Modeling and Simulating Terrorist Decision-making: A 'Performance Moderator Function' Approach to Generating Virtual Opponents
asymmetric warfare simulation
terrorist behavior models
An elusive goal in virtual training environments is to be able to dial up the opponent of choice – e.g., the Iraqi Republican Guard, an Hamas-type of Suicide Bomber, or the clandestine minions of Bin Laden, as a few examples. In researching alternative ways to offer such a "dial up" capability, our focus thus far is to analyze actual organizations to identify "individual differences" in the form of Performance Moderator Function scorecards and a hierarchical game theoretic approach that captures the situation, organization, population, ideologic/motivation, strategic, and tactical layers of their decision making. We are also crafting a tool that can use the scorecards to semi-automatically assemble and deploy non-traditional Semi-Automated Forces or agents on a virtual battlefield. As an initial proof of concept test, we have manually applied the approach to a scenario involving a bank bomber approaching a vehicle checkpoint. The results to date indicate the approach seems to be a useful representational formalism for generic, implementation-free models of terrorist organizations and the behavior of their members. Our next steps will be to scale up the approach and try to implement it as a terrorist generator for an existing virtual-reality training environment.