Published on Fri Jan 22 2016

Decision Aids for Adversarial Planning in Military Operations: Algorithms, Tools, and Turing-test-like Experimental Validation

Alexander Kott, Ray Budd, Larry Ground, Lakshmi Rebbapragada, John Langston

Intelligent decision aids can help alleviate the challenges of planning complex operations. We describe integrated algorithms, and a tool that can translate a high-level concept for a tactical military operation into a fully detailed, actionable plan. The technology is generic and also applies to a number of other domains.

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Abstract

Use of intelligent decision aids can help alleviate the challenges of planning complex operations. We describe integrated algorithms, and a tool capable of translating a high-level concept for a tactical military operation into a fully detailed, actionable plan, producing automatically (or with human guidance) plans with realistic degree of detail and of human-like quality. Tight interleaving of several algorithms -- planning, adversary estimates, scheduling, routing, attrition and consumption estimates -- comprise the computational approach of this tool. Although originally developed for Army large-unit operations, the technology is generic and also applies to a number of other domains, particularly in critical situations requiring detailed planning within a constrained period of time. In this paper, we focus particularly on the engineering tradeoffs in the design of the tool. In an experimental evaluation, reminiscent of the Turing test, the tool's performance compared favorably with human planners.