Participatory modeling has become an important tool in facilitating resource decision making and dispute resolution. Approaches to modeling that are commonly used in this context often do not adequately account for important human factors. Current techniques provide insights into how certain human activities and variables affect resource outcomes; however, they do not directly simulate the complex variables that shape how, why, and under what conditions different human agents behave in ways that affect resources and human interactions related to them. Current approaches also do not adequately reveal how the effects of individual decisions scale up to have systemic level effects in complex resource systems. This lack of integration prevents the development of more robust models to support decision making and dispute resolution processes. Development of integrated tools is further hampered by the fact that collection of primary data for decision-making modeling is costly and time consuming. This project seeks to develop a new approach to resource modeling that incorporates both technical and behavioral modeling techniques into a single decision-making architecture. The modeling platform is enhanced by use of traditional and advanced processes and tools for expedited data capture. Specific objectives of the project are: (1) Develop a proof of concept for a new technical approach to resource modeling that combines the computational techniques of system dynamics and agent based modeling, (2) Develop an iterative, participatory modeling process supported with traditional and advance data capture techniques that may be utilized to facilitate decision making, dispute resolution, and collaborative learning processes, and (3) Examine potential applications of this technology and process. The development of this decision support architecture included both the engineering of the technology and the development of a participatory method to build and apply the technology. Stakeholder interaction with the model and associated data capture was facilitated through two very different modes of engagement, one a standard interface involving radio buttons, slider bars, graphs and plots, while the other utilized an immersive serious gaming interface. The decision support architecture developed through this project was piloted in the Middle Rio Grande Basin to examine how these tools might be utilized to promote enhanced understanding and decision-making in the context of complex water resource management issues. Potential applications of this architecture and its capacity to lead to enhanced understanding and decision-making was assessed through qualitative interviews with study participants who represented key stakeholders in the basin.
The purpose of this LDRD is to develop technology allowing warfighters to provide high-level commands to their unmanned assets, freeing them to command a group of them or commit the bulk of their attention elsewhere. To this end, a brain-emulating cognition and control architecture (BECCA) was developed, incorporating novel and uniquely capable feature creation and reinforcement learning algorithms. BECCA was demonstrated on both a mobile manipulator platform and on a seven degree of freedom serial link robot arm. Existing military ground robots are almost universally teleoperated and occupy the complete attention of an operator. They may remove a soldier from harm's way, but they do not necessarily reduce manpower requirements. Current research efforts to solve the problem of autonomous operation in an unstructured, dynamic environment fall short of the desired performance. In order to increase the effectiveness of unmanned vehicle (UV) operators, we proposed to develop robots that can be 'directed' rather than remote-controlled. They are instructed and trained by human operators, rather than driven. The technical approach is modeled closely on psychological and neuroscientific models of human learning. Two Sandia-developed models are utilized in this effort: the Sandia Cognitive Framework (SCF), a cognitive psychology-based model of human processes, and BECCA, a psychophysical-based model of learning, motor control, and conceptualization. Together, these models span the functional space from perceptuo-motor abilities, to high-level motivational and attentional processes.
Working with leading experts in the field of cognitive neuroscience and computational intelligence, SNL has developed a computational architecture that represents neurocognitive mechanisms associated with how humans remember experiences in their past. The architecture represents how knowledge is organized and updated through information from individual experiences (episodes) via the cortical-hippocampal declarative memory system. We compared the simulated behavioral characteristics with those of humans measured under well established experimental standards, controlling for unmodeled aspects of human processing, such as perception. We used this knowledge to create robust simulations of & human memory behaviors that should help move the scientific community closer to understanding how humans remember information. These behaviors were experimentally validated against actual human subjects, which was published. An important outcome of the validation process will be the joining of specific experimental testing procedures from the field of neuroscience with computational representations from the field of cognitive modeling and simulation.
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