Item description for Artificial War: Multiagent-Based Simulation of Combat by Andrew Ilachinski...
Military conflicts, particularly land combat, possess the characteristics of complex adaptive systems: combat forces are composed of a large number of nonlinearly interacting parts and are organized in a dynamic command-and-control network; local action, which often appears disordered, self-organizes into long-range order; military conflicts, by their nature, proceed far from equilibrium; military forces adapt to a changing combat environment; and there is no master "voice" that dictates the actions of every soldier (i.e., battlefield action is decentralized). Nonetheless, most modern "state of the art" military simulations ignore the self-organizing properties of combat.
This book summarizes the results of a multiyear research effort aimed at exploring the applicability of complex adaptive systems theory to the study of warfare, and introduces a sophisticated multiagent-based simulation of combat called EINSTein. EINSTein, whose bottom-up, generative approach to modeling combat stands in stark contrast to the top-down or reductionist philosophy that still underlies most conventional military models, is designed to illustrate how many aspects of land combat may be understood as self-organized, emergent phenomena. Used worldwide by the military operations research community, EINSTein has pioneered the simulation of combat on a small to medium scale by using autonomous agents to model individual behaviors and personalities rather than hardware.
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Studio: World Scientific Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.75" Width: 6.75" Height: 10.75" Weight: 2.94 lbs.
Publisher World Scientific Publishing Company
ISBN 9812388346 ISBN13 9789812388346
Reviews - What do customers think about Artificial War: Multiagent-Based Simulation of Combat?
A Brilliant Pioneering Work of Depth and Breadth! Jan 15, 2005
This sophisticated yet accessible book has much to offer. While many groups today are applying complexity and agent-based modeling to combat, the models developed by Ilachinski and described in this book, ISAAC and EINSTein, are the true pioneers, and the story behind their development is fascinating.
Following the Vietnam War, a major rethinking about the type of education and skills needed to fight a modern-day war resulted in many reforms that led to the U.S. military's swift victory in "Operation Desert Storm" in 1991. Building on those successes, the United States Marine Corps undertook a search for new discoveries with the potential to influence the military's thinking about and readiness for future conficts. Through this effort they learned about the emerging new field of nonlinear studies, also known as chaos theory and complexity science.
In 1995, under the direction of Lt. General Paul K. Van Riper (now retired) an "Office of New Sciences" was established within the Marine Corps Combat Development Command--a sort of futures think tank for the Marine Corps--to explore the possible applications of complexity to the Marine Corps' strategic thinking about the future of combat.
In the Forward to this book General Van Riper writes, "In an initial discussion Dr. Ilachinski (employed by the Center for Naval Analysis and invited by Gen. Van Riper to meet with him to discuss these ideas) suggested we focus our research on the relevance of complexity theory to land combat because of its unique characteristics, these being hierarchically organized units engaged in multifaceted interactions with each other and the enemy over complicated terrain." This book is the story of the project, insights and models that resulted from those early conversations.
Despite (I write with a laugh) his math and physics background, Ilachinski is a wonderful writer, taking his time with each subject and thus making this book accessible to the nonscientist with a basic understanding of complexity. It's also fun to work with the basic model (described here in detail) and explore some of the more abstract ideas from complexity and their applications to many domains beyond those for which it was originally developed (namely, combat). There is also within this book a self-contained primer on complexity. I was so impressed with the clarity of this section that I asked the book's publisher to make this section available as a separate publication (to which they agreed) for my workshops and seminars on complexity. This book is a valued reference that I have used over and over. As an aside, Andy is also an accomplished photographer (visit his photography website) whose stunning photographs capture nature's elegance, simplicity, beauty and complexity.
As a final tribute to Ilachinski's incredible pioneering work, General Van Riper writes in the book's Forward, "When histories of this era are written Dr. Andrew Ilachinski is likely to emerge as the 'Father of Military Complexity Research'...Those in positions with responsibility for planning and conducting the Nation's defense today and into the foreseeable future ignore this book at great peril for it offers deep and meaningful insights into war on land." You won't be disappointed with this book. It's worth every penny!