Socio-Cultural Games for Training and Analysis

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Departmental Papers (ESE)
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Leaders and followers
spread of ideas
strategy games
personality and culture
agent-based simulation
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Bharathy, Gnana K
Johns, Michael
Eidelson, Roy J
Smith, Tony E
Nye, Benjamin

This paper presents a theory for role playing simulation games intended to support analysts (and trainees) with generating and testing alternative competing hypotheses on how to influence world conflict situations. Simulated leaders and followers capable of playing these games are implemented in a cognitive modeling framework, called PMFserv, which covers value systems, personality and cultural factors, emotions, relationships, perception, stress/coping style and decision making. Of direct interest, as Section 1.1 explains, is codification and synthesis of best-of-breed social science models within PMFserv to improve the internal validity of the agent implementations. Sections 2 and 3 present this for leader profiling instruments and group membership decision-making, respectively. Section 4 then offers two real world case studies (The Third Crusade and SE Asia today) where the agent models are subjected to Turing and correspondence tests under each case study. In sum, substantial effort on game realism, best-of-breed social science models, and agent validation efforts is essential if analysis and training tools are to help explore cultural issues and alternative ways to influence outcomes. Such exercises, in turn, are likely to improve the state of the science as well.

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Postprint version. To be published in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, October 2007, 49 pages.
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