Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Building real security with virtual worlds

Date:
November 27, 2009
Source:
University of Maryland
Summary:
Advances in computerized modeling and prediction of group behavior, together with improvements in video game graphics, are making possible virtual worlds in which defense analysts can explore and predict results of possible military and policy actions, say computer science researchers.

Advances in computerized modeling and prediction of group behavior, together with improvements in video game graphics, are making possible virtual worlds in which defense analysts can explore and predict results of many different possible military and policy actions, say computer science researchers.
Credit: iStockphoto/Simon Askham

Advances in computerized modeling and prediction of group behavior, together with improvements in video game graphics, are making possible virtual worlds in which defense analysts can explore and predict results of many different possible military and policy actions, say computer science researchers at the University of Maryland in a commentary published in the November 27 issue of the journal Science.

Related Articles


"Defense analysts can understand the repercussions of their proposed recommendations for policy options or military actions by interacting with a virtual world environment....They can propose a policy option and walk skeptical commanders through a virtual world where the commander can literally 'see' how things might play out. This process gives the commander a view of the most likely strengths and weaknesses of any particular course of action," write authors V.S. Subrahmanian, a Maryland computer science professor and director of the University's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), and John Dickerson, a UMIACS computer science researcher.

Computer scientists now know pretty much how to do this, and have created a "pretty good chunk" of the computing theory and software required to build a virtual Afghanistan, Pakistan or another "world," explains Subrahmanian, who notes that much of the leading edge of this work has been done at the University of Maryland.

"Human analysts, with their real world knowledge and experience, will be essential partners in taking us the rest of the way in building these digital worlds and, then, in using them to predict courses of action most likely to build peace and security in Afghanistan and elsewhere."

In their Science "Perspectives" article Subrahmanian and Dickerson note that researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a number of the computing pieces critical to building virtual worlds. These include stochastic opponent modeling agents (SOMA) -- artificial intelligence software that uses data about past behavior of groups in order to create rules about the probability of that group various actions in different situations; "cultural islands," which provide a virtual world representation of a real-world environment or terrain, populated with characters from that part of the world who behave in accordance with a behavioral model; and forecasting "engines" CONVEX and CAPE, which focus on predicting behavioral changes in groups based on validated on historical data.

Writing about virtual worlds that will be created in the near future, he and Dickerson say that "U.S. defense analysts can use such virtual worlds to interact with models of the behaviors of these groups and understand how certain actions they might take will affect the short-term and long-term behaviors of these groups. At any given point in time, the game has a 'state' describing, for instance, the situation in a town. When U.S. forces or a local government take actions such as opposing a local leader, that state is altered. A group may react in one of several ways in accordance with a [mathematically-based] probability distribution."

"We are now at the point where, with the help of the analysts, we can start thinking about building computer-generated models that can automatically adapt to changes in group behaviors and to conditions on the ground," Subrahmanian adds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Maryland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Maryland. "Building real security with virtual worlds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091126173029.htm>.
University of Maryland. (2009, November 27). Building real security with virtual worlds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091126173029.htm
University of Maryland. "Building real security with virtual worlds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091126173029.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Brand Blocker' Glasses Blur Ads in Real Time

'Brand Blocker' Glasses Blur Ads in Real Time

Buzz60 (Jan. 28, 2015) A team of college students design and build a pair of goggles that will obscure any corporate branding from your field of vision. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
iPhone Sales Give Apple Record Quarter

iPhone Sales Give Apple Record Quarter

AP (Jan. 28, 2015) Apple says staggering consumer demand for new iPhones has helped the company report record-smashing earnings for its latest quarter and primed its stock for a rally. (Jan. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Fiber Pressures Incumbent ISPs With Latest Expansion

Google Fiber Pressures Incumbent ISPs With Latest Expansion

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Google’s newly announced Fiber cities put it in closer competition with the likes of AT&T and Time Warner Cable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google High-Speed Service Coming to 4 Cities

Google High-Speed Service Coming to 4 Cities

AP (Jan. 28, 2015) Google is expanding its fiber-optic high-speed internet service to four cities in the Southeastern US. The company selected Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh and Nashville and their surrounding communities. (Jan. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins