Minimum Spanning Tree Approach to Identifying Collective Behavior and Inferring Intent for Combat Models   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) makes use of many models in order to represent military conflict. Most of these models are based upon a Cold War era opponent, and it is argued that there is a need to update these models in order to reflect the evolving structure of the UK armed forces needed to meet the current threats. Algorithms are presented which will allow the planning processes within military models to make more informed decisions. The approach uses a mathematical model to identify agents which may be working together as a group, and subsequently make inferences about their intent. This research is carried out within the context of a wider programme concerned with updating existing simulation models of conflict. Initial results are presented and the future development of the work is discussed. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and routinely provides analytical support and advice to decision makers on policy, procurement and operational issues. In order to conduct studies of this nature, Dstl makes use of many models in order to represent military conflict. The term du jour in modern military operations is 'asymmetric warfare.' That is, warfare in which the weaker force uses unconventional weapons and tactics in order to try and neutralise a stronger opponent. As a result, UK and coalition forces are having to adapt their doctrine and Command and Control (C2) structure in order to remain effective against these new threats. Consequently, there is a need for military models to reflect this shift in battlespace paradigm."

Report Number:
Dstl reference number: Dstl/JA27316
2008 Crown. Published with the permission of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory on behalf of the Controller of HMSO.
Retrieved From:
Command and Control Research Program: http://dodccrp.org/
Media Type:
International C2 Journal: Vol. 2, No. 2, 2008
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