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This study describes the motivation for multiresolution modeling (MRM) within a single model or a family of models. After introducing a new measure of consistency for models of different resolution, the study discusses in some depth obstacles to and methods for multiresolution modeling (also called variable-resolution modeling), illustrating issues with a detailed military example involving precision fires. The study highlights the value of visual design, array formalism, formal mathematics to identify natural aggregation fragments, integrated hierarchical variable resolution (IHVR) yielding "trees" of variables, estimation theory, alternative aggregate representations called out in a user interface, "stretcher variables," and computational methods to identify natural phase transitions and facilitate calibrations. The study recommends that major Department of Defense models such as JWARS emphasize MRM and related research on family-of-models issues. It notes that MRM is not an all-or-nothing matter and that incorporating even some multiresolution features can be quite useful. Finally, the study notes that MRM is a frontier issue and suggests directions for further research.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Definitions and Technical Background

  • Chapter Three

    Why Is MRM Important?

  • Chapter Four

    Obstacles to MRM

  • Chapter Five

    A Research Approach: Experimenting with MRM Design

  • Chapter Six

    An Illustrative Problem: Halting an Invading Army with Precision Fires

  • Chapter Seven

    Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Appendix

    Model of the Halt Problem

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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