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The Department of Defense’s modeling and simulation (M&S) should help find strategies that are flexible, adaptive, and robust; M&S should also deal well with complex warfare. Current M&S need to be augmented with a family-of-tools approach that includes human war gaming, man-in-the-loop simulations, simplified models and exploratory analysis, and high-resolution work on selected issues. Investment priorities should include integrative reviews to improve the base of knowledge, as well as a number of specific methods such as agent-based modeling and methods for representing network-centric operations.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Policymaker Concerns

  • Chapter Three

    Dealing with Uncertainty and Risk

  • Chapter Four

    Families of M&S Tools

  • Chapter Five

    A New Business Model

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions and Investment Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    “Analysis Practices Working Group,” March 14-16, 2006

  • Appendix B

    “Methods Working Group,” June 26-27, 2006

  • Appendix C

    Illustrative Contrast of Questions for Analysis from the Previous Era and Today

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Occasional paper series. RAND occasional papers may include an informed perspective on a timely policy issue, a discussion of new research methodologies, essays, a paper presented at a conference, or a summary of work in progress. All RAND occasional papers undergo rigorous peer review to help ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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