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The Rise of Games and High-Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation Appendix D Key Recommendations from Previous Studies The committee referenced several previous National Research Council studies related to modeling and simulation. Table D-1 lists the studies, which are summarized in this appendix. TABLE D-1 Previous Modeling and Simulation Studies No. Study Name Prepared by Publication Year 1 Modeling and Simulation: Linking Entertainment and Defense Committee on Modeling and Simulation: Opportunities for Collaboration Between the Defense and Entertainment Research Communities 1997 2 Defense Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis: Meeting the Challenge Committee on Modeling and Simulation for Defense Transformation 2006 3 Behavioral Modeling and Simulation: From Individuals to Societies Committee on Organizational Modeling: From Individuals to Societies 2008
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The Rise of Games and High-Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation SUMMARY 1 MODELING AND SIMULATION: LINKING ENTERTAINMENT AND DEFENSE1 Background In recent years, modeling and simulation technology has become increasingly important to both the entertainment industry and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). In the entertainment industry, such technology lies at the heart of video games, theme park attractions, entertainment centers, and special effects for film production. For DOD, modeling and simulation technology provides a low-cost means of conducting joint training exercises, evaluating new doctrine and tactics, and studying the effectiveness of new weapons systems. Both the entertainment industry and DOD are aggressively pursuing development of distributed simulation systems that can support Internet-based games and large-scale training exercises. These common interests suggest that the entertainment industry and DOD may be able to more efficiently achieve their individual goals by working together to advance the technology base for modeling and simulation. Such cooperation could take many forms, including collaborative research and development projects, sharing research results, or coordinating ongoing research programs to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort. (p. 1) In October 1996 the National Research Council’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board held a workshop that brought together members of the entertainment and defense industries to discuss common research interests in modeling and simulation. These discussions illuminated possible areas for cooperation and also brought up for consideration possible cultural and logistical obstacles to collaborative success. Conclusions The following research areas were identified as possible areas of collaboration between the defense and entertainment industries: Technology for immersion: Immersive virtual environments rely on a cluster of technologies that include graphics software for creating complex visual environments, and technologies that track participants’ physical orientation and gaze, facilitate the creation of realistic virtual terrain, and provide users with sensory stimuli (sounds, smells, vibration, etc.). Networked simulation: DoD and the entertainment industry both seek to create a network infrastructure capable of handling large-scale networks of users. This will require developing higher bandwidth networks to handle the flow of large amounts of data, reducing bandwidth requirements using multicasting and area-of-interest managers, and minimizing signal latency. Standards for interoperability: In order to maximize the usefulness of simulations, both groups should be able to work with other programs in a meaningful and coherent fashion. Interoperability requires common network software architecture with standard protocols that allow interaction between simulators and facilitate the construction of large simulations from existing subsystems. The development of a virtual reality transfer protocol is also crucial to facilitate large-scale networking of distributed virtual environments. Computer-generated characters: One of the greatest challenges in creating a useful simulation, 1 The first paragraph of this summary is excerpted from Modeling and Simulation: Linking Entertainment and Defense (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997).
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The Rise of Games and High-Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation the development of realistic computer-generated characters presents a number of research and development challenges. First is adaptability, or the ability of a virtual character to learn new behaviors in response to changes in environment and input. The next challenge is developing computer-generated characters that look, move, and express emotion like real humans. Tools for creating simulated environments: Better hardware and software tools are needed for creating realistic virtual environments. Specifically, this involves the development of better tools for the construction, manipulation, and composition of large databases of information and facilitation of composite visual image creation. Designers would also like to see input devices more sophisticated than the computer mouse and keyboard for use in designing environments. In addition, the committee identified three areas that should be given special attention during the planning and execution of any sustained collaborative effort: Information sharing and technology transfer: The two communities that participated in this workshop are known for having cultures that discourage information sharing and transfer little technology. Although there is little precedent, mutually beneficial transfers of information and technology can occur in the form of formal collaborative arrangements between entertainment companies and DoD or by encouraging professionals in DoD to attend entertainment industry conferences and vice-versa. Human resources: There is a shortage of talented people with the broad range of skills required to create successful simulations, and few university programs teach this skill set. To remedy the situation, existing funding mechanisms could be used to enhance educational programs that combine technical and artistic studies. Preserving the research base: Ensuring an adequate supply of new ideas and technologies for modeling and simulation requires continuous support of basic research. Growing demands for accountability in government funding have had the effect of restricting the amount and scope of research being conducted. Industrial contributions to such research have also started to wane. These issues must be addressed to ensure the continued viability of the technological base for modeling and simulation. Strong commonalities exist between defense and entertainment applications of modeling and simulation and the technologies needed to support them. Aligning the research agendas of these two communities to allow greater coordination of research developments, information sharing, and collaborative research could provide an opportunity to more rapidly achieve the goals of both industries. Although linking these two communities presents a significant challenge, sustained commitment from both sides will go a long way in ensuring successful collaboration. This workshop was a first step in examining the costs and benefits of such a commitment. SUMMARY 2 DEFENSE MODELING, SIMULATION, AND ANALYSIS: MEETING THE CHALLENGE Background Since World War I, modeling, simulation, and analysis (MS&A) has been an important tool of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The current legacy systems of MS&A, however, are insufficient
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The Rise of Games and High-Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation to deal with new adversarial challenges. In addition to planning for conflict with the armed forces of other nations, the U.S. military has been called on to confront insurgents and terrorists, often in urban environments where civilian noncombatants are prevalent. Because of these changes, DoD now regularly includes diplomatic, intelligence, military, and economic tactics in decision making. Coinciding with this change in environment is the emergence of a new generation of interconnected, interdependent military systems, including unmanned weapons, and the rise of network centered warfare, all of which increase the potential for unforeseen consequences in combat. As military technology becomes more advanced and network oriented, and as noncombat activities become a larger part of the nation’s defense strategy, there is a critical need for comprehensive, state-of-the-art MS&A capabilities to aid in understanding the behavior of both hardware/software networks and social networks. A report was commissioned by the Modeling and Simulation Coordination Office (formerly known as the Defense Modeling and Simulation Office) to evaluate current DoD MS&A capabilities, to identify the research areas with the greatest potential to benefit future MS&A systems, and to recommend ways to communicate the risks and benefits of current and potential MS&A to decision makers and other nonexperts. Findings and Recommendations The committee found that the current MS&A systems in operation are inadequate. They employ scripted nonadaptive scenarios and do not incorporate the body of existing knowledge on phenomena related to terrorist and insurgent networks. The committee recommended that the development of a body of robust, flexible, and adaptive MS&A strategies be given priority by DoD. Also, it recommended that the following objectives guide DoD’s MS&A efforts: Focus on network-centric operations: DoD should establish a comprehensive and systematic approach for developing MS&A capabilities to represent network-centric operations by fostering collaboration between the parties developing MS&A systems, and further developing existing approaches to network-centric operation while incorporating new approaches and mathematical models. Maintain a broad research portfolio: Significant research should be devoted to a wide variety of data collection methods, models, and games in order to meet the diversity of challenges faced by the DoD MS&A community. These should include investigation into social behavioral networks, multiagent systems, and game-based training. Create a dedicated workforce: DoD should assign an organization the responsibility of developing and supporting research for use in combat and noncombat modeling. It would also be responsible for ensuring that students and practitioners of MS&A are exposed to all core disciplines involved in the creation of MS&A systems and that students are able to use their knowledge of MS&A to address problems of importance to the consumers of their product. Minimize uncertainty: DoD should seek better methods to characterize, quantify, and manage the uncertainty inherent in all modeling and simulation, including inputs, modeling assumptions, parameters, and options. Be aware of cognitive styles: MS&A practitioners should strive to understand the cognitive styles of decision makers, as well as their interaction with different styles of MS&A. This would both inform the creation of the MS&A applications and aid in communicating the usefulness of MS&A to critical nonexpert audiences.
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The Rise of Games and High-Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation In conclusion, the committee emphasized the need for information sharing and collaboration in the DoD MS&A community. DoD’s current MS&A apparatus is widely distributed across many offices and programs, and the committee strongly suggested that it be consolidated into a single dedicated office. This office would be a natural adjunct to the Modeling and Simulation Coordination Office and would create an intellectual common ground for the military MS&A community necessary for the achievement of all previously listed recommendations. SUMMARY 3 BEHAVIORAL MODELING AND SIMULATION: FROM INDIVIDUALS TO SOCIETIES Background Instead of fighting nation-states with conventional weapons, today’s U.S. military is increasingly called on to confront insurgents and terrorist networks in highly populated areas, where the attitudes and behaviors of civilian noncombatants are greatly affected by military actions. In order to achieve victory, warfighters must be able to selectively apply combat tactics, administer humanitarian aid, and peacefully mediate conflicts. The Air Force and other military services have a growing need for individual, organizational, and societal (IOS) behavioral models in order to inform the development of doctrine, strategies, and tactics for dealing with adversaries, for use in training and mission rehearsal, and in the analysis of current political and military situations. The Committee on Organizational Modeling was conceived at the request of the U.S. Air Force to evaluate the current state of the art in the IOS modeling research areas best suited to military applications. In addition, the committee was asked to identify weaknesses in the current DoD computational models of behavior. The committee members would then suggest ways in which these weaknesses might be addressed through the use of other systems and through better collaboration with the social science community, and recommend a roadmap for the research and development of an improved modeling system for the near, mid, and far term. Conclusions Human behavioral modeling is a complex science with roots in several disciplines. Rather than having a single correct model, the field encompasses a collection of potentially useful approaches. The committee believes a multilevel modeling approach combining several existing models linked together is the most promising for addressing the complex challenges faced by DoD. The committee identified five potential problem areas to be considered when developing IOS models: Problems in modeling strategy can arise due to unrealistic expectations about how faithful a model can be to the real world. Standards of verification, validation, and accreditation designed for use with models of physical systems cannot always be usefully applied to behavioral and social models. The scope of the human behavior domain (social, organizational, cultural, or individual) must be appropriately matched to the phenomena being modeled.
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The Rise of Games and High-Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation Uncertainty reduction is less plausible in models of human behavior than in models of physical phenomena. Structures and processes can undergo rapid change, making adaptation a key feature of a model and its users. Combined models using different approaches and distinct behavioral domains must be linked carefully to ensure effectiveness. Recommendations The committee recommended that the sponsor fund cross-disciplinary research programs focused on representative challenges in IOS modeling, using common datasets. In addition, research efforts should be expanded in six specific areas to advance modeling capabilities in the long term: Theories for basic social behaviors need to be more fully developed to provide the basis for models of large-scale social patterns. Basic research is needed to address challenges particular to IOS modeling, such as how models can capture human adaptation over time through learning, rational and irrational behavior, and the effects an individual’s competing allegiances have on decision making. Data collection methods are in need of development and refinement. More investigation into federated models is needed in order to ascertain which components of a model should be linked and which should be encapsulated, how different classes of models should be linked to one another, and so forth. New, clear guidelines should be established for validation standards based on the IOS model’s goals and purpose. The standard of “validation for action” would be distinct from the standard currently used for models in the physical sciences. Model building should be facilitated through the construction and ongoing maintenance of national Web-accessible data repositories and an online catalog of general approaches, models, simulations, and tools for developers. Finally, the committee recommended that researchers, developers, and government representatives meet regularly at multidisciplinary workshops and conferences to compare and exchange results. This would facilitate collaboration and growth in the currently fragmented field of IOS modeling and accelerate progress on some of the above listed challenges.