The Mutual Support Function Model: A Cognitive Model for Intelligence Analysis Supporting Irregular Warfare

Farry, M., Carlson, E., and Mahoney, S.

Proceedings from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 55th Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV (September 2011)

Modern intelligence analysis has evolved due to the focus on Irregular Warfare (IW) and the proliferation of network-centric environments. Given the ubiquity of those two themes in modern intelligence analysis, this paper seeks to provide a detailed cognitive model of intelligence analysis for IW, the Mutual Support Function Model (MSFM), based on the original Support Function Model (SFM) for intelligence analysis from (Elm et al., 2005). In addition to the three functions of Down Collect, Conflict and Corroboration, and Hypothesis Exploration from the original SFM, the MSFM considers two additional functions, Information Needs Management and Decision Selection. In addition to presenting this theoretical model, this paper also presents a discussion of how the model may be applied to operational environments through the development of tools. We also discuss strategies for introducing associated technology to the work environment in a suitable manner.

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