Measuring the Complexity of the Law: The United States Code ( Slides by Daniel Martin Katz & Michael J. Bommarito II )

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Measuring the Complexity of the Law: The United States Code ( Slides by Daniel Martin Katz & Michael J. Bommarito II )

  1. 1. Measuring the Complexity of the Law: The United States Code daniel martin katz michael j bommarito ii computationallegalstudies.com @ computational
  2. 2. This is the Era of “Big” Data Increasing Computing Power Decreasing Data Storage Costs Fundamentally Altering the Scope of Scientific Inquiry and Technical Possibility
  3. 3. Highlighting the Data Deluge 2008 2009 2010
  4. 4. Highlighting the Data Deluge 2011 2011
  5. 5. Legal Studies in the Era of Big Data US Patent D-Base Fed Courts Pacer ~500+ million Docs PublicResource.org Law.Gov ?
  6. 6. Legal Studies in the Era of Big Data US Patent D-Base Fed Courts Pacer ~500+ million Docs PublicResource.org Law.Gov ?
  7. 7. But What Can We Learn About the Nature of Law With All of this Information?
  8. 8. Perhaps Generate New Perspectives on Old Questions?
  9. 9. The Complexity of the Law is a Canonical Question Legal and Political Theory Justifications for Law and the State Optimal Precision in Legal Rules Kaplow (1995) Tullock (1995) Applied Scholarship -Tax, Environmental Law, Admin Law, etc. Economics of the Legal Profession Complexity ~ Bespoke Legal Work =
  10. 10. Law as a Means of Solving Social Dilemmas Aligns Incentives / Channels Behavior Offers Focal Points / Coordination Mechanisms Encourages Actors to Internalize Costs Protects Individual Rights and Liberties Maintains Monopoly on Legitimated Violence
  11. 11. Complexity of Society & Complexity of the Law What conditions must be met for law to achieve these ends? Legal Rules Should Reflect The Nature of: Economic Exchange Political Behavior Social Interaction
  12. 12. A Perspective on the Scope of Legal Rules in a Modern Society This Paper is an Effort (Albeit Imperfect) to Measure the Complexity of the Law Applying the Computational Tools of the ‘Big Data’ Era Using an Important Corpus of Written Law That is Large and Cross Cutting
  13. 13. This is the United States Code
  14. 14. This is the United States Code Drawn from the U.S. Statutes at Large Compiled Version of Federal Statutory Law Does not Include Fed Admin Regulations
  15. 15. The 50 Titles in US Code
  16. 16. Some Potential Questions How Large is the United States Code? How Complex is the Code and its Components? How has its Composition Changed Over Time? Can we understand if those changes scale to changes in the complexity of broader society?
  17. 17. How Large is the United States Code?
  18. 18. How Large is the United States Code?
  19. 19. How Large is the United States Code?
  20. 20. How Large is the United States Code?
  21. 21. How Large is the United States Code? ~Title 29 - Labor
  22. 22. How Large is the United States Code?
  23. 23. This is the United States Code
  24. 24. The Case for a Computational Approach The United States Code is Large ... Need Tools and Methods that Scale to the Size and Scope of this Body of Information Computational Methods are Arguably Required
  25. 25. Computational Approach to the Measurement of Complexity (1) Provide a Mathematical Representation for an Object (2) Generate a Measurement Strategy for that Object
  26. 26. A Mathematical Approach to the Study of the United States Code 389 Physica A 4195 (2010)
  27. 27. Additional Treatment Available Here
  28. 28. The US Code as a Mathematical Object Hierarchical Structure Title 26 Subtitle A Chapter 1 Subchapter F Part I Section 501 Subsection (c) Paragraph (3)
  29. 29. The US Code as a Mathematical Object Citation Network Example: Tax Evasion Title 26 Tax Might Cite Title 18 Crimes & Criminal Procedure http://computationallegalstudies.com/2009/09/14/ the-structure-of-the-united-states-code/
  30. 30. Hierarchical Structure
  31. 31. Hierarchical Structure + Citation Network
  32. 32. Hierarchical Structure + Citation Network
  33. 33. Hierarchical Structure + Citation Network
  34. 34. Hierarchical Structure + Citation Network
  35. 35. +
  36. 36. + Linguistic Content United States Code Features ~24 Million tokens
  37. 37. The Complexity of Law The sheer difficulty of searching for and assimilating the information content of a relevant body of legal rules Related to But Distinct from other important features: Ambiguity Uncertainty Costs of Compliance
  38. 38. Proxy for an Information Acquisition Process (1) Work Through a Hierarchy (2) Look up any Citations you encounter (3) Confront Language of varying length and diversity
  39. 39. Composite Measure through Weighted Ranks (A) For each factor - Measure each of the 49 Active titles (B) Then, rank each title from (1) Most to (49) Least (C) Apply a Weight to each of these factors (Simplest Case is to Average)
  40. 40. Toward a Composite Measure Multidimensional object --> Composite Measure Full Code and Individual Titles Weighted Ranks Imperfect for certain applications but a good start A Positive Feature of weighted ranks (1) Change Weights (2) Add Additional Dimensions
  41. 41. Toward a Composite Measure Structure Dependence Composite Measure Language
  42. 42. Two Forms of Weighted Ranks Unnormalized Measure Considers the Complexity of reviewing a full title Does not Control for Title Size Normalized Measure Considers the Average or Emblematic Provision within the Title Thus, we control for title size
  43. 43. The Unnormalized Measure Structure Dependence Language Vertices (Provisions) Net Flow Entropy Unnormalized Measure
  44. 44. Unnormalized Measure: Structure Structure Vertices (Provisions) !
  45. 45. The Unnormalized Measure: Structure Title Vertices (Provisions) |V*| |VS| |V*| 42 116,237 1,418 7,400 107,419 26 52,838 531 2,088 50,219 16 Structure |V| 33,925 475 4,726 28,724 20 32,888 715 2,232 29,941 7 31,468 351 2,743 28,374 Title |V| |V*| |VS| |V*| 13 272 22 70 180 27 224 13 45 166 4 221 6 47 168 1 84 4 39 41 9 68 4 31 33
  46. 46. Unnormalized Measure: Net Flow Dependence Net Flow
  47. 47. The Unnormalized Measure: Net Flow Title 42 -846 -0.11432 22 -719 -0.24904 -561 -0.78025 16 Net Flow NetFlowPerSection 50 Dependence NetFlow -534 -0.11299 12 -514 -0.28429 Title NetFlow NetFlowPerSection 5 2654 2.57669 18 836 0.62109 31 751 1.59447 28 659 0.83102 26 576 0.27586
  48. 48. The Unnormalized Measure: Language Language Entropy !
  49. 49. The Unnormalized Measure: Language Language Entropy Uniform Random
  50. 50. Understanding Linguistic Entropy Uniform Dog, Dog, Dog, Dog, Dog, Dog, Dog, Dog, Dog, Dog, ... Random snug pizza pasture it of observation hand seattle middle arm ...
  51. 51. The Unnormalized Measure: Language Title 10.80 10.79 16 Entropy 15 42 Language NetFlow 10.75 33 10.67 22 10.67 Title NetFlow 9 8.24 1 8.49 32 8.5 3 8.89 27 9.01
  52. 52. The Unnormalized Measure Structure Dependence Language Vertices (Provisions) Net Flow Entropy Unnormalized Measure
  53. 53. The Unnormalized Measure: Language Language Entropy ≈ Diversity Title 42 - Public Health & Welfare Entropy Leprosy Social Security National Flood Insurance US Synthetic Fuels Corp Intl Child Abduction Remedies
  54. 54. The Unnormalized Measure Title Vertices Entropy Flow 42 16 22 7 15 18 12 5 26 10 20 25 31 49 19 29 33 50 28 38 1 3 9 5 6 16 8 13 2 7 4 12 22 10 14 11 18 21 27 15 2 3 5 6 1 8 15 23 29 13 19 14 18 9 7 16 4 22 20 25 2 9 5 11 19 3 10 1 7 21 20 18 4 25 28 22 29 8 6 17 Composite Score 1.67 5.00 6.33 7.33 8.67 9.00 11.00 12.33 12.67 13.67 14.33 14.67 14.67 14.67 16.33 16.33 17.00 17.00 17.67 19.00 Composite Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 12 12 15 15 17 17 19 20
  55. 55. The Normalized Measure Dependence Language Net Flow Per Section Tokens Per Section Language Structure Entropy Mean Depth Normalized Measure
  56. 56. The Normalized Measure Title Net Flow 42 26 5 49 31 29 12 20 21 18 19 7 15 8 47 22 6 16 10 2 7 1 25 4 22 10 20 35 3 28 11 19 31 37 5 16 9 21 Tokens Per Section 8 2 21 11 17 7 9 12 3 25 13 19 10 4 5 32 14 29 31 Entropy Flow 2 29 23 9 18 16 15 19 12 8 7 6 1 28 17 5 27 3 13 Depth Rank 10 1 2 5 12 6 18 4 7 22 11 23 30 3 8 27 14 32 9 Composite Score 5.5 9.75 11.75 12.5 12.75 12.75 13 13.75 14.25 14.5 14.75 14.75 15 16.5 16.75 17.25 17.75 18.25 18.5 Composite Rank 1 2 3 4 5 5 7 8 9 10 11 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
  57. 57. Open Access, Replication, Extension
  58. 58. All Code + All Data - Located Here: https://github.com/mjbommar/us-code-complexity
  59. 59. Website Still in Progress: http://s3.amazonaws.com/katzcloud/us-code-complexity/index.html
  60. 60. Summary Offered a framework designed to measure the complexity of the legal rules Designed to open a dialogue regarding Legal complexity and its measurement Demonstrated measurement principles that are potentially applicable to other classes of legal documents Highlighted what computation might be able to offer to empirical legal studies
  61. 61. Thanks to the Following
  62. 62. Measuring the Complexity of the Law: The United States Code daniel martin katz michael j bommarito ii computationallegalstudies.com @ computational

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