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AFRL Works with BAE on Simulating Conflicts

DARPA is funding BAE Systems for the development of software to analyzer global conflicts for finding quicker, more effective responses.

Software plays a large role in designing and simulating electronic circuits and systems, and may soon play a role in better understanding the reasons behinds various conflicts around the world. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is now sponsoring BAE Systems to develop software expressly for that purpose. As part of a $4.2 million contract awarded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the Causal Exploration of Complex Operational Environments program has been started to develop software for modeling the different political, territorial, and economic tensions that can cause conflicts, with the hope of helping military planners avoid unexpected actions.

In response to the needs of the program, BAE Systems’ Causal Modeling for Knowledge Transfer, Exploration, and Temporal Simulation (CONTEXTS) software will create an interactive model of an operational environment, enabling military planners to explore the causes of a conflict and simulate the effects of different responses on its outcomes (see figure).

The CONTEXTS software is using algorithms and simulations to analyze global conflicts for finding quicker, more effective responses. (Image courtesy of BAE Systems)

“Military planners often conduct manual research and use limited modelling tools to generate models and evaluate conflict situations, which are extremely time-consuming and labor-intensive,” said Chris Eisenbies, product line director of the Autonomy, Controls, and Estimation group at BAE Systems. “To break down these barriers, CONTEXTS will use reasoning algorithms and simulations with the goal to give planners a quicker and deeper understanding of conflicts to help avoid unexpected and counterintuitive outcomes.”

Work on this program is being performed at BAE’s facilities in Burlington, Mass. and Arlington, Va. Dr. David Danks of Carnegie Mellon University is also involved in the software’s development.

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