuries, with literally thousands of publications on the topic testifying to its importance in the conduct of human affairs. Researchers and practitioners have pursued a host of detection techniques, from divining trustworthiness from the shape of one's head and ears, to the use of physiologically-based instruments such as the polygraph and vocal stress analyzer, to reliance on behavioral cues as potentially telltale cues to deception. However, no single physiological or behavioral cue has proven to be accurate 100% of the time.

All these efforts notwithstanding, deception detection accuracy has typically hovered around 50-50, or chance, even among trained professionals. The most promising avenues for distinguishing deceit from truth are in tools and techniques that utilize configurations of cues. Moreover, because deception indicators are subtle, dynamic, and transitory, they often elude humans' conscious awareness. If computer-assisted detection tools can be developed to augment human detection capabilities by discerning features of language and nonverbal behavior and by tracking these highly elusive and fleeting cues over a course of time, accuracy in discerning both truthful and deceptive information and communications should be vastly improved. Coupled with improved human interviewing and interrogation techniques that are aided by multimedia training and real-time feedback, these tools can greatly enhance deception detection.

AutoID - Automated Intent Determination

This project delves into the automated identification of non-verbal gestures to determine a subject's intent. This research grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Speech Act Profiling

Speech act profiling is a method of analyzing and visualizing conversations according to how participants go about conversing rather than what it is they talk about. It is useful in detecting deception as deceivers often adopt telltale communication patterns.

C-BAS (C# Behavioral Annotation System)

C-BAS is a template driven application written to assist researchers with behavioral coding.

Border Security and Immigration

The Center for the Management of Information (CMI) is the lead research institution of the Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration (BSI). BSI is a consortium of premier universities that live and work on the border and are squarely on the forefront of America’s national security efforts. With a uniquely qualified staff and expertise in departments across the country, BSI’s collaborative work ranges from cutting-edge identification optics to probing analysis of immigration policy, to balancing streamlined cross-border trade with the demands for heavy security.

The National Center for Border Security and Immigration (NC-BSI) is committed to ensuring that government agencies and stakeholders have the necessary tools and information to better understand and proactively respond to border issues. Our singular focus will be to provide our sponsors with well-founded and scientifically informed knowledge to expedite the development of innovative, practical, and cost-effective solutions to help satisfy the ever-changing demands of their operational environment. 

Information Assurance

Information Assurance and Security Education Center

Led by the director of the Center for the Management of Information, Jay Nunamaker, the Information Assurance and Security Education Center was established to address the growing need for Information Security professionals trained with a focus in Information Assurance.  The center’s primary focuses are to foster curriculum development, conduct research, form professional alliances, and provide educational outreach as it applies to areas of information security and Information Assurance (IA), training, and awareness.

Recently, the Eller College of Management was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Information Assurance Education and Training Program.   This designation will be in effect for the academic years 2009-2014, and is governed by a set of nine criteria, including outreach, university-level support, and multi-disciplinary collaboration.

Read more about this prestigious designation.


The Center for the Management of Information was founded on the premise that people do their most important work in teams. Yet, while there were many technologies available for assisting individuals, there were very few supporting tools for teams. CMI's collaboration research aimed at creating more effective and efficient teams by learning how to build systems that both leverage team strengths and mitigate weaknesses inherent in group work.

Research innovations from the CMI have been applied in hundreds of organizations, demonstrating the benefits of improved group performance. Seeing a need for focused group support systems, key University of Arizona researchers developed a suite of team-based decision software tools known as GroupSystems. The successful use of GroupSystems in the research arena led to its release as a commercial product in 1989. These tools provide users with the power and flexibility to help groups reach better decisions and perform complex tasks such as brainstorming, list building, information gathering, voting, organizing, prioritizing, and consensus building.

CMI continues to build on this legacy of collaboration research while expanding into new related areas such as information assurance and the detection of deception and intent.


Collaborative logging for situation awareness to promote communication and shorten the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act) Cycle for decision makers.


StrikeCOM is a multi-player networked collaborative strategy game designed and built by CMI for experimentation and instruction.