Page Last Updated: Monday, 06 June 2016 15:49 EDT, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2016

Complex Operational and Organizational Problems


Dr. Dean S. Hartley III

Project Metadata Keywords
Label Name Other Year DurationYrs
Client Defense Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO) Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)
Dates 2001 5
Employer Hartley Consulting
Partner Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC)
Partner IIT Research Institute (IITRI)
Partner Alion
Partner Altarum
Pubs Operations Other Than War (OOTW) Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) Prototype Toolbox: ISSM v4.00 Users' Guide, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2006
Pubs OOTW Toolbox, DSH-0320 author 2001
Pubs "Modeling Stability in Geopolitical States," Proceedings of the 2004 Hawaii Conference on Statistics Mathematics and Related Fields author 2004
Pubs Operations Other Than War (OOTW) Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) Prototype Toolbox: ISSM v4.00 Analysts' Guide, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2006
Pubs OOTW Toolbox Test Strategy, DSH-0334 author 2002
Pubs Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST): Alpha Build Test Report, (DSH-0335) E-5142, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2002
Pubs Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW) Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) Prototype Toolbox: ISSM v3.00 Analysts' Guide, E-9176U, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2005
Pubs Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) for the Warfighter: Alpha Test Addendum, E-7058U, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2003
Pubs Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) for the Warfighter: Beta-1 Build Test Report, E-5574U, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2003
Pubs OOTW Toolbox Specification, DSH-0324 author 2001
Pubs Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) for the Warfighter: Test Strategy and Plan (Revision 2), E-7058U, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2003
Pubs Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) for the Warfighter: Test Strategy and Plan (Revision 1), E-6508U, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2003
Pubs FAST Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2004
Pubs Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW): Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) Prototype Toolbox: FY04 Validation Strategy & Plan, E-9120U, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2005
Pubs Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW): Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) Prototype Toolbox: FY05 Validation Strategy & Plan, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2005
Pubs Operations Other Than War (OOTW): Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) Prototype Toolbox: Analysis Process, Dynamics Research Corporation lead author 2006
Pubs "Military Operations Other Than War: A Toolbox for Warriors," MORS-WG22 Barchi Submission co-author 2004
Pubs "Measuring Success in 21st Century Conflicts," ORMS Today. Vol 34, No 3, Jun 2007 author 2007
Pubs Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW) Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) Prototype Toolbox: ISSM v3.00 Users' Guide, E-9175U, Dynamics Research Corporation author 2005
Team Curtis Blais, John Cipparone, Christian Farrell, David Holdsworth, Wayne Randolph
Agent Based Modeling
Classification issues
Collaborative computing
Configuration management
Consequence Management
Data collection
Data Verification & Validation
Database design
Distributed analysis
Documentation standards
Geographic mapping
Geopolitical analysis
Global War on Terrorism (GWOT)
Human factors
Human, Social, Cultural Behavior (HSCB) Modeling
Impact analysis
Independent Verification & Validation (IV&V)
Information storage and retrieval
Irregular Warfare (IW)
Knowledge Management (KM)
Logistics issues
Military study process
Model/System integration
Modeling, Simulation & Gaming (MSG)
Operations Other Than War (OOTW)
Software issues
Software reuse
Stability Operations (SASO, SSTR)
Threat assessment
Transportation issues
Verification, Validation & Accreditation (VV&A)
Warfare modeling


Create a design for a toolbox of Operations Other Than War (OOTW) tools that is accessible to the various communities that need tools to support them in their missions. The Defense Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO) began in 2001 to create an OOTW toolbox, which was subsequently named the Flexible Asymmetric Simulation Technologies (FAST) toolbox.  (These tools are also known as DIME/PMESII or HSCB tools.)

The devil is in the details: the content of OOTWs is tremendously diverse; the dimensionality of the tools themselves is great; and the total resulting dimensionality produces access problems.

The figure below illustrates the toolbox dimensionality problem, with some candidate tools shown for perspective.

DMSO had collected statements of need, as follow:

The OOTW strategic challenges include the following:

The OOTW operational challenges are represented by the following questions.


The concept for the tools is shown in the following two figures. The first figure relates the Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic (DIME) levers of power to the situation, described by the Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information, and Infrastructure (PMESII) variables, and the measurement of results through a PMESII model, yielding understanding.

The second figure replaces the real world with the simulated reality of computer models.

The project team, which includes Dynamics Research Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Alion, and CoTs determined on a set of goals, as follows:

The project has been a multi-year effort, with shifting focus to implement the incremental functionality enhancement. The figure below illustrates the major activities over time and for each project year. Note these activities included continuing, disciplined, and documented verification and validation (V&V) activities.

The Toolbox

The team created a data flow architecture as shown in the figure below, with control flows, XML data passing, other automated data passing, and manual data passing.

The team has also produced extensive documentation as shown in the next figure. Each tool is individually documented and the toolbox as a whole is documented.

The next figure shows the relationships among the documents.

The project team has produced a prototype toolbox that includes several tools.

The Controller provides a common interface and supports data storage for the toolbox.
  • Unifies the FAST Toolbox
  • Provides
    • Central launch point for tools
    • Links to related OOTW web sites
    • Repository for tool data and associated documents of all types
    • Tool meta-data (i.e., data about data)
  • User friendly
  • Reduces operator processing time
The Diplomatic and Military Operations in a Non-warfighting Domain -US (DIAMOND US) is the US version of the British DIAMOND simulation of OOTW.
  • Low resolution, stochastic model for OOTW analysis at the operational and tactical levels of war.
    • Peace support, humanitarian and gross combat actions
    • represents most, but not all, OOTW functions
    • Logistics and transportation actions
    • Corps down to battalion level
  • Supports data output and analysis
  • Runs interactively and in batch mode
  • Sophisticated tool
    • Requires moderate to high-level skill set to use
The Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation (JCATS) is a high definition combat simulation.
  • High resolution, stochastic model for training and mission rehearsal
  • Can support OOTW analysis at the tactical level
    • Represents many, but not all, OOTW functions
    • Combat-like actions within MOOTW (e.g., peace enforcement, counterinsurgency)
    • Logistics and transportation actions complement OOTW low resolution models (e.g., DIAMOND)
    • Models down to the individual level
  • Supports data output and analysis
  • Runs interactively and in batch mode
  • Sophisticated tool
    • Requires dedicated support to use, due to high-level skill set needs
Pythagoras is an agent-based distillation.
  • Agent-Based model
    • Physics based
    • Stochastic
    • Complex sequences of alternative agent behaviors / triggers
  • Multiple applications
    • Securing targets of interest
    • Terrorist development
    • Environmental concerns
    • Information operations
  • Designed for thousands of Data Farming runs
  • Sophisticated tool
    • User friendly
    • Requires creativity for maximum utility
The Interim Semi-static Stability Model (ISSM) is a Hartley Consulting model to create and maintain awareness of the stability situation in an OOTW.
  • Supports OOTW analysis atthe operational and strategic levels
    • Depicts PMESII situation
    • Evaluates DIME interventions
    • Provides static view of current and past situations
    • Represents most, but not all, OOTW functions
  • Supports data output and analysis
    • Data can be used with other analytic tools (e.g., DIAMOND)
  • Runs interactively
  • Unsophisticated tool
    • Requires Excel expertise
    • User friendly
The Unit Order of Battle Data Access Tool (UOB DAT) is a tool for accessing authoritative unit order of battle data and creating tailored units.
  • Supplies authoritative force data
  • Supports use of C4I extract data
    • Imports & exports data in XML for use by Toolbox models / applications
    • Provides data for FAST Force Structure DIF
  • Provides force tailoring, aggregation, comparison, and other force data manipulation support
  • User friendly
  • Reduces time over manual processing
The XPOD Manipulation Tool (XMT) provides a connection to a live, external C4I system .
  • XMT extracts data from C4I system format
    • Data ingest process enables updates to force data in the toolbox
  • Supports modification of scenario data
    • Enables semi-automated scenario updates
    • Supports the use of "warm" databases
  • Retains common data format (XML XPOD) for other tools
  • User friendly
  • Reduces time over manual processing
The Canadian Forces Landmine Database (CFLD) is a Canadian tool to support mine awareness.
  • Supports MOOTW training and operational employment at the tactical level
    • Designed for individual soldier
  • Supplies pictorial and text data on 350 landmines
  • Allows cross-referencing search of database by description, country of origin, or use
  • Runs interactively
  • Unsophisticated tool
    • User friendly
The primary connection among the tools consists of XML files.
  • eXtensible Markup Language (XML) provides the language that can define all of the parts of the tool data, including the Data Interchange Format (DIF) for files
  • XML Populated DIF (XPOD) provides data files with validated formats
    • Improves reliability & reduces error rates in tool use
    • Supports automated data transfer
    • Provides decreased human processing time
  • XMLtechnology is transparent to the user

The figure below shows the data flows with the XPODS.

Analysis Methodology

The figure below shows a DoD conceptual model of "Irregular" conflict. The "battles" represent different domains of conflict. The interior, dotted arrows connect some of the battles to the Information battle and represent non-kinetic effects. The exterior, solid arrows connect these battles with physical or kinetic influences. This model demonstrates new and important understanding of the nature of OOTW, yet it leaves out one critical "battle," the daily life battle. This last battle represents normalcy. To the extent that normalcy is disrupted by the other battles, the conflict is being lost. On the other hand, the influence of the daily life battle is the only sure way to win the other battles.

The figure below defines notation that is used in the next figure. It shows that, in general, more than one tool is needed to address any one of the battles above (due to the state of the art in understanding and modeling OOTW). The figure also shows how progress in a battle during simulated time is represented in the process view.

This figure shows the conceptual analysis methodology, which may be described as punctuated simulation. The analysis starting assumptions are used in a PMESII tool to define the values of the PMESII variables leading up to the start of the scenario. These values (and other environmental variables, such as forces and geography) are used to initiate the simulation of the appropriate battles through the available tools. If the scenario is divided into geographic regions, with separate simulations for each subregion, these are represented (conceptually) by additional battles. Rather than running the simulations through the whole course of the scenario, however, the simulations are stopped after a period of time and the results are fed into the PMESII tool. This process allows the analysts to collate and understand the results and feed back into the simulations (probably) different restart points due to factors that are missing in each simulation, but are either present in other simulations or are evaluated in the PMESII tool and by the analysts. The process is repeated until the scenario ends. The entire process represented by the figure is repeated for each excursion of the scenario.

The figure below connects the current FAST Toolbox toolset with the battles.

The figure below converts the conceptual analysis methodology into the actual analysis methodology employed with the FAST Toolbox. The Study Guidance in the uppper left corner (1) dictates the need for Final Report in the upper right corner (14). The analysis team must convert this into scenarios and excursions (2). The UOB supplies data for the Force data (3); the ISSM is used to create the Road to War (4); and JCATS and/or Pythagoras are used to develop selected inputs (5). The team uses these to create the Synchronization Matrix (6) and the Mission Analysis (7). The Toolbox supports automated translation of these data through the XMT to the DIAMOND model. DIAMOND is run (8) and its outputs are massaged by utilities (8). Some of these results are passed to JCATS and/or Pythagoras for special cases (10) and most are passed to the ISSM for DIME/PMESII evaluation (11). The results are assessed for technical (tool-based) issues (12). It is at this point that the results from separate representations of geographical subregions (if any) are combined. These results are passed to the Study WG Review for guidance (13). The cycle is repeated for a number of time periods. At the end of the cycle the outputs from these tools are digested by the analysts to produce the Report (14).

A PowerPoint file that shows the flow of the process can be downloaded here.


The foundations for the FAST Toolbox as a whole, the individual tools, and the analysis methodology are solid; however, the structures built on that foundation are still in the prototype stage.

The state of theory is mixed. The logistics and transportation are well understood and can be modeled well, depending on the desired logistical protocol (e.g., push or pull). Combat is moderately well understood, despite gaps in detail and failures to model it correctly. DIME/PMESII relationships are poorly understood, with fragmented and often contradictory theory. And there is no unified theory that connects these pieces.

The conceptual foundations take these facts into account. Because validation of DIME/PMESII effects is extremely limited, competing theories and alternative methodologies are needed to define the ranges of results. No single model can handle all of the factors that impact complex situations (whether non-combat or combat) and human mediation and human gap-filling capabilities are required. Hence, the toolbox concept, the punctuated simulation methodology, and the prototype status of the toolbox composition.

The table below shows that some tools are toolbox components becauseof their subject functionality and some are components because they reduce the user workload. It also gives estimates on the user training time required for initial proficiency.

While DIME/PMESII effects define the purpose of the Toolbox, its coverage is not perfect. The figure below illustrates this with a comparison of the current toolbox with a possible future toolbox. Each configuration contains estimates of coverage by each tool of the DIME categories (top rows) and the PMESII categories (bottom rows). In each case (current and future configuration), the estimated total for the tool box (0.75 and 0.91, respectively) is higher than for any of the individual tools because of the synergy that the analysis methodology makes possible.

The following tables identify the modeling approaches used within the toolbox.


DIAMOND Simulation
JCATS Simulation
Pythagoras Agent-based simulation
ISSM Entries denoted by date


DIAMOND Arc/node network
XY coordinates over a raster map
Data definition of node sizes, arc travel lengths
JCATS Free form geography
Lat/Long and height coordinates over raster map
Detailed data definition of geographic features
Pythagoras Notional geography, depending on particular model created
Cell coordinates
Go/no-go geographic features
ISSM No geography
Potential for separate representations of geographical subareas


DIAMOND Command structure - upper levels are individuals or staff
No personalities
JCATS Command structure - upper levels are individuals or staff
No personalities
Pythagoras Limited command structure
Structured personalities
ISSM No command structure
No personalities


DIAMOND Standard infrastructure types: node interfaces, 5 types of arcs, hospitals, shelters, food facilities, airports, seaports
Programmable communications
JCATS Defined in data
Pythagoras Defined in model definition
Limited number in any given model
ISSM National infrastructure types and projects: roads, bridges, railroads, airports, seaports, water & sewer, medical, agriculture, communications, electricity, oil, etc.


DIAMOND Multiple "parties"
"Parties" have asymmetric relationships
Separate civilians
Implicit food production and civil repair ("government")
JCATS Multiple sides
Sides have only combat relationships
Pythagoras Multiple sides
Variable relationships
ISSM Inputs relating to factions, indigenous government, NGOs, interveners, police, armed forces, paramilitary forces, etc.

Institutions ("Daily Life Battle")

DIAMOND Indirect: through cyclical ISSM inputs
JCATS Indirect: through cyclical ISSM inputs
Pythagoras Would require special case model
ISSM Social, civil & religious relationships
Government & business: security, judicial, corrections, police, civil administration, finance, etc.
Interactions & effect on populace

Measures of Merit (MOMs)

DIAMOND Presence or absence of combat
Force sizes
Civilian deaths due to starvation, lack of law & order, combat (by whom)
Infrastructure damage (by whom)
Success in delivering food, supplies
Production of Internally Displaced Persons
Node ownership
# of missions (by type)
JCATS Traditional combat MOMs
Other special MOMs, such as travel times
Pythagoras Variable, depending on model
ISSM Civil (internal) unrest is not present
Economy is sound
Government has domestic legitimacy
Immediate needs of the people are satisfied
Institutions of governance are effective and fair
People are tolerant of the status quo
Safe and secure environment is perceived
Civil stability and durable peace exist

Data Requirements

DIAMOND Node and arc data (location, connections, sizes, etc.)
"Party" force makeup & initial locations
"Party" relationships
JCATS Standard combat model inputs
Pythagoras Data are used to define the model to be created
ISSM 90 DIME inputs (~40% can be supplied by DIAMOND / Pythagoras)
34 PMESII inputs (~30% can be supplied by DIAMOND)
Remainder of inputs must be inferred from the study definition and comparable historical situations
Required on a periodic basis (weekly, monthly, etc.)



Hardware Platform laptop or desktop
  CPU newer Pentium based processor (~2006)
  Disk storage 60 gigs or more
  Memory 2 gigs or more (RAM is more important than processor speed
  Peripherals CD burner, thumb drive support, network support
Software Operating System Windows XP Professional, Linux
  VMWare version or later
  Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel
  Database Access 2003, RT version of Sybase
  Java version 1.4.0
Applications FAST Controller version 1.0
  DIAMOND US version 1.0 with DIAMOND 2.4.2 using DROMAS 3.0.4
  JCATS version 7.0
  UOB Server and Client version 7.93
  CFLD updated 2004-02-12
  Pythagoras latest version
  ISSM version 4.0
  XMT version 1.0.0



The tools in the FAST Toolbox are generally designed to cover a single country or region within a country. The analysis methodology allows for the representation of regions or subregions to be combined into a representation of the entire country or region, respectively. This disection may be required because of limits on the resolution obtainable in any given simulation. These limits have not been completely determined as to numbers of entities, nodes, arcs, missions, etc., that are feasible.

There are also limits on the nature of the problems that can be examined with the FAST Toolbox. These limits have also not been completely determined. The current toolset is known to have limited capabilities in the economic area. It is also not designed to handle substantial combat issues with a high degree of confidence. Many problems may require creative approaches to model satisfactorily.



For more on the details of tool requirements see Analytical Tools for OOTW.

For more on the ISSM see Interim Semi-static Stability Model (ISSM).

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