Model Behavior: The Proper Way to Analyze Complex Systems

A balanced, holistic approach to analytics underpins dynamic modeling, simulation, and analysis

09-28-2020
Ken Myers
MODELING AND SIMULATION

Our government clients responsible for national security are operating in an environment characterized by global technology proliferation, rapidly emerging mission and operational requirements, budget cutbacks, and the acquisition of new system capabilities.

As a result, they are investing in integrated solutions and new technologies that cut acquisition and support costs and exploit multiple system capabilities across organization, mission, and domain boundaries. If poor investment decisions are made, they risk not just billions of dollars but the lives of Americans as well.

A lot must be understood about new technologies and operating concepts before committing significant resources. We have to help our customers understand their capability gaps and shortfalls, investigate new alternatives, and gain insight into the technologies’ strengths as well as weaknesses. For example, what would happen if the information flow to decision-makers — friendly or otherwise — is denied, disrupted, or delayed? We want a model that finds that out.

Through SAIC’s modeling and simulation center, we maintain a dynamic modeling, simulation, and analysis (MS&A) lab focused on client requirements, including the need to objectively measure the impact of information on decision-making and mission outcomes. We provide an integrated simulation framework to model C4ISR (communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) architectures and their dynamic interactions with operators, systems, and users at an enterprise level.

Our solution quantifies the attributes and capabilities of C4ISR systems and their impact on decision-making and in realistic operational scenarios.

The whole picture

Analytic efforts tend to focus on the singular need for evaluating the delivery of specific data to decision-makers, or on measuring the overall volume of data collected by a system, or on delivering information within a specified time frame. It’s a classic quality versus quantity scenario.

The first approach — quality — focuses on specific information attributes or sensor purposes, but it ignores the context and full extent of data flooding the decision-maker, which might include errors, uncertainties, and inaccuracies or redundant, obsolete information.

The second approach — quantity — analyzes the capacity or amount of data available, but it does not qualify that data in terms of application to specific missions or information needs occurring in today’s multifaceted operations centers.

The third approach — timeliness — defines the time lines for systems and architectures in static architecture frameworks, but it does not measure their performance, benefit, or utility in the context of dynamic missions and campaigns.

Our modeling, simulation, and analysis is an integrated approach that takes into account the quality and quantity of data, plus the timely delivery of that data, for a balanced approach.

Our lab’s solution integrates all three of these analytic approaches simultaneously and dynamically in simulations. It includes a simulation framework with a database of system and architecture models, simulating their capabilities and operations in the context of realistic missions and scenarios. It then produces measures of performance, effectiveness, and outcomes for decision-makers across multiple domains and architectures.

Although our solution has supported various C4ISR studies and analyses for several federal customers, we have a great deal of pride knowing others in our company come to us for modeling and simulation help.

We supported the development of a simulation environment to evaluate the utility of a new SAIC technology in an internal research and development project. Our solution continues to operate as the functional core of the demonstration system for the new capability.

It provides a robust, adaptable simulation environment, with a wealth of data and analytic tools for use, in demonstrating the performance benefit of new joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to human analysts and warfighters.

Looking ahead, we are weaving MS&A with digital engineering to create and validate digital twins of systems of systems. These digital twins can be used to evaluate mission threads, reduce prototyping costs, and improve system acquisition and life-cycle management.

Thanks to Paul Vogel, systems engineering chief, for collaborating with me on this blog!

 

MORE FROM KEN MYERS: Injecting realistic scenarios for effective modeling and simulations

Posted by: Ken Myers

Systems Engineering Chief

Ken Myers is an engineering manager with space domain expertise. His team at SAIC provides modeling, simulation, and analysis support to defense and intelligence community customers. They develop and maintain dynamic, physics-based, enterprise-level simulation capabilities to support system and architecture performance, effectiveness, and utility studies. Ken is a member of the American Astronautical Society (AAS), National Space Society (NSS), and Air Force Association (AFA) and an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

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