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08:00-09:45 Session : Registration
Location: Riverside Foyer
09:45-10:00 Session 1: Introduction

Professor Jitu Patel (Dstl, UK) 

Dr. David S. Alberts (IDA, USA)

Location: Turing Lecture Theatre
10:00-10:20 Session 2: Welcome

Vice Admiral Duncan Potts (Director General Joint Force Development, UK)

Location: Turing Lecture Theatre
10:20-11:00 Session 3: 21st Century Missions and their Challenges

Presenter: Lieutenant General Sir David Capewell (Dstl, UK)

This presentation will provide an understanding of the 21st Mission environment, our ability to operate and succeed in this mission space, the need to achieve unity of effort, and what needs to be collaboratively worked going forward.

This presentation will address the following questions?

  • What is enduring and what is different about the operations we are currently being called upon to undertake?
  • Why are these missions so challenging?
  • How important is Command and Control to our ability to succeed?
  • How well are we achieving unity of effort and how can we improve?
  • How do we need to think about Doctrine, Organization, Training, Material, Leadership, Personnel and Facilities going forward?
Location: Turing Lecture Theatre
11:00-11:30Coffee Break
11:30-13:00 Session 4: The Complex Enterprise – Inter-agency Collaboration

Moderator: Professor Austin Tate (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Panelists: Major General Stuart Skeates (Standing Joint Force Commander, UK)

                      Mr Paul Castella (UK Head of Mission International Committee of the Red Cross)

                      Sir Stephen House (UK)

21st Century missions require assembling a host of military and civilian, inter-agency and non-governmental organizations and specialists to understand the issues involved and take appropriate actions to create effects in multiple domains.  This panel discusses the challenges associated with rapidly assembling these coalitions and achieving the required unity of effort.

This panel will address the following questions:

  • How successful have we been at putting these coalitions together?
  • What have been the impediments to achieving shared goals and objectives?
  • Has a lack of interoperability (semantic, technical, process, etc.) been an issue?
  • What are the Command and Control problems that need to be solved?
Location: Turing Lecture Theatre
13:00-14:00Lunch Break
14:00-15:30 Session 5: Is our current approach to Command and Control fit for purpose?

Moderator: Lieutenant General Sir David Capewell (Dstl, UK)

Panelists: Brigadier Darrell Amison (DCDC Hd Concepts, UK)

                      Air Commodore Stephen Reeves (Deputy Director Joint Warfare, UK)

                      Peter Houghton (Dstl, UK)

                      Dr David Alberts (IDA, USA)

This panel will focus on some of the broader symposium discussions: whether our approach to Command and Control is fit for purpose in the information era; whether Command and Control should be viewed as a pan-government capability; what can we learn from other government departments and international partners; whether our national structures, behaviors and cultures are optimized; where science and technology can help; what does this mean for force and headquarters design; and what are the implications for doctrine, concepts and future training. This session will comprise of an initial introduction to the current UK context and questions, followed by a facilitated discussion between a panel of experts, a number of senior MOD command and force development staff, and the audience.

This panel will address questions such as:

  • What must future Command and Control be able to do that it currently either cannot do, or struggles with, at present?
  • What should our future vision for Command and Control be and where can science and technology assist?
  • In what ways do our current approaches and organizations need to change, including our concepts and force development mechanisms?
  • Are we culturally and organizationally able/ready to make the needed changes to  advance towards the vision?
  • What are the implications for headquarters design and command mechanisms?
  • Taking a wider view across Defence Lines of Development (i.e. Doctrine, Organization, Training, Material, Leadership, Personnel and Facilities) what sorts of changes (co-evolution) are required? What are the challenges in doing this? Is there already good practice in other nations in taking a more holistic systems approach that we can share?
  • Where are the remaining key uncertainties? How might we address them? Have others already tried? What were their findings? What further studies/research etc. might be able to assist?
  • How should our approach to full-spectrum effects inform our Command and Control vision? What impact do we believe it should have on the nature of Command and Control and its supporting systems?
Location: Turing Lecture Theatre
15:30-16:00Coffee Break
16:00-18:00 Session 6A: C2 Concepts, Theory, Policy and Approaches # 1

First track session on C2 Concepts, Theory, Policy and Approaches

Lorraine Dodd (Cranfield University, Defence Academy of UK, United Kingdom)
Location: Turing Lecture Theatre
David Alberts (Institute for Defense Analyses, USA)
Meeting Critical Complex Operations Assessment Challenges
SPEAKER: David Alberts

ABSTRACT. By their very nature, Complex Operations provide a set of unique assessment challenges. Foremost among these is the ability to provide, given the uncertainties and dynamics associated with complex operations, actionable, timely information that can be used to either confirm things are on track or identify a need to change course. This paper focuses on three assessment challenges that have been found to be a major determinant of the success or failure of Complex Operations. First, a dynamic assessment of the appropriateness of the adopted approach to command and control (C2) during an operation. The assessment challenge here is not merely to determine if a given approach is appropriate for the mission and circumstances at hand, but also to identify when and if changes are needed to the C2 approach to increase its and the mission’s effectiveness and/or efficiency, and/or to decrease mission risk. Second, a dynamic assessment of cyber security impacts and capabilities. Third, a dynamic assessment of both potential and manifested C2 agility in the course of the operation. This paper suggests a four-pronged effort to improve operations assessment by incorporating real-time assessments of the C2 Approach employed and its appropriateness.

Murat Balci (NATO ACT, Turkish Naval Forces, USA)
Mustafa Canan (Old Dominion University, USA)
Goksel Kucukkaya (NATO ACT, USA)
CANCELLED - Defining Military Levels for Cyber Warfare by Using Components of Strategy: Ends, Ways, and Means
SPEAKER: Mustafa Canan

ABSTRACT. Strategic, operational and tactical levels in military are designed to simplify operational planning. The military levels are applicable to conventional warfare domains; land, sea and air. Whereas, new emerged cyber warfare domain’s military levels are not fully developed. The evolution of cyber domain is in manifold. Recognizing cyber as a warfare domain, and deeming cyber as a capability within another domain require different structuring. As a complex connected battle-space, cyber domain requires development in concepts, theories and policies. Adaptation of the existing C2 structure, and military levels to cyber domain will not reflect the characteristic of cyber domain. The military levels for cyber domain should be developed and improved within its own framework and requirements. A strategy is described with respect to means, ways and ends. However, description of military levels in conventional warfare domains are based on means. This paper extends the study military levels for cyber domain within the strategy framework; means, ways and ends.

Isabell Andersson (Swedish Defence University, Sweden)
Operations assessment - focus on reality rather than the plan

ABSTRACT. Since no plan survives contact with reality, during the execution of a military operation it might be necessary to re-plan the operation. In order to decide whether, and when, re-planning should be initiated a feedback process is needed that provides the commander with information about the progress of the operation, and an assessment of whether the operation is leading towards the overarching goals or not. The operations assessment process is part of such a feedback process.

In current practice (in e.g. NATO) operations assessment is focused on the accomplishment of planned actions and on the effects in the operational environment system. A data collection plan is established during development of the operational plan which specifies what and how data should be collected. Thus the “questions” the operations assessment process poses towards the environment are tightly connected to critical elements in the operational plan.

If the plan however starts to become obsolete due to unforeseen changes in the operational environment, there might be a risk that the assessment process, grounded in the plan, neglects information that is critical for decisions about re-planning. This paper suggests an alternative approach to operations assessment that is based on an idea of separating the operations assessment plan from the operational plan. Such a separation would focus the assessment process on the evolving operational environment, thus reducing the risk that unanticipated threats, or opportunities, will be overlooked and re-planning is overdue.

Tim Grant (Retired But Active Researchers (R-BAR), Netherlands)
Linking Leadership Theory to C2 Theory: Enriching C2 approach space and OODA loop
SPEAKER: Tim Grant

ABSTRACT. In military doctrine, leadership is the first of three interrelated aspects of C2. Leadership is a social process by which the leader influences a group of people to achieve a common goal. Initially, leadership theory focused on the leader’s physical and intellectual traits. Thereafter, research widened to investigate the leader’s behaviour, the situation’s demands, what needs the leader meets, the interaction between leaders and followers, and how leadership and followership evolved.

Despite its importance in military doctrine, leadership is hardly mentioned in the literature on C2 theory. C2 theory covers the other two aspects of command: decision making and control. Decision making is the cognitive process of selecting a course of action from a set of alternatives, relying on intuition and good judgement based on awareness and intelligent understanding of the situation. Control is the coordination of activity, often delegated to specialist staff. A significant proportion of the C2 literature is taken up with what the commander needs to make decisions, the process of making decisions, the quality of such decisions, and how the decision is communicated.

The purpose of this paper is to show that applying selected ideas from leadership theory can enrich C2 theory, viewed as command arrangements, command, and command support systems. The paper reviews the relevant theory, both on C2 and on leadership. Two illustrations of enriching C2 theory are given, one applied to the C2 approach space and the other to the OODA loop. Further research on relating C2 and leadership theory is recommended.

16:00-18:00 Session 6B: Battlespace Understanding and Management #1

First track session on Battlespace Understanding and Management

Peter Houghton (DSTL, United Kingdom)
Location: Riverside 1
Sven Anders Christensson (Swedish Defence University, Sweden)
Representing complexity for military decision-making

ABSTRACT. Present-day warfare involves planning and execution of operations in complex connected battlespace. To support military decision-making in such complex connected battlespace, I suggest that the military situation elaborate existing symbols and definitions with formal expressions. This is possible by representing complex environment variety and as well formally expressing own forces requisite variety. In current practice only two standard symbol-systems with definitions and procedural figures and schemas are in use. Suggested formal expression should comply with decision-makers understanding of complex connected battlespace and own unit’s capabilities. Elaborated formal expression can be linked to existing symbols. They in turn, are linked to four additional suggested categories of representations. Two of which, are tactical event indicators and prioritized tactical event indicators. Remaining two of the four suggested representation categories is assigned for administration of planning and execution process itself. Nato COPD figures and schemas guiding the staff administrative process during planning and execution should be interfaced with a computer support cooperative work system (CSCW). Initial tests with such a system indicate that it supports staff processes. Links between the six categories of representations gave support in connecting complex dynamic development with planning. It may limit bureaucracy errors during planning and execution. Its analytical support may extend methods with technology and is suggested to address plan stability or adversary’s counter initiatives in a timely way without compromising analytical depth.

Patrick Turner (QinetiQ, United Kingdom)
Lorraine Dodd (Cranfield University, Defence Academy of UK, United Kingdom)
Developing the cognitive and social dimensions of ‘understanding capability’

ABSTRACT. In recent years the UK military has increasingly emphasised the importance of ‘understanding’ as key enabler of operational advantage. Over this same period, the UK military research and education community have been supporting both NATO and the UK military in the development, education, training and practice of a range of techniques to enable commanders, staff and collaborating non-military subject-matter experts to develop and articulate deeper understanding of complex and uncertain operational environments. Examples of such ‘structured analytic’ techniques, some of which have been used within the Defence Intelligence community for a number of years, include rich pictures, context diagrams, multi-perspective diagrams, concept maps, causal-loop diagrams, assumption surfacing and scenario planning. The techniques focus on processes of eliciting, framing, challenging and articulating expert knowledge. They complement, yet are distinct from, techniques for the analysis of (big) data – indeed, they generate the frames (e.g. hypotheses) that both give such data meaning, and serve to direct further data collection. Importantly, the techniques directly support the development of the cognitive and social dimensions of ‘understanding capability’. This paper provides an account of the origins and benefits of such techniques and progress made in their contribution to ‘understanding capability’ with NATO and UK military.

Michael Lee (ARL, USA)
Andre Harrison (ARL, USA)
Robert Winkler (ARL, USA)
Squad Level Command and Control Using the Myo for Tactical Hand Signal Recognition

ABSTRACT. Standardized military tactical hand signals are used to visually convey commands between squad members to avoid detection during an operation. In this paper we present a system for conveying tactical hand signals in poor visibility or when one or more squad or fire team members has lost visual contact with the rest. We use a commercial device known as the Myo worn on the forearm containing electromyography sensors to recognize different hand poses (fist, fingers spread, palm wave in/out, wrist rotation) from electrical stimulation created from flexing the forearm muscles coupled with a nine-axis inertial measurement unit IMU containing a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer, and a three-axis magnetometer to track arm movement. We trained the device to recognize different tactical hand signals using a number of different classifiers (K-nearest neighbor, naïve Bayes, neural networks, etc.) Once a hand signal is recognized it is transmitted as a character string wirelessly to other squad members where it can be presented on a display either visually as a cartoon, movie clip, or character string; audibly via earpiece or cell phone; or tactilely via the Myo or other tactile device. Here we describe the basic system, various modes of operation, and some preliminary classification results.

Manas Pradhan (RWTH Aachen University, Germany)
Daniel Ota (Fraunhofer FKIE, Germany)
Interface Design and Assessment of Situational Awareness and Workload for an Adaptable Multimodal Crew Assistance System based on NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture
SPEAKER: Manas Pradhan

ABSTRACT. The number of sensors available for civilian and military operations has grown tremendously over the last decades. With the growth of available sensor technologies, the complexity with which these sensors operate to provide environmental and system data has also multiplied. Retrieving and presenting this data in a format that is easily readable or understandable by the users is essential to the effectiveness of utilizing these sensors. This data has to be presented to the users in a way that matches their cognitive levels, provides acceptable levels of automation and does not cause sensory overloads. Presentation of data in such a format requires active involvement of users from the very beginning of the system development. The system also needs to be tested for situational awareness and workload levels.

This paper is focused towards the participatory design methodology in making an active and rational UI for a Crew Assistance System based on the NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture standard. The Crew Assistance System is assessed for situational awareness and workload levels using the SAGAT (Situation Awareness Global Assessment Technique) and NASA TLX (Task Load Index) technique. The system design also introduces an adaptable Rule-Based method for providing feedback in the Crew Assistance System and new concepts of feedback mechanisms for the NGVA standard. The system is mainly targeted towards crew members of military vehicles. It aims at improving tactical Command and Control systems by raising alarms at specific events and making intelligent future predictions allowing them to react quickly and correctly when having to make critical decisions.

16:00-18:00 Session 6C: Methodological Development, Experimentation, Analysis, Assessment and Metrics #1

First track session on Methodological Development, Experimentation, Analysis, Assessment and Metrics

Ken Teske (Key Management Solutions, USA)
Location: Riverside 5
Joacim Rydmark (Swedish Defence University, Sweden)
Supporting the Assessment of Assumptions in Command and Control

ABSTRACT. Two interconnected challenges in C2 are to cope with uncertainty and to make timely decisions. From the standpoint of a commander these challenges may easily come into conflict with each other. Uncertainty, i.e. gaps in knowledge, may be reduced by collecting and processing additional information - but this takes time. To handle this dilemma the commander and his/her staff may have to make assumptions. An assumption is “a supposition on the current situation or a presupposition on the future course of events”. If the assumptions being made are invalid it may have negative consequences for the ability to reach the mission objectives. It is therefore important to assess and to follow up the assumptions during mission planning and execution, in order to make it possible for timely re-planning if necessary.

However, even though the handling of assumptions is considered to be important in both NATO´s planning directive COPD and in the Swedish counterpart SPL, neither COPD nor SPL gives a clear guidance on how to assess the assumptions - apart from an exhortation to use a risk evaluation template. To date there is no theoretically grounded and systematically tested technique for assessing assumptions in C2. By using a design logic framework and techniques from the area of risk assessment this paper presents the initial step to a possible solution to these problems. The results are a design logic scheme and a design proposition for a technique that is potentially suitable for assessing assumptions, to be tested in forthcoming empirical studies.

Alexander Kalloniatis (Defence Science and Technology Group, Australia)
Testing AI watch-keepers in a mathematical model of networked OODA loops

ABSTRACT. Over many years of conducting C2 studies at various command echelons I have often observed the use of operational HQ watch staff in the ‘dead hours’ to perform manual data processing work until operational imperatives occur. Is this the best use of human resources (given fatigue management best practice), and what is the impact in performance of the headquarters of replacing low rank military staff with smart, AI based systems that nevertheless still interact with senior officers? This paper presents a Use-Case of a mathematical model under development (presented at previous ICCRTS) based on networked oscillators as representative of operator OODA loops. The model is formulated as a set of coupled differential equations where nodes of the network may represent either human or non-human technological agents. I carry out an initial validation of the model using a threat scenario and dataset published at the 19th ICCRTS. Because empirical data on synchronisation was not sought in that study I use considerations from Contingency Theory as a proxy for measure of performance against a concrete threat scenario. I then model two interventions: firstly, by replacing human agents by smoother and faster (in terms of OODA loop) automated systems at the lower SA levels; secondly, by modelling an adaptive lagging mechanism that takes into account the heterogeneity of individual decision-making speeds. I discuss the improvements in performance of the headquarters in the various cases, but also the challenges of implementation.

Adrienne Raglin (US Army Research Laboratory, USA)
Stephen Russell (US Army Research Laboratory, USA)
Calandra Moore (City University of New York (CUNY) - College of Staten Island, USA)
A Framework for Comparing Performance Assessment Outcomes using Performance-Consensus Vectors and Traditional Ordinal Data Measures to Aid Decision Support for Human-Systems Integration

ABSTRACT. In many applications, the use of ordinal data measures are appropriate for ranking procedures. Yet, there is no clarity on the appropriate analysis techniques for identifying agreement of such measures when a single outcome is needed, for instance in the context of recommender systems. Routinely, researchers treat these data as though they are continuous and fit sufficient conditions for parametric techniques. Realizing the flaws in this approach, this work seeks to compare alternative statistical methods to quantify qualitative measures in the context of a decision support system. Consensus measures may provide a summarization of ordinal data collected as part of performance assessments. When combined with a methodology to create a performance-consensus vector (PCV) it is possible to provide an analytical foundation for addressing the limitations in existing methodologies for analyzing qualitative ordinal data. The argument is to use PCV as an objective determinant for assessing performance that is appropriate for integrating both traditional quantitative measures and qualitative metrics collected as ordinal data when it is combined with item-based recommender algorithms and machine learning techniques. This paper describes the methodology and features of the Performance-Consensus Vector Corporate Performance Management / Decision Support System (PCV CPM/DSS) Framework by not only addressing the analytical limitations in existing performance management systems, but providing comparison between this approach and similar methods for quantifying and comparing vectors of qualitative judgement data. This work explores better methodology for using qualitative and ordinal performance data in a framework that improves precision and enhances decision making through referential recommendations.

Jon West (George Mason University, USA)
Dennis Jensen (George Mason University, USA)
Michael Hieb (George Mason University, USA)
Developing Low Overhead Simulations of Complex Operations: A Case Study of the Pearl Harbor Attack

ABSTRACT. As technology has advanced and become more affordable, it is easier to model the complexity encountered in Command and Control (C2) operations. Modeling technology can take advantage of widely available simulation and gaming to provide a distinct benefit to C2 analysis, and increase C2 agility. As simulation technologies become more powerful, richer models are required to support C2 analysis.

In a team project for a graduate class at George Mason University, our team was tasked with modeling and providing a C2 analysis of a historical event. We chose the 1941 attack at Pearl Harbor, due to the unique C2 situation it presented and the wealth of historic data. Our goal was to determine if a C2 failure enabled the attack to proceed. Using the data available, we were able to model the event and create a Monte Carlo simulation to run through the battle. The simulation also enabled the analysis Japanese actions to determine if they used the most efficient plan for the attack. Different C2 decisions could have led to Pearl Harbor being at a different readiness level and allowed the fleet to mobilize into deep water.

In this paper we will provide a detailed C2 case study of the Pearl Harbor attack based upon our class project. We will describe how the model developed can be generalized for a wide range of events (military and non-military) and implemented using low cost commercial tools. We will show how this approach can also be used to model current complex operations.

16:00-18:00 Session 6D: Socio-technical Networks in Complex Connected Battlespace #1

First track session on Socio-technical Networks in Complex Connected Battlespace

Elizabeth Bowman (ARL, USA)
Location: Riverside 4
Heather Roy (U.S. Army Research Laboratory, USA)
Elizabeth Bowman (U.S. Army Research Laboratory, USA)
Sue Kase (U.S. Army Research Laboratory, USA)
Tarek Abdelzaher (UIUC, USA)
Investigating Social Bias in Social Media Information Transmission
SPEAKER: Heather Roy

ABSTRACT. The use of social media online has grown dramatically over recent years with hundreds of social media networking sites facilitating the sharing of information from anywhere at any time. In 2014 over two billion social media users were reported worldwide. Social media sites are steadily growing in importance as information sources on political issues and current events. For instance, Twitter has been noted as the first source of available information during events such as political unrest, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. Unfortunately, Twitter users' posts and retweets can cause confusion by spreading misinformation during an event. To siphon the most accurate information from social media, an understanding of how personal social biases affect information sharing at the transmission level is needed. The Army Research Laboratory designed an experiment to explore the social biases factors influencing social media information transmission. The experiment, hosted on Amazon Mechanical Turk, examines the effects of personal bias in relation to a users' likelihood of sharing or contradicting information concerning three types of events: natural disaster, conflict, and traffic as a control event. Additionally, the users’ relationship to the recipients’ of the information transmission and the type of communication platform are explored. The results from this study can inform the development of more effective fact-finding and credibility ranking algorithms enabling new technologies to extract useful and actionable intelligence from information shared by social media users.

Alun Preece (Cardiff University, United Kingdom)
William Webberley (Cardiff University, United Kingdom)
Dave Braines (IBM UK, United Kingdom)
Erin Zaroukian (US Army Research Laboratory, USA)
Jonathan Bakdash (US Army Research Laboratory, USA)
Human Computer Collaboration at the Edge: Enhancing Collective Situation Understanding with Controlled Natural Language
SPEAKER: Alun Preece

ABSTRACT. Effective coalition operations require support for dynamic information gathering, processing, and sharing at the network edge for collective situational understanding (CSU). To enhance CSU and leverage the combined strengths of humans and machines, we propose a conversational interface using controlled natural language (CNL), which is both human readable and machine processable, for shared information representation. We hypothesize that this approach facilitates rapid CSU when assembled dynamically with machine assistance, via social sensing, from local observations, with information rapidly disseminated among people at the network edge. We report a behavioural experiment wherein small groups of users attempted to build CSU via social sensing, interacting with the machine via natural language (NL) and CNL. To simulate a tactical environment, participants answered 36 questions (operationalized as CSU) by visiting various locations and describing their discoveries to a mobile conversational agent. To test our hypothesis, we compared the performance of groups of users between the: 1) Online Condition: CSU, the status of all questions, dynamically updated by the machine as users collect information. 2) Offline Condition: No dynamic machine-supported CSU, simulating unreliable connectivity at the edge. Each participant was restricted to their own information until the end of the experiment. Results indicated the Online Condition had greater agreement in CSU, but individual participants answered significantly fewer questions than the Offline Condition. In other words, the results indicate a tradeoff in the quality of information (higher agreement) vs. the quantity of information (more questions answered).

Elizabeth Bowman (Army Research Lab, USA)
Rebecca Goolsby (Office of Naval Research, USA)
Eric Hansen (Air Force Research Lab, 711 HP Wing, USA)
New Hybrid Warfare Challenges: Defining Socio-technical Military Requirements
SPEAKER: unknown

ABSTRACT. Multi-scale conflicts of varying intensity, many with novel strategies and tactics, continue to spread globally and threaten US and Allied security in an increasingly connected world. These conflicts require a wide range of military responses that are often complex and international with uncertain battle rhythms that defy standard methods of planning, metrics of assessment, tactics, strategies and capabilities. From the new types of information conflicts to the implications of the humanitarian crises (e.g., surges of refugees fleeing active warfighting, conflicts over water, ethnic strife, religious and civil strife), new problem spaces continue to open up that demand new capabilities to rapidly and accurately deduce the human aspects of operational environments in dense, complex, and culturally diverse regions. Failure to understand these human aspects, and the connections existing within the operating environment, compound the challenges in effective military response. Defining courses of action in highly disparate threat and humanitarian situations requires the rapid acquisition of deep understanding of the relevant human environment. Achieving this situational awareness requires specialized data analytics capable of processing a wide variety of textual data with varying levels of structure. This paper presents a summarized analysis of the conflicts and technology challenges confronting senior military commands operating around the globe. We then identify three science and technology recommendations for research to effectively address those military requirements. These recommendations will serve as the organizing framework for a US collaboration of researchers across the military services and will inform new and existing international research activities.

Marie-Eve Jobidon (Defence R&D Canada – Valcartier, Canada)
Bruce Forrester (Defence R&D Canada – Valcartier, Canada)
Understanding Social Media Networks through Trending Analysis

ABSTRACT. The commander needs information superiority to achieve decision superiority, which ultimately leads to achieving desired effects from the employment of force. Information and decision superiority starts with shared situational awareness and understanding. This is achieved by first creating and maintaining a single authoritative source of data that reflects the needs of commanders and staffs. The dramatic increase in information sources, and in particular the rise of social media networks as a source within OSINT, has greatly complicated the ability to make sense from social sources. One valuable technique used to help manage the volume and variety of social media is trending analytics. Most social media platforms report trending data for the content being produced on their sites. However, exactly what counts as a trend is neither clear nor consistent between platforms. To what extent are trends based on location, volume of posts, specific topics, words, and/or hashtags? What is the baseline timeframe that is used to determine a difference, and is there an actual statistical significance? Finally for veracity, what is the effect of media and BOTS in the formation of trends? Answers to these questions, as well as a good understanding of the nature of trends, is important for intelligence analysts in order to provide valid meaning from social trends for the commander.

18:00-20:00 Session : Reception

Reception at Maxwell Library, IET Savoy Place