OA4655 Introduction to Joint Combat Modeling

(Same as MV4655.) This course covers the basic tools and concepts of joint combat modeling. Both the science and the art are emphasized. Topics include: the role of combat modeling in analyses, taxonomies of models, an introduction to some important models and organizations, measures of effectiveness, approaches to effectively using models to assist decision making, object-oriented approaches to designing entities to simulate, firing theory, one-on-one and few-on-few engagements, introduction to aggregated force-on-force modeling (including the basic Lanchester model and some of its derivatives), sensing algorithms, simulation entity decision making, simulating C4ISR processes, terrain and movement algorithms, verification, validation, and accreditation (VV&A), stochastic versus deterministic representations, hierarchies of models, and variable resolution modeling. The primary course objective is for you to understand the enduring fundamentals of how combat models are built and used to support decision making. This will be done, in part, through several small projects that will require students to design, implement, and analyze models. Prerequisites: Probability and Statistics (through third course in the sequence), familiarity with a programming language, Calculus, and concurrent instruction in computer simulation (e.g., OA3302).

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Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
•Credibly use models in support of decision making.
•Have some familiarity with important community models.
•Understand (warfare) modeling vocabulary.
•Be able to utilize online DoD M&S resources.
• Describe and discuss design trade-offs for modeling various aspects of combat (e.g., attrition, detection, movement, decision making, etc.).
• Implement and use Lanchester’s models, and variants thereof, to model aggregate level combat. This will include: Given initial battle conditions, determining the winner of the battle, the length of the battle, and the number of survivors.
• Identify the strengths and weaknesses of, and be able to implement, a variety of methods for modeling detection, attrition, movement, decision making, etc.
• Define measures of effectiveness (MOEs) and be able to critically discern “good” MOEs from poor ones.
• Discuss current issues in combat modeling, including: deterministic and stochastic approaches, chaos and combat models, agent-based models, and distributed simulation.
• Build an entity-level combat simulation in MANA
• Critique real-world examples of the application of combat models for military analyses.