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BAE Systems Puts Conflict in CONTEXTS

First-of-its-Kind Software Addresses Global Causes of Conflict


The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is sponsoring BAE Systems to develop first-of-its-kind autonomy modelling software to model conflicts, understanding and addressing the complex dynamics that drive them around the world.
Under a $4.2 million Phase 1 contract awarded by the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the Causal Exploration of Complex Operational Environments programme seeks to develop technology to model different political, territorial and economic tensions that often lead to conflicts, helping planners to avoid unexpected outcomes.

With increasingly complicated operational environments and diverse adversaries, military planners are often hindered from rapidly and effectively achieving a holistic understanding of conflict situations due to a lack of time, expert resources, and automated tools. To solve this challenge, BAE Systems is developing software called Causal Modeling for Knowledge Transfer, Exploration, and Temporal Simulation (CONTEXTS), which is intended to create an interactive model of an operational environment, allowing planners to explore the causes of a conflict and assess potential approaches.

Military planners often conduct manual research and use limited modelling tools to generate models and evaluate conflict situations, which are extremely time consuming and labour intensive,” explained BAE Systems’ Product Line Director of the Autonomy, Controls, and Estimation group, Chris Eisenbies. “To break down these barriers, CONTEXTS will use reasoning algorithms and simulations with the goal to give planners a quicker and deeper understanding of conflicts to help avoid unexpected and counterintuitive outcomes.”

CONTEXTS builds on the company’s autonomy technology portfolio and is being created by BAE Systems’ research and development team, which investigates, creates, and deploys cutting-edge technology capabilities. The programme also includes teammate Dr. David Danks of Carnegie Mellon University.


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