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Dimensional analysis conceptual modeling supporting adaptable reasoning in simulation-based training

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 13th System of Systems Engineering Conference, SoSE 2018
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781538648766
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2018
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventSystem of Systems Engineering Conference - Paris, France
Duration: 19 Jun 201822 Jun 2018


ConferenceSystem of Systems Engineering Conference


How to measure and train for adaptability has emerged as a priority in military contexts in response to emergent threats and technologies associated with asymmetric warfare. While much research effort has attempted to characterize adaptability in terms of accuracy and response time using traditional executive function cognitive tests, it remains unclear and undefined how adaptability should be measured and thus how simulation-based training should be designed to instigate and modulate adaptable behavior and skills. Adaptable reasoning is well-exemplified in the rescue effort of Apollo 13 by NASA engineers who repurposed available materials available in the spacecraft to retrieve the astronauts safely back to earth. Military leaders have anecdotally referred to adaptability as 'improvised thinking' that repurposes 'blocks of knowledge' to device alternative solutions in response to changes in conditions affecting original tasks while maintaining end-state commander's intent. We review a previous feasibility study that explored the specification of Reusable Modeling Primitives for models and simulation systems building on Dimensional Analysis and Design Structure Matrix for Complexity Management formal methods. This Dimensional Analysis Conceptual Modeling (DACM) paradigm is rooted in science and engineering critical thinking and is consistent with the stated anecdotal premises as it facilitates the objective dimensional decomposition of a problem space to guide the corresponding dimensional composition of possible solutions. Arguably, adaptability also concerns the capability to overcome contradictions, detections, and reductions, which we present in an exemplar addressing the contradiction of increased drag due to increased velocity inherent to torpedoes. We propose that the DACM paradigm may be repurposed as a critical thinking framework for teaching the identification of relevant components in a theater of military operations and how the properties of those components may be repurposed to fashion alternative solutions to tasks involving navigation, call-for-fires, line-of-sight cover, weather and atmospheric effect responses, and others.


  • Adaptable Reasoning, Conceptual Modeling, Modeling Simulation

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland