Don Chappell made a comment regarding my oft-expressed skepticism regarding OA applications on so-called "soft factors." Attached is a rather ambitious attempt at this, entitled "Gaming and Simulating Ethno-Political Conflicts," presented in August 2006 at the Descartes Conference on Mathematical Models in Counterterrorism, written by Barry Silverman, Gnana Bharathy, and Benjamin Nye out of University of Pennsylvania. This is also posted online at URL:
http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~barryg/EthnoPoliGame.pdf

These kinds of models are great at performing "control functions" in command post exercises and the like...great fun for players...but I'd be extremely reticent to use them for predictive/validation purposes--Godel's Incompleteness Theorem applies here.

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Good heads up, Eric!

I'll try to read this over the weekend. It sounds interesting.
Jon Compton's editorial in the Winter 2007 edition of FIRE AND MOVEMENT got me thinking...and so I fulfilled my duty as one of the staff-bloggers-at-large over at the Small Wars Journal website Check it out at:

Problems and Prospects of Defense Counterinsurgency Wargaming
I'll read this paper shortly. Regarding mathematical modeling of terrorism, I wrote a paper a few years ago in which I did just that. Here's a link for your entertainment: http://joncompton.com/ViolentSystems.pdf. The model needs some respecification in that it's not empirically estimable as constructed. I think I would probably drop the life-cycle equation for starters, along with a few other things.
Eric, The paper references Green and Armstrong (2003), but doesn't have the citation in the references section. Are you familiar with the work that they're citing? See the first paragraph in the introduction.
This was an interesting paper.
I wonder if the board game they mention, "BigWig", will ever see the light of day...

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