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Explorations in combining cognitive models of individuals and system dynamics models of groups.

Description: This report documents a demonstration model of interacting insurgent leadership, military leadership, government leadership, and societal dynamics under a variety of interventions. The primary focus of the work is the portrayal of a token societal model that responds to leadership activities. The model also includes a linkage between leadership and society that implicitly represents the leadership subordinates as they directly interact with the population. The societal model is meant to demonstrate the efficacy and viability of using System Dynamics (SD) methods to simulate populations and that these can then connect to cognitive models depicting individuals. SD models typically focus on average behavior and thus have limited applicability to describe small groups or individuals. On the other hand, cognitive models readily describe individual behavior but can become cumbersome when used to describe populations. Realistic security situations are invariably a mix of individual and population dynamics. Therefore, the ability to tie SD models to cognitive models provides a critical capability that would be otherwise be unavailable.
Date: July 1, 2008
Creator: Backus, George A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate-derived tensions in Arctic security.

Description: Globally, there is no lack of security threats. Many of them demand priority engagement and there can never be adequate resources to address all threats. In this context, climate is just another aspect of global security and the Arctic just another region. In light of physical and budgetary constraints, new security needs must be integrated and prioritized with existing ones. This discussion approaches the security impacts of climate from that perspective, starting with the broad security picture and establishing how climate may affect it. This method provides a different view from one that starts with climate and projects it, in isolation, as the source of a hypothetical security burden. That said, the Arctic does appear to present high-priority security challenges. Uncertainty in the timing of an ice-free Arctic affects how quickly it will become a security priority. Uncertainty in the emergent extreme and variable weather conditions will determine the difficulty (cost) of maintaining adequate security (order) in the area. The resolution of sovereignty boundaries affects the ability to enforce security measures, and the U.S. will most probably need a military presence to back-up negotiated sovereignty agreements. Without additional global warming, technology already allows the Arctic to become a strategic link in the global supply chain, possibly with northern Russia as its main hub. Additionally, the multinational corporations reaping the economic bounty may affect security tensions more than nation-states themselves. Countries will depend ever more heavily on the global supply chains. China has particular needs to protect its trade flows. In matters of security, nation-state and multinational-corporate interests will become heavily intertwined.
Date: September 1, 2008
Creator: Backus, George A. & Strickland, James Hassler
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Architectural considerations for agent-based national scale policy models : LDRD final report.

Description: The need to anticipate the consequences of policy decisions becomes ever more important as the magnitude of the potential consequences grows. The multiplicity of connections between the components of society and the economy makes intuitive assessments extremely unreliable. Agent-based modeling has the potential to be a powerful tool in modeling policy impacts. The direct mapping between agents and elements of society and the economy simplify the mapping of real world functions into the world of computation assessment. Our modeling initiative is motivated by the desire to facilitate informed public debate on alternative policies for how we, as a nation, provide healthcare to our population. We explore the implications of this motivation on the design and implementation of a model. We discuss the choice of an agent-based modeling approach and contrast it to micro-simulation and systems dynamics approaches.
Date: September 1, 2007
Creator: Backus, George A. & Strip, David R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Global situational awareness and early warning of high-consequence climate change.

Description: Global monitoring systems that have high spatial and temporal resolution, with long observational baselines, are needed to provide situational awareness of the Earth's climate system. Continuous monitoring is required for early warning of high-consequence climate change and to help anticipate and minimize the threat. Global climate has changed abruptly in the past and will almost certainly do so again, even in the absence of anthropogenic interference. It is possible that the Earth's climate could change dramatically and suddenly within a few years. An unexpected loss of climate stability would be equivalent to the failure of an engineered system on a grand scale, and would affect billions of people by causing agricultural, economic, and environmental collapses that would cascade throughout the world. The probability of such an abrupt change happening in the near future may be small, but it is nonzero. Because the consequences would be catastrophic, we argue that the problem should be treated with science-informed engineering conservatism, which focuses on various ways a system can fail and emphasizes inspection and early detection. Such an approach will require high-fidelity continuous global monitoring, informed by scientific modeling.
Date: August 1, 2009
Creator: Backus, George A.; Carr, Martin J. & Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A deeper look at climate change and national security.

Description: Climate change is a long-term process that will trigger a range of multi-dimensional demographic, economic, geopolitical, and national security issues with many unknowns and significant uncertainties. At first glance, climate-change-related national security dimensions seem far removed from today's major national security threats. Yet climate change has already set in motion forces that will require U.S. attention and preparedness. The extent and uncertainty associated with these situations necessitate a move away from conventional security practices, toward a small but flexible portfolio of assets to maintain U.S. interests. Thoughtful action is required now if we are to acquire the capabilities, tools, systems, and institutions needed to meet U.S. national security requirements as they evolve with the emerging stresses and shifts of climate change.
Date: March 1, 2010
Creator: Baker, Arnold Barry; Backus, George A. & Romig, Alton Dale, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conceptual design of an integrated technology model for carbon policy assessment.

Description: This report describes the conceptual design of a technology choice model for understanding strategies to reduce carbon intensity in the electricity sector. The report considers the major modeling issues affecting technology policy assessment and defines an implementable model construct. Further, the report delineates the basis causal structure of such a model and attempts to establish the technical/algorithmic viability of pursuing model development along with the associated analyses.
Date: January 1, 2011
Creator: Backus, George A. & Dimotakes, Paul E. (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foundations to the unified psycho-cognitive engine.

Description: This document outlines the key features of the SNL psychological engine. The engine is designed to be a generic presentation of cognitive entities interacting among themselves and with the external world. The engine combines the most accepted theories of behavioral psychology with those of behavioral economics to produce a unified simulation of human response from stimuli through executed behavior. The engine explicitly recognizes emotive and reasoned contributions to behavior and simulates the dynamics associated with cue processing, learning, and choice selection. Most importantly, the model parameterization can come from available media or survey information, as well subject-matter-expert information. The framework design allows the use of uncertainty quantification and sensitivity analysis to manage confidence in using the analysis results for intervention decisions.
Date: October 1, 2010
Creator: Bernard, Michael Lewis; Bier, Asmeret Brooke; Backus, George A.; Verzi, Stephen J. & Glickman, Matthew R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Arctic as a test case for an assessment of climate impacts on national security.

Description: The Arctic region is rapidly changing in a way that will affect the rest of the world. Parts of Alaska, western Canada, and Siberia are currently warming at twice the global rate. This warming trend is accelerating permafrost deterioration, coastal erosion, snow and ice loss, and other changes that are a direct consequence of climate change. Climatologists have long understood that changes in the Arctic would be faster and more intense than elsewhere on the planet, but the degree and speed of the changes were underestimated compared to recent observations. Policy makers have not yet had time to examine the latest evidence or appreciate the nature of the consequences. Thus, the abruptness and severity of an unfolding Arctic climate crisis has not been incorporated into long-range planning. The purpose of this report is to briefly review the physical basis for global climate change and Arctic amplification, summarize the ongoing observations, discuss the potential consequences, explain the need for an objective risk assessment, develop scenarios for future change, review existing modeling capabilities and the need for better regional models, and finally to make recommendations for Sandia's future role in preparing our leaders to deal with impacts of Arctic climate change on national security. Accurate and credible regional-scale climate models are still several years in the future, and those models are essential for estimating climate impacts around the globe. This study demonstrates how a scenario-based method may be used to give insights into climate impacts on a regional scale and possible mitigation. Because of our experience in the Arctic and widespread recognition of the Arctic's importance in the Earth climate system we chose the Arctic as a test case for an assessment of climate impacts on national security. Sandia can make a swift and significant contribution by applying modeling and simulation tools ...
Date: November 1, 2008
Creator: Taylor, Mark A.; Zak, Bernard Daniel; Backus, George A.; Ivey, Mark D. & Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Behavior-aware decision support systems : LDRD final report.

Description: As Sandia National Laboratories serves its mission to provide support for the security-related interests of the United States, it is faced with considering the behavioral responses that drive problems, mitigate interventions, or lead to unintended consequences. The effort described here expands earlier works in using healthcare simulation to develop behavior-aware decision support systems. This report focuses on using qualitative choice techniques and enhancing two analysis models developed in a sister project.
Date: November 1, 2007
Creator: Hirsch, Gary B.; Homer, Jack (Homer Consulting); Chenoweth, Brooke N.; Backus, George A. & Strip, David R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

R&D for computational cognitive and social models : foundations for model evaluation through verification and validation (final LDRD report).

Description: Sandia National Laboratories is investing in projects that aim to develop computational modeling and simulation applications that explore human cognitive and social phenomena. While some of these modeling and simulation projects are explicitly research oriented, others are intended to support or provide insight for people involved in high consequence decision-making. This raises the issue of how to evaluate computational modeling and simulation applications in both research and applied settings where human behavior is the focus of the model: when is a simulation 'good enough' for the goals its designers want to achieve? In this report, we discuss two years' worth of review and assessment of the ASC program's approach to computational model verification and validation, uncertainty quantification, and decision making. We present a framework that extends the principles of the ASC approach into the area of computational social and cognitive modeling and simulation. In doing so, we argue that the potential for evaluation is a function of how the modeling and simulation software will be used in a particular setting. In making this argument, we move from strict, engineering and physics oriented approaches to V&V to a broader project of model evaluation, which asserts that the systematic, rigorous, and transparent accumulation of evidence about a model's performance under conditions of uncertainty is a reasonable and necessary goal for model evaluation, regardless of discipline. How to achieve the accumulation of evidence in areas outside physics and engineering is a significant research challenge, but one that requires addressing as modeling and simulation tools move out of research laboratories and into the hands of decision makers. This report provides an assessment of our thinking on ASC Verification and Validation, and argues for further extending V&V research in the physical and engineering sciences toward a broader program of model evaluation in situations of high ...
Date: September 1, 2008
Creator: Slepoy, Alexander; Mitchell, Scott A.; Backus, George A.; McNamara, Laura A. & Trucano, Timothy Guy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Anticipating the unintended consequences of security dynamics.

Description: In a globalized world, dramatic changes within any one nation causes ripple or even tsunamic effects within neighbor nations and nations geographically far removed. Multinational interventions to prevent or mitigate detrimental changes can easily cause secondary unintended consequences more detrimental and enduring than the feared change instigating the intervention. This LDRD research developed the foundations for a flexible geopolitical and socioeconomic simulation capability that focuses on the dynamic national security implications of natural and man-made trauma for a nation-state and the states linked to it through trade or treaty. The model developed contains a database for simulating all 229 recognized nation-states and sovereignties with the detail of 30 economic sectors including consumers and natural resources. The model explicitly simulates the interactions among the countries and their governments. Decisions among governments and populations is based on expectation formation. In the simulation model, failed expectations are used as a key metric for tension across states, among ethnic groups, and between population factions. This document provides the foundational documentation for the model.
Date: January 1, 2010
Creator: Backus, George A.; Overfelt, James Robert; Malczynski, Leonard A.; Saltiel, David H. & Moulton, Simon Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A case for Sandia investment in complex adaptive systems science and technology.

Description: This white paper makes a case for Sandia National Laboratories investments in complex adaptive systems science and technology (S&T) -- investments that could enable higher-value-added and more-robustly-engineered solutions to challenges of importance to Sandia's national security mission and to the nation. Complex adaptive systems are ubiquitous in Sandia's national security mission areas. We often ignore the adaptive complexity of these systems by narrowing our 'aperture of concern' to systems or subsystems with a limited range of function exposed to a limited range of environments over limited periods of time. But by widening our aperture of concern we could increase our impact considerably. To do so, the science and technology of complex adaptive systems must mature considerably. Despite an explosion of interest outside of Sandia, however, that science and technology is still in its youth. What has been missing is contact with real (rather than model) systems and real domain-area detail. With its center-of-gravity as an engineering laboratory, Sandia's has made considerable progress applying existing science and technology to real complex adaptive systems. It has focused much less, however, on advancing the science and technology itself. But its close contact with real systems and real domain-area detail represents a powerful strength with which to help complex adaptive systems science and technology mature. Sandia is thus both a prime beneficiary of, as well as potentially a prime contributor to, complex adaptive systems science and technology. Building a productive program in complex adaptive systems science and technology at Sandia will not be trivial, but a credible path can be envisioned: in the short run, continue to apply existing science and technology to real domain-area complex adaptive systems; in the medium run, jump-start the creation of new science and technology capability through Sandia's Laboratory Directed Research and Development program; and in the long run, ...
Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Colbaugh, Richard; Tsao, Jeffrey Yeenien; Johnson, Curtis Martin; Backus, George A.; Brown, Theresa Jean & Jones, Katherine A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessing the near-term risk of climate uncertainty : interdependencies among the U.S. states.

Description: Policy makers will most likely need to make decisions about climate policy before climate scientists have resolved all relevant uncertainties about the impacts of climate change. This study demonstrates a risk-assessment methodology for evaluating uncertain future climatic conditions. We estimate the impacts of climate change on U.S. state- and national-level economic activity from 2010 to 2050. To understand the implications of uncertainty on risk and to provide a near-term rationale for policy interventions to mitigate the course of climate change, we focus on precipitation, one of the most uncertain aspects of future climate change. We use results of the climate-model ensemble from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report 4 (AR4) as a proxy for representing climate uncertainty over the next 40 years, map the simulated weather from the climate models hydrologically to the county level to determine the physical consequences on economic activity at the state level, and perform a detailed 70-industry analysis of economic impacts among the interacting lower-48 states. We determine the industry-level contribution to the gross domestic product and employment impacts at the state level, as well as interstate population migration, effects on personal income, and consequences for the U.S. trade balance. We show that the mean or average risk of damage to the U.S. economy from climate change, at the national level, is on the order of $1 trillion over the next 40 years, with losses in employment equivalent to nearly 7 million full-time jobs.
Date: April 1, 2010
Creator: Loose, Verne W.; Lowry, Thomas Stephen; Malczynski, Leonard A.; Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Stamber, Kevin Louis; Reinert, Rhonda K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Accommodating complexity and human behaviors in decision analysis.

Description: This is the final report for a LDRD effort to address human behavior in decision support systems. One sister LDRD effort reports the extension of this work to include actual human choices and additional simulation analyses. Another provides the background for this effort and the programmatic directions for future work. This specific effort considered the feasibility of five aspects of model development required for analysis viability. To avoid the use of classified information, healthcare decisions and the system embedding them became the illustrative example for assessment.
Date: November 1, 2007
Creator: Backus, George A.; Siirola, John Daniel; Schoenwald, David Alan; Strip, David R.; Hirsch, Gary B.; Bastian, Mark S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Executive summary for assessing the near-term risk of climate uncertainty : interdependencies among the U.S. states.

Description: Policy makers will most likely need to make decisions about climate policy before climate scientists have resolved all relevant uncertainties about the impacts of climate change. This study demonstrates a risk-assessment methodology for evaluating uncertain future climatic conditions. We estimate the impacts of climate change on U.S. state- and national-level economic activity from 2010 to 2050. To understand the implications of uncertainty on risk and to provide a near-term rationale for policy interventions to mitigate the course of climate change, we focus on precipitation, one of the most uncertain aspects of future climate change. We use results of the climate-model ensemble from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report 4 (AR4) as a proxy for representing climate uncertainty over the next 40 years, map the simulated weather from the climate models hydrologically to the county level to determine the physical consequences on economic activity at the state level, and perform a detailed 70-industry analysis of economic impacts among the interacting lower-48 states. We determine the industry-level contribution to the gross domestic product and employment impacts at the state level, as well as interstate population migration, effects on personal income, and consequences for the U.S. trade balance. We show that the mean or average risk of damage to the U.S. economy from climate change, at the national level, is on the order of $1 trillion over the next 40 years, with losses in employment equivalent to nearly 7 million full-time jobs.
Date: April 1, 2010
Creator: Loose, Verne W.; Lowry, Thomas Stephen; Malczynski, Leonard A.; Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Stamber, Kevin Louis; Reinert, Rhonda K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate uncertainty and implications for U.S. state-level risk assessment through 2050.

Description: Decisions for climate policy will need to take place in advance of climate science resolving all relevant uncertainties. Further, if the concern of policy is to reduce risk, then the best-estimate of climate change impacts may not be so important as the currently understood uncertainty associated with realizable conditions having high consequence. This study focuses on one of the most uncertain aspects of future climate change - precipitation - to understand the implications of uncertainty on risk and the near-term justification for interventions to mitigate the course of climate change. We show that the mean risk of damage to the economy from climate change, at the national level, is on the order of one trillion dollars over the next 40 years, with employment impacts of nearly 7 million labor-years. At a 1% exceedance-probability, the impact is over twice the mean-risk value. Impacts at the level of individual U.S. states are then typically in the multiple tens of billions dollar range with employment losses exceeding hundreds of thousands of labor-years. We used results of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report 4 (AR4) climate-model ensemble as the referent for climate uncertainty over the next 40 years, mapped the simulated weather hydrologically to the county level for determining the physical consequence to economic activity at the state level, and then performed a detailed, seventy-industry, analysis of economic impact among the interacting lower-48 states. We determined industry GDP and employment impacts at the state level, as well as interstate population migration, effect on personal income, and the consequences for the U.S. trade balance.
Date: October 1, 2009
Creator: Loose, Verne W.; Lowry, Thomas Stephen; Malczynski, Leonard A.; Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Stamber, Kevin Louis; Kelic, Andjelka et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate change effects on international stability : a white paper.

Description: This white paper represents a summary of work intended to lay the foundation for development of a climatological/agent model of climate-induced conflict. The paper combines several loosely-coupled efforts and is the final report for a four-month late-start Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project funded by the Advanced Concepts Group (ACG). The project involved contributions by many participants having diverse areas of expertise, with the common goal of learning how to tie together the physical and human causes and consequences of climate change. We performed a review of relevant literature on conflict arising from environmental scarcity. Rather than simply reviewing the previous work, we actively collected data from the referenced sources, reproduced some of the work, and explored alternative models. We used the unfolding crisis in Darfur (western Sudan) as a case study of conflict related to or triggered by climate change, and as an exercise for developing a preliminary concept map. We also outlined a plan for implementing agents in a climate model and defined a logical progression toward the ultimate goal of running both types of models simultaneously in a two-way feedback mode, where the behavior of agents influences the climate and climate change affects the agents. Finally, we offer some ''lessons learned'' in attempting to keep a diverse and geographically dispersed group working together by using Web-based collaborative tools.
Date: December 1, 2004
Creator: Murphy, Kathryn; Taylor, Mark A.; Fujii, Joy; Malczynski, Leonard A.; McNamara, Laura A.; Reinert, Rhonda K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Risk assessment of climate systems for national security.

Description: Climate change, through drought, flooding, storms, heat waves, and melting Arctic ice, affects the production and flow of resource within and among geographical regions. The interactions among governments, populations, and sectors of the economy require integrated assessment based on risk, through uncertainty quantification (UQ). This project evaluated the capabilities with Sandia National Laboratories to perform such integrated analyses, as they relate to (inter)national security. The combining of the UQ results from climate models with hydrological and economic/infrastructure impact modeling appears to offer the best capability for national security risk assessments.
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Backus, George A.; Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick; Brown, Theresa Jean; Cai, Ximing; Conrad, Stephen Hamilton; Constantine, Paul et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department