Charles River Analytics Develops Tool for Incorporating Organizational and Cultural Criteria into Adversary Modeling of Social Networks

Charles River Analytics was awarded follow on funding to develop a software tool for incorporating Organizational and Cultural Criteria for Adversary Modeling (OCCAM) of Social Networks. OCCAM is an analyst decision aid that supports reasoning about cultural, organizational, and situational effects on individual and group behavior. This grant was awarded from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

OCCAM is a tool to aid in the understanding of human behavior, especially in nontraditional, assymmetric, and complex wartime environments where the “soft” effects of culture and society can dramatically influence individual and group behavior. OCCAM addresses several key areas in an analyst-centric manner and provides tools to allow users to reason about the influence of culture on groups and individuals. OCCAM also assesses how organizations and individuals influence each other’s behavior, the differences between individuals, and the strengths and weaknesses of these different types of influences in particular situations.

The focus of the OCCAM project is on developing a decision-aid that employs network visualizations and an inference engine (supported by rule-based reasoning and Bayesian belief networks) to allow an analyst to infer the influence of cultural groupings on individual and group behavior. The ability to support this type of reasoning has several clear benefits across a range of activities, both in the government and commercial domains. Both government agencies and commercial entities can realize the benefit of improved planning and execution, while the military will be able to conduct safer, more effective, and lower-cost operations in non-traditional warfare.

The current focus is on expanding and refining the capabilities of the prototype decision-aid, including an increased focus on the needs of the analyst and the role of the decision-aid in planning.

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