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DARPA announces COMPASS programme

21st March 2018 - 14:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


DARPA has announced a new programme called Collection and Monitoring via Planning for Active Situational Scenarios (COMPASS) to better understand and respond to adversary grey-zone engagement.

The grey zone sits in an undefined area between peace and conventional warfare. Action in this zone is not openly defined; it’s slower, and is prosecuted more subtly—using social, psychological, religious, information, cyber and other means to achieve physical or cognitive objectives with or without violence. The lack of clarity of intent—the greyness—makes it challenging to detect, characterise, and counter an enemy fighting this way.

COMPASS aims to develop software that will help clarify enemy intent by evaluating an adversary’s responses to various stimuli. COMPASS will leverage advanced artificial intelligence technologies, game theory, and modeling and estimation to both identify stimuli that yield the most information about an adversary’s intentions, and provide decision makers high-fidelity intelligence on how to respond-with positive and negative trade-offs for each course of action.

Current military decision-making follows a process of observe, orient, decide and act (OODA). But this process is not effective in grey zone warfare. Signals in the environment are not rich enough to draw conclusions. COMPASS aims to add a dynamic, adaptive element to the OODA loop for complex, grey-zone environments.

Fotis Barlos, DARPA program manager, said: ‘The ultimate goal of the programme is to provide theatre-level operations and planning staffs with robust analytics and decision-support tools that reduce ambiguity of adversarial actors and their objectives. As we see increasingly more sophistication in grey-zone activity around the world, we need to leverage advanced AI and other technologies to help commanders make more effective decisions to thwart an enemy’s complex, multi-layered disruptive activity.’

The programme seeks experts in AI, machine learning, game theory, modeling and simulation, control systems, estimation and other related fields. A Proposers Day is scheduled for 30 March 2018 in Arlington, Virginia.

The Shephard News Team


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