The Impact of Network Performance on Warfighter Effectiveness

by Isaac R. Porche III, Bradley Wilson

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The concept of network-centric operations (NCO) involves developing communications and other linkages among all elements of a force to create shared awareness of operations. The objective of the research effort described in this report is to quantify the marginal impact of networking as part of an effort to evaluate the concept of NCO. We identified three key parameters of networking capability that affect warfighter effectiveness: (1) sense/acquire data (sensing parameters); (2) disseminate and communicate data (communication parameters); and (3) interpret, fuse, and react to the data (cognitive parameters). One specific objective of this report is to discuss the relative impact of all three families of parameters on overall warfighter effectiveness. The authors used a multi-agent-based, force-on-force simulator tool called Map Aware Non-Uniform Automata (MANA) to evaluate warfighter effectiveness for a simple urban scenario. Tens of thousands of MANA runs were conducted in an attempt to examine the impact of varied cognitive, communication, and sensing factors on warfighter effectiveness. Statistical analysis of simulation results quantified the correlation between the factors discussed above and warfighter effectiveness.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Evaluating the Concept of Network-Centric Operations

  • Chapter Three

    Simulation Experiments

  • Chapter Four

    Overall Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    Synthesized Models

  • Appendix B

    Past Work on Communication Models Leveraged in This Report

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.

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