Complex Adaptive Systems-based Toolkit for Dynamic Plan Assessment

Ho, S., Richards, M. and Gonsalves, P.

International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS 2006), Boston, MA (June, 2006).

The military battlespace can be seen as an amalgamation of a large number of simpler entities or military units organized in a specific hierarchy, each with its own understanding of the overall mission, knowledge of operational doctrine, and local perception of the threat environment. Though orders and guidance emanate down through the chain of command, it is the actions at the lower levels (i.e. the individual agents) where we see the combat occurring. It is through the chaotic and adaptive behavior of the individual agents or players that the emergence of global behavior is induced. Emphasis on emergent simulation behavior over predetermined behavior enables the simulation to focus on what is possible to occur rather than what is probable. The potential to explore a multitude of possible outcomes from similar initial conditions makes a complex adaptive systems approach to simulation well suited for effects-based operations evaluation and course of action assessment. The Complex Adaptive Systems-based Toolkit (CAST) for Dynamic Plan Assessment will support Air Force air campaign operations through the integration of combat agent behavior models, effects-based operations environment models, and a complex adaptive systems simulation engine. Specific challenges include modeling interactions between agents and environment; formulating an agent model with the potential for emergent group dynamics; and applying the models and simulation to a realistic urban operations scenario.

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