CONTEXTS software will build interactive models of political, economic conflicts

BURLINGTON, Mass. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) officials selected BAE Systems for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Causal Exploration of Complex Operational Environments sponsored program, which seeks to develop technology to model different political, territorial, and economic tensions that often lead to conflicts, helping planners to avoid unexpected outcomes.

Under , will to develop software that will aid military planners in understanding and addressing the complex dynamics that drive conflicts around the world. The contract is valued at $4.2 million.

With increasingly complicated operational environments and diverse adversaries, military planners are often hindered from rapidly and effectively achieving a holistic understanding of conflict situations due to a lack of time, expert resources, and automated tools. To solve this challenge, BAE Systems is developing software called Causal Modeling for Knowledge Transfer, Exploration, and Temporal Simulation (CONTEXTS). The software is intended to create an interactive model of an operational environment, allowing planners to explore the causes of a conflict and assess potential approaches.

Work for this program is being performed at the company’s facilities in Burlington, Massachusetts, and Arlington, Virginia. The program also includes teammate Dr. David Danks of Carnegie Mellon University.

“Military planners often conduct manual research and use limited modelling tools to generate models and evaluate conflict situations, which are extremely time consuming and labor intensive,” says Chris Eisenbies, product line director of the Autonomy, Controls, and Estimation group at BAE Systems. “To break down these barriers, CONTEXTS will use reasoning and simulations with the goal to give planners a quicker and deeper understanding of conflicts to help avoid unexpected and counterintuitive outcomes.”

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