Analysis of Decision-Making Responses

Informs High Consequence Decisions Better understand and anticipate the interplay between specific individuals, political/social military organizations, and general society in response to potential courses of actions or events Impact Enable analysts to assess higher-order (cascading) influences and reactions to events, as well as determine the uncertainty that the event will produce the desired results over time

DYMATICA (DYnamic Multi-scale Assessment Tool for Integrated Cognitive-behavioral Actions) is a computational approach to help decision makers better understand and anticipate likely responses and decision calculus of governmental institutions, groups, and populations to geopolitical situations. DYMATICA assessments are designed to analyze geopolitical, psychosocial, economic, and military phenomenon subject to key physical constrains and conditions.

The intent of DYMATICA is to minimize the likelihood of decisions that lead to undesirable consequences by providing a more systematic analysis of decisions within state and non-state entities.

Why is DYMATICA important?

DYMATICA is designed to help answer why a country or group of interest is doing what they are doing and anticipate how they would respond to a US or allied courses of action (COA).

A typical DYMATICA assessment shows how different scenarios and COAs are likely to affect key outcomes (subject to a variety of causal hypotheses) over time. Depending on the situations of interest, these outcomes may be geopolitical (such as interactions between countries), at the group level (such as political leanings of various groups, or tendencies of groups to engage in conflict or social unrest or to support U.S. actions), and individual level (such as decisions made by leaders). Output can also be non-cognitive (such as resource availability or economic trends). Structural and parametric uncertainty can be incorporated to demonstrate the range of likely outcomes given a variety of potential circumstances.

The assessment output typically portrays how various COAs and exogenous conditions jointly affect various endogenous model parameters at the geopolitical level, such as with a country of interest (COI), at the group level, such with political parties, ethnic groups, urban/rural group, etc. within the COI, and at the individual level, such as by leaders of countries.

Diagram showing group and individual level interaction

What does DYMATICA Enable?

Descriptive and Prescriptive Analytics

  • DYMATICA can help organizations develop, understand, and compare likely effects of potential COAs under a variety of geopolitical scenarios. It supports hypothesis generation and COA development, analysis, and comparison, while accounting for uncertainty in the environment. DYMATICA can also compare and integrate views from multiple SMEs in a common, decision theory-based format.
  • DYMATICA designed to quantitatively represent interactions between key actors to indicate likely outcomes over time. Economic, military, political, and social data and information, guidance from subject matter experts (SMEs), along with other relevant inputs are used to populate dynamic, theoretically based mathematical models. This results in assessments that enable rich exploration of outcomes under a variety of conditions.

Training Exercise Simulations

  • DYMATICA is being extended to be able to simulate dynamic government, group, and population responses to direct military and hybrid types of conflicts to enable the training for all phases of conflict.
  • Current efforts have coupled DYMATICA with interdependent physical infrastructure models designed to simulate detailed disruption dynamics (electric power, food fuel, transportation) and a social media model designed to simulate information contagion effects.
    • Developed associated scenarios with adversary actors based on real-world events and behaviors for training and evaluation.
  • This framework can simulate:
    • Socio-behavioral population behaviors at different scales and time horizons
    • Social/political dynamics in response to disruptions within societal infrastructures
    • Social media feeds driven by physical and social state variables
    • Different levels of intensity of adversary actor events

Application Areas

Since 2008, approximately 18 DYMATICA models have been developed representing a variety of topic domains and country regions from around the world, including countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.

The assessment domain includes hybrid warfare activities—such as cyber messaging and deception; near-peer deterrence; state and non-state internal stability; migration; and propensity for aggressive behaviors.

Funding partners include the United States’ Department of Defense (DoD), the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, the intelligence community, NATO, Department of Energy, as well as SNL through its internal Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.

For General DYMATICA Information