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Swarm-centric autonomous systems to cope with mission complexity
One effect of the human element in conflict situations is to bring a degree of complexity into the situation such that the emergent behaviour of the system as a whole is extremely difficult to predict from the characteristics and relationships of the system elements. Usable theories of complexity, which allow understanding of emergent behaviours, would provide key means to deal with some of the central problems facing defence analysis.The relationship between complexity and “information-based” warfare is: 1) less deterministic and more emergent; 2) lessfocused on the physical, and more behavioural; 3) less focused on things, and more on relationships. Command and Control (C2) emphasises: 1) speed, 2) sharing, 3) decentralisation. Swarm Opportunities and Challenges Swarm Systems consist of many interacting components that self-organize depending on the environment status and the objective to achieve. They are “complex” because system elements interaction is able to produce properties at the collective level that are simply not present when the components are considered individually,due to its “complex” nature a swarm system can provide solutions to cope with the “complexity” of many current and future military scenarios. Relevant possible beneficial impacts related to the adoption of swarms systems follow: - Air / Ground / Sea Domains: Future Unmanned Vehicles (UxVs) will be capable of performing many functions autonomously to: 1 mitigaterisks for human, 2 cope with intermittent communications, 3 improve operation speed, 4 provide innovative way of operations based on (swarm of) expendable units; 5 Mission / System Management Command, Control and ISR: Networked federations of cooperative assets belonging to heterogeneous domains to provide: 6 Dynamic reconfiguration, 7 Fusing of information, 8 Intelligent distribution of information, 9 Assistance in mission planning, and monitoring. It is worth noting how the adoption of swarm system is characterised by key open issues such as: - To produce mission-effective systems, system architects must consider the doctrine, design, and a roadmap of available capabilities when developing a swarm system. 1 How swarm of unmanned systems will be integrated with singular unmanned systems and manned systems, and for which missions they are best suited is not well established. 2 Due to swarm autonomous, emergent behaviours, interaction with human rise non-trivial challenges mainly related to operator trustiness in the swarm carrying out an assigned task.
Fedi Francesco, Cazzato Francesco
Paper for Seminar/Symposium/Conference
NATO IST-166 - Specialists’ Meeting on "Mission Assurance for Autonomous Unmanned Systems" (16-17 October 2018, Lisbon, Portugal)
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