Behavioral Influence Assessment (BIA): A Multi-Scale System to Assess Dynamic Behaviors Within Groups and Societies Across Time
Authors: Michael L. Bernard, George A. Backus, Asmeret B. Bier
Abstract: Sandia National Laboratories, in cooperation with the United States European Command’s (EUCOM) Strategic Foresight (SF) branch, has developed an initial capability to better understand and anticipate likely responses to events by groups within countries under EUCOM’s area of responsibility. The Behavioral Influence Assessment (BIA) system is a theory-based analytical capability that is intended to enable analysts to better assess the influence of events on groups interacting within a country or region. These events can include changes in policy, man-made or natural disasters, war, or other changes in environmental and economic conditions. To help achieve this, BIA models the dynamic social/political/economic actions and counter-actions between groups in response to events over time. This paper outlines the rationale and general results produced by this effort. This includes a discussion of: 1) underlying psychological, social, and economic theories that are synthesized within its structure; 2) inclusion of data and expert opinion into the modeling structure; 3) methods used to computationally instantiate theories, data and opinion; 4) types of assessments that are generated; and 5) implications of these assessments in comparison to current events.
Keywords: Cognitive Modeling, Social Modeling, Systems Modeling, Country Assessments
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