Social Simulations for Asymmetric Threat Assessment

Planning for Effects Based Operations (EBO) requires understanding not just immediate effects (e.g. bomb damage and casualties) but also the non-immediate secondary ones. This is difficult because secondary effects involve complex interactions of political, military, economic, social, infrastructure and information (PMESII) factors. Indeed, our experience in Bosnia, Somalia and Iraq implies that the psychological hearts-and-minds effects are often of greater importance in the long run than the primary military ones. To model and predict PMESII effects, we have developed an agent-based society simulator, which incorporates both physical and psychological factors.

The Asymmetric Threat Assessment Tool (ATAT) was developed to help planners assess the secondary effects of both military and nonmilitary actions. These actions are the inputs to ATAT, which propagates their PMESII effects through a simulated society. ATAT provides time-series graphical representations of these effects.

  • Gary. W. King, Matthew D. Schmill, Andrew Hannon, and Paul Cohen. "The Asymmetric Threat Assessment Tool (ATAT)". In Proceedings of the 14th Conference on Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation (BRIMS) Orlando, FL, May 2005. L. Allender and T. Kelley, Eds.