Simulation-based Decision Support Evaluating Operational Plans – Final Report


  • Johan Schubert
  • Farshad Moradi
  • Hirad Asadi

Publish date: 2013-12-31

Report number: FOI-R--3634--SE

Pages: 46

Written in: Swedish


  • Computer simulation
  • data analysis
  • decision support systems
  • decision trees
  • planning


In this report we describe simulation-based decision support techniques for evaluation of operational plans within effects-based planning. With a decision support tool developers of operational plans are able to evaluate thousands of alternative plans against possible courses of events and decide which of these plans are capable of achieving a desired end state. The purpose is to understand the consequences of different plans through simulation and evaluation. Operational plans are described in the effects-based approach to operations concept as a set of actions and effects. For each action we may have several different alternative ways to perform the action. Together they make up all possible plans, which are represented as a tree of action alternatives that may be searched for the most effective sequence of alternative actions. As a test case we use an expeditionary operation with a plan of 43 actions and a total of 109 alternatives for these actions, and a scenario of 40 group actors each described by 15 parameters. Decision support for planners is provided by several methods analyzing the impact of a plan on the 40 actors, e.g., by visualizing multiple plan end state time series and visualizing actors time development for the best plan in order to give planners a performance overview. Detailed decision support is provided by observation of the most influential actions using sensitivity analysis and regression tree analysis. Finally, we learn the boundaries that an operation must not move beyond without risk of drastic failure.