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Agent based simulation as an exploratory tool in the study of the human dimension of combat

By Lloyd Philip. Brown


War is a human phenomenon and the essence of war is a clash between human wills Ref. 10. The Marine Corps is applying complexity theory to study the human dimension of land warfare with the agent based combat simulation Irreducible Semi-Autonomous Adaptive Combat (ISAAC), developed by Andrew Ilachinski. ISAAC is designed to allow the user to explore the evolving patterns of large unit behavior that result from the collective interactions of individual agents. An urban and a desert scenario were developed to explore command and control issues with ISAAC. Utilizing a personal computer and the Maui High Performance Computer Center, approximately 750,000 ISAAC runs were completed. The data are analyzed and graphically displayed using S-Plus generated Design and Trellis plots. The ISAAC data suggest there is some optimal balance between a commander's propensity to move towards the objective and his propensity to maneuver to avoid the enemy in order to minimize time to mission completion and friendly losses. Also, the data suggest that friction can significantly influence the battlefield but a strong commander-subordinate bond can reduce the effect. In addition, this exploration also demonstrates that fractional factorial designs provide almost as much information from ISAAC as full factorial designs with only a fraction of the runs

Publisher: Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Year: 2000
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