Combat modelling with partial differential equations

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Copyright: Keane, Therese Alison
In Part I of this thesis we extend the Lanchester Ordinary Differential Equations and construct a new physically meaningful set of partial differential equations with the aim of more realistically representing soldier dynamics in order to enable a deeper understanding of the nature of conflict. Spatial force movement and troop interaction components are represented with both local and non-local terms, using techniques developed in biological aggregation modelling. A highly accurate flux limiter numerical method ensuring positivity and mass conservation is used, addressing the difficulties of inadequate methods used in previous research. We are able to reproduce crucial behaviour such as the emergence of cohesive density profiles and troop regrouping after suffering losses in both one and two dimensions which has not been previously achieved in continuous combat modelling. In Part II, we reproduce for the first time apparently complex cellular automaton behaviour with simple partial differential equations, providing an alternate mechanism through which to analyse this behaviour. Our PDE model easily explains behaviour observed in selected scenarios of the cellular automaton wargame ISAAC without resorting to anthropomorphisation of autonomous 'agents'. The insinuation that agents have a reasoning and planning ability is replaced with a deterministic numerical approximation which encapsulates basic motivational factors and demonstrates a variety of spatial behaviours approximating the mean behaviour of the ISAAC scenarios. All scenarios presented here highlight the dangers associated with attributing intelligent reasoning to behaviour shown, when this can be explained quite simply through the effects of the terms in our equations. A continuum of forces is able to behave in a manner similar to a collection of individual autonomous agents, and shows decentralised self-organisation and adaptation of tactics to suit a variety of combat situations. We illustrate the ability of our model to incorporate new tactics through the example of introducing a density tactic, and suggest areas for further research.
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Keane, Therese Alison
Franklin, James
Froyland, Gary
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PhD Doctorate
UNSW Faculty
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