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HARTLEY CONSULTING
Solving
Complex Operational and Organizational Problems

PROJECT: THE OAK RIDGE SPREADSHEET BATTLE MODEL

Dr. Dean S. Hartley III


Project Metadata Keywords
Label Name Other Year DurationYrs
Client JAD The Joint Staff
Dates 1988 5
Employer DOE Oak Ridge Facilities
Partner N/A
Pubs Users' Guide to the Oak Ridge Spreadsheet Battle Model, K/DSRD-413 author 1991
Pubs The Constraint Model of Attrition, K/DSRD-114/R1 author 1989
Pubs Historical Support for a Mixed Law Lanchestrian Attrition Model: Helmbold's Ratio, K/DSRD-113 lead author 1989
Pubs Can the Square Law Be Validated?, K/DSRD-57 author 1989
Pubs Historical Validation of an Attrition Model, K/DSRD-115 author 1990
Pubs Oak Ridge Spreadsheet Battle Model (ORSBM) programmer 1990
Pubs Confirming the Lanchestrian Linear-Logarithmic Model of Attrition, K/DSRD-263 author 1990
Pubs Predicting Combat Effects, K/DSRD-412 author 1991
Pubs Confirming the Lanchestrian Linear-Logarithmic Model of Attrition, K/DSRD-263/R1 author 1991
Pubs "The Oak Ridge Spreadsheet Battle Model," Proceedings of the '90 Winter Simulation Conference author 1990
Pubs Non-Validation of Lanchester's Original Equations in the Inchon-Seoul Campaign of the Korean War, ORNL/DSRD/TM-12 author 1988
Pubs "Validating Lanchester's Square Law and Other Attrition Models," Warfare Modeling, Jerome Bracken, Moshe Kress and Richard E. Rosenthal, editors, lead author 1996
Pubs "Practical Historical Validation," Phalanx author 1992
Pubs "The Oak Ridge Spreadsheet Battle Model," Phalanx author 1994
Pubs "The Constraint Model of Attrition," Proceedings of the '89 Winter Simulation Conference author 1989
Pubs "A Mathematical Model of Attrition Data," Naval Research Logistics author 1995
Pubs "Battle Modeling," Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, Saul Gass and Carl Harris, editors, Kluwer Academic Publishers author 1996
Pubs "Validating Lanchester's Square Law and Other Attrition Models," Naval Research Logistics lead author 1995
Pubs "A Mathematical Model of Attrition Data," Warfare Modeling, Jerome Bracken, Moshe Kress and Richard E. Rosenthal, editors, MORS, Alexandria, VA author 1996
Pubs "Battle Modeling," Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, Millenium Edition, Saul Gass and Carl Harris, editors, Kluwer Academic Publishers author 2001
Pubs Predicting Combat Effects, Military Applications Society (MAS) of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) author 2001
Pubs "Mathematical Modeling of Historical Combat Data," Proceedings of the 1991 Callaway Workshop author 1991
Team Robert L. Helmbold, Kara L. Kruse
Analysis of messy data
Historical combat data research
Historical validation of attrition algorithms
Human factors
Independent Verification & Validation (IV&V)
Lanchester theory
Modeling, Simulation & Gaming (MSG)
Sensitivity analysis
Statistical inference
Verification, Validation & Accreditation (VV&A)
Warfare modeling

Challenge: War is an unpleasant fact of life, to be avoided when possible; however, if the U.S. must fight, it should win. It is critical to know how scarce resources should be allocated to best prepare for winning. A valid theory of war would be invaluable in determining the proper allocation policies. Previous efforts in theorizing about war have been piecemeal and unvalidated. DSRD set out to determine whether the available data about battles contained sufficient information to support statistically significant statements about battle factors and their connection to battle results. There is a surprisingly small amount of solid historical data about battles, despite their great numbers. Accounts vary, making it clear that the details required for analysis were frequently regarded as obscurants to the tales of victory and defeat that make up history.


Accomplishment: While the data were insufficient to produce a comprehensive description of combat, they were sufficient to produce a description of a large part of the battle process, with a validated theory of casualty production. This validated theory contradicts standard notions of the casualty process, although it's impact on combat models in use is uncertain. The compiled descriptions of the relationship between battle factors and battle results were implemented as a spreadsheet model, the Oak Ridge Spreadsheet Battle Model (ORSBM). The ORSBM has been delivered to several governmental agencies. It has been reported to be in use in training senior military officers in course of action analysis. It is also potentially useful in validation of large and more complex combat models. The report of this research, Predicting Combat Effects K/DSRD-412, was awarded the Koopman Prize for 1994 for the best paper in Military Operations Research. The companion document, User's Guide to the Oak Ridge Spreadsheet Battle Model K/DSRD-413, is also available. The information in these documents, together with previous and later work, has been published as Predicting Combat Effects.

Figure 1. Moving from Anecdotal Data to a Mathematical Model


Technologies Employed: This work involved the analysis of messy data. That is the art of determining whether a collection of data contains any useful information, said data having been produced with no analysis plan in mind. The tools that were used were statistical analysis, graphical analysis and historical analysis.


Background: This work was sponsored by The Joint Staff (J-8) under the Modern Aids to Planning Program (MAPP). MAPP was designed to support the analysis needs of the Commanders in Chief (CINCs) of the Unified and Specified Commands. The work was also sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Net Assessment), which is responsible for comparing national combat capabilities.


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