PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 30/03/2013

Validating models of irregular warfare

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A forthcoming article in the Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation by Jeffrey Appleget, Curtis Blais, and Michael Jaye offers a useful look at “Best Practices for DoD Model Validation: Lessons Learned from Irregular Warfare Models.”

The US Department of Defense (DoD) requires all models and simulations that it manages, develops, and/or uses to be verified, validated, and accredited. Critical to irregular warfare (IW) modeling are interactions between combatants and the indigenous population. Representation of these interactions (human behavior representation (HBR)) requires expertise from several of the many fields of social science. As such, the verification, validation, and accreditation (VVA) of these representations will require adaptation and, in some cases, enhancement of traditional DoD VVA techniques. This paper suggests validation best practices for the DoD modeling community to address new challenges of modeling IW.

While the title stresses US Department of Defense practices, the article itself also has a great deal to say about the inherent challenges of validating models of complex human behaviour of the sort that are relevant to insurgencies and stabilization operations. Unfortunately, the full piece is behind the SAGE paywall, so you’ll need a subscription to access it.

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