IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Magazine - January 2018 - 32

Analytics
and
Simulation
for Decision
Support
Good Results Achieved by
Teaming the Two

by Paul C. Hershey

A

nalytic methods are used to create mission information from raw intelligence data from multiple
sources that are collected to support end-user
decisions. For example, sensor data from intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR)
sensors provide human, open-source, electronic, and signal
intelligence about targets of interest. However, missions
spanning large operating environments may require
diverse analytic methods that produce varying results, thus
complicating the decision process and placing the burden
of interpretation on the end user, such as a military commander. Coupling analytics with simulations helps to normalize analytic results by creating a repeatable approach
through which a variety of data may be processed and
interpreted for decision support. In particular, discrete
event simulation (DES) is a proven methodology that
enables the effective combination of modeling and analytics to create repeatable processes for many applications,
ranging from aeronautics to health care to transportation.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MSMC.2017.2702395
Date of publication: 17 January 2018

32

IEEE SYSTEMS, MAN, & CYBERNETICS MAGAZINE Janu ar y 20 18

In this article, a new
adaptable mission analysis and decisions system
(AMADS) that couples
data analytics with DES
to support decision making for multiple, broad mission
areas is presented. This article also introduces a new
approach for deriving the probability of success for courses
of action taken within these mission areas that extends analytics into the time domain by applying Bayesian statistics
within DES. This approach allows for random sampling of
the input probability distributions and, through iterative
computation, provides Monte Carlo analysis with which to
derive confidence intervals for probabilities.
Needed: A Fast, Adaptable Method
Current analytical techniques for mission-decision assessments focus on mission-specific solutions to accomplish mission-specific goals. With missile defense, for example, an
analytic technique is required to assess whether or not the
available missile-defense resources can counter a ballistic
missile threat. Additionally, in the case of remote object
2333-942X/18©2018IEEE



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Magazine - January 2018

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