About Hunt Lab

The Hunt Laboratory is a research partner for organisations seeking to improve analytical performance and productivity.

  • Australia’s largest multi-disciplinary research team focused specifically on intelligence analysis
  • Experience working with intelligence organisations and managing security issues, and
  • An integrated research capability drawing on expertise from the University of Melbourne and other tertiary institutions, both in Australia and overseas.

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Our Research Areas

Hunt Lab research is currently focused on:

  • Improving analytic reasoning​ and judgement
  • Evaluation quality of analytic products
  • Developing high performance intelligence teams ​
  • Analytic methods (e.g. SATs) and their evaluation​, and
  • Crowdsourcing intelligence.

Our Research & Publications

The SWARM Platform

The centrepiece of Hunt Lab activities is the SWARM Platform, an online environment designed specifically for production of high-quality intelligence analysis. The SWARM Platform was developed with major funding from the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. The Hunt Lab is continuing to develop the platform for a variety of deployments.

The Hunt Challenge

An annual analytical tournament for teams of analysts. Teams are drawn from organisations with intelligence functions, including major intelligence agencies, and from the public. For individual analysts, participation is a powerful professional development experience. For organisations, participation provides insights into their analysts’ performance, including benchmarking against teams from other organisations, and insights into new methods and tools for intelligence work.

Learn more & register

Crowdsourcing Citizen Intelligence – the Hunt Arena

The Hunt Lab is working to enable organisations to leverage the public (‘citizens’) in intelligence-type activities. This builds on our success in demonstrating that teams of citizens recruited via social media can do high-quality analytical work. The mechanism for crowdsourcing intelligence will be the Hunt Arena, a deployment of the Hunt (SWARM) cloud platform. While the Hunt Arena will be usable for a wide range of open-source intelligence questions, our focus will be crowdsourcing situational understanding for information warfare.

Our Research Team

Hunt Lab members have expertise in experimental psychology, philosophy, data science, intelligence studies, and software development.

Lead Researchers

Dr Tim van Gelder is an Associate Professor, Enterprise Research Fellow, and Director of the Hunt Lab. He is an applied epistemologist with a background in philosophy and cognitive science. He has worked with intelligence organisations for many years in research, training and consulting roles.

Dr. Richard de Rozario is an Enterprise Research Fellow and Co-Director. He has over 30 years’ experience in analytical and managerial roles across finance, IT and government sectors. He is responsible for system development and analytics.

Professor Richard Sinnott is Director of eResearch and Professor of Applied Computing Systems. Richard manages the technical team responsible for the team’s software projects.

Professor Tom Kompas is the Director of the Centre for Environmental and Economic Research which houses the Hunt Lab. Tom is an economist with expertise in biosecurity risk and modelling complex systems.

Professor Simon Dennis is Professor of Psychology, Director of the Complex Human Data Hub in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. He provides Hunt with high level expertise in experimental psychology and statistical methods.

Researchers and Staff

Dr Ariel Kruger
Senior Research Associate – Platform Manager and Philosopher of Science.

Dr Morgan Saletta
Senior Research Associate- Problem Development Manager and Qualitative Analyst.

Sujai Thomman
Crowd Manager

Ashley Barnett
Research Associate and PhD Candidate in Reasoning Evaluation

Tamar Primoratz
Research Associate

Luke Thorburn
Research Associate and Statistician

An Nguyen
Chief Finance Officer

Atlee Hunt

The Hunt Laboratory is named in honour of Atlee Hunt, inaugural Secretary of the Department of External Affairs in 1901. Hunt established Australia’s first national intelligence capability.

The Inaugural Departmental Heads of the Australian Commonwealth Public Service-1901. Atlee Hunt, centre standing.
Inaugural Departmental Heads of the Australian Commonwealth Public Service ,1901. Atlee Hunt stands centre.