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What Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Is Needed by the Army?

This chapter discusses what constitutes network science, technology, and experimentation (NSTE) in the Army; proposes a mission statement for an Army center of NSTE activities, an Army NSTEC; and identifies science and technology research areas that such a center might undertake.

SCOPE OF NETWORK SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND EXPERIMENTATION

Discussions of network science, its elements, and its criticality to military applications vary widely depending on how network science is defined. The committee chose to adopt the definition from the 2005 National Research Council report Network Science, which defined basic network science as “the study of network representations of physical, biological and social phenomena leading to predictive models of these phenomena” (NRC, 2005, p. 2). This definition is intentionally very broad and includes interactions between complex, multi-disciplinary nodes. The Network Science report also summarized various areas of network research that are of interest to the Army (Table 2-1).

As currently used by the Army and within the greater military establishment, the word “network” is used in terms such as “network-centric operations,” “network-centric warfare,” or just “the network” to refer to information or communications networks and the humans that use them. Such networks play an increasingly important role in modern warfare in enabling command and control and providing information on force locations and activities. This is true for both conventional high-intensity warfare (e.g., Desert Storm and the more recent “run to Baghdad”) and counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare. The former application is



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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation 2 What Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Is Needed by the Army? This chapter discusses what constitutes network science, technology, and experimentation (NSTE) in the Army; proposes a mission statement for an Army center of NSTE activities, an Army NSTEC; and identifies science and technology research areas that such a center might undertake. SCOPE OF NETWORK SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND EXPERIMENTATION Discussions of network science, its elements, and its criticality to military applications vary widely depending on how network science is defined. The committee chose to adopt the definition from the 2005 National Research Council report Network Science, which defined basic network science as “the study of network representations of physical, biological and social phenomena leading to predictive models of these phenomena” (NRC, 2005, p. 2). This definition is intentionally very broad and includes interactions between complex, multi-disciplinary nodes. The Network Science report also summarized various areas of network research that are of interest to the Army (Table 2-1). As currently used by the Army and within the greater military establishment, the word “network” is used in terms such as “network-centric operations,” “network-centric warfare,” or just “the network” to refer to information or communications networks and the humans that use them. Such networks play an increasingly important role in modern warfare in enabling command and control and providing information on force locations and activities. This is true for both conventional high-intensity warfare (e.g., Desert Storm and the more recent “run to Baghdad”) and counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare. The former application is

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation TABLE 2-1 Areas of Network Research of Interest to the Army Research Area Key Objective Modeling, simulating, testing, and prototyping very large networks Practical deployment tool sets Command and control of joint/combined networked forces Networked properties of connected heterogeneous systems Impact of network structure on organizational behavior Dynamics of networked organizational behavior Security and information assurance of networks Properties of networks that enhance survival Relationship of network structure to scalability and reliability Characteristics of robust or dominant networks Managing network complexity Properties of networks that promote simplicity and connectivity Improving shared situational awareness of networked elements Self-synchronization of networks Enhanced network-centric mission effectiveness Individual and organizational training designs Advanced network-based sensor fusion Impact of control systems theory Hunter-prey relationships Algorithms and models for adversary behaviors Swarming behavior Self-organizing unmanned aerial and ground vehicles; self-healing Metabolic and gene expression networks Soldier performance enhancement SOURCE: NRC, 2005. obvious and widely accepted, but the importance of communications networks applies equally to the latter; consider, for example, the physically smaller network involving an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) supporting a squad of soldiers who need to know what is around the next corner. It is clear that the use of communications and information networks will continue to be critically important to the Army, and major investments are currently being made in systems to support such networks. However, at this time the largest fraction of these investments is being devoted to developing and acquiring

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation technology for operational systems, while support for research into the theoretical foundations for networks is lacking. Basic research in network science is needed to expand understanding of the fundamentals of network structure, performance, and predictability, along with the corresponding strengths and weaknesses of networks. This knowledge can ultimately be applied to the creation and management of functional networks of various types important to Army and joint operations. In addition to physical networks, such as communications and information networks, a wide variety of biological and social (non-physical) networks can be identified. As listed in Table 2-2, these non-physical networks range in nature and scale from the molecular to the intercultural. The structure and functional characteristics of these networks are worthy of study in terms of their potential for application to Army operations. Nonetheless, essential basic and applied research in many of these areas has been neglected by the Army. Future advances in NCW are highly dependent on a combination of basic and applied research, multi-disciplinary concepts, experimentation, and timely transition of innovative developments to usable applications. Coordinated efforts to expand awareness and understanding of diverse networks are among several appropriate goals for Army NSTE. All of the networks in Table 2-2 are relevant to Army and joint military operations; this fact provides a strong motivation for the Army to take the lead in NSTE collaboration across the military services. COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION NETWORKS The Army’s vision of a network-centric capable force is for one that is robustly networked by means of a communications and information infrastructure that is global, secure, real-time, reliable, Internet-based, and user-driven. For this reason, the Army’s highest priority for NSTE should be ensuring the predictable performance of communications and information networks. A typical communications and information network topology is shown in Figure 2-1. It consists of network nodes that are interconnected by network infrastructure. The nodes themselves may have their own sub-networks. As depicted in Figure 2-1, the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) Global Information Grid (GIG) is the central focus for NCW operations, with various subnetworks (including homes, offices, and other military-affiliated networks with GIG interfaces). The technical scope for an Army NSTEC would include science and technology for both the network infrastructure and the nodes. The principal areas of research that are most important to the requirements of communications and information infrastructure and networks for military operations are as follows: Network infrastructure, architecture, and topology to ensure Sufficient bandwidth to allow acceptable levels of quality of service,

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Capacity to be self-forming to be effective in highly dynamic situations, and Flexibility to support all Army-projected missions. Network connectivity robustness to enable Rapid recovery, Scalable routing protocols, and Support of multiple network structures. Network security to ensure Network availability throughput under cyberattack, Wired and wireless distribution of cryptographic keys, and Multi-level security (MLS) to provide for secure transmission of different levels of classified information. Network management capabilities to Minimize bandwidth overhead, Minimize requirements for hands-on operation, and Enable operations by all military personnel. Other focus areas include: Cognitive capabilities to activate network management functions during set-up, operation, maintenance, and monitoring of networks. Leveraging commercial off-the-shelf technologies (COTS) for military networking requirements. COTS-based networking technologies could help lower the cost and power requirements of network components. Standardizing interfaces to the GIG and applications (such as Internet Protocol [IP]-based commercial applications) to help interoperability. Standards that apply across the Army, Navy, and Air Force will be key to fostering re-usability, global connectivity, and interoperability. Training researchers on methodologies for experimentation and validation of conceptual network designs in terms of a systems perspective. Training on specific military requirements (e.g., information assurance, mobile ad hoc networks, UAV networks) and to evolve solutions for networking is key to overall system performance and effectiveness. HUMAN PERFORMANCE IN NETWORKS, ADVERSARY UNDERSTANDING, AND OTHER NETWORK AREAS Behavioral and social science research in human factors, leader development, personnel, training, and social networks has much to contribute to improving human performance in networked systems. Soldiers and leaders alike will be critical nodes extracting and using information from networks to gain information and make decisions. Human performance research will be critical to designing the information and communications aspects of networks so that the needs of

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation TABLE 2-2 Examples of Biological and Social (Non-physical) Networks Network Type Functional Elements Node Components Challenges Threats to Soldiers Operational Implications Neural Sensory inputs: visual, aural, tactile Communications systems, “soldier as a sensor” Input capacity, mental awareness Sensory overload, non-optimal cognition, differences in individual comprehension Confusion, incapacitation, no common operating picture of the battlefield   Autonomic/visceral Brain, nerves, heart, glands Involuntary/uncontrollable Physical illness, incapacitation, death Physical performance degradation   Motor function Brain, nerves, muscles Training conditioned responses Inadequate training, injury Physical performance degradation Metabolic Nutrition/hydration Water and food supplies Maintaining health and energy output Interruption of supplies Physical and psychological performance degradation Personal and Personnel support Health maintenance, medical care Health maintenance/medical treatment systems Seamless from battlefield to hospitals Lack of expertise, supplies, transportation, facilities Loss of troops to injury or illness   Physical protection Personal protection equipment Effective versus obstructive Impediments to movement, exposure to elements or enemy Physical performance degradation, injury orloss of troops Mobility Transportation Transportation system Availability and quality Inadequate availability Isolation, impaired troop movement, vulnerability to attack

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Disease transmitting Infectious agents Viruses, bacteria, vectors of transmission Contagious illnesses Spread among troops, biological warfare Incapacitation, injury or loss of troops Human Inter-personal, inter-unit, inter-service, and inter-cultural relationships “Battlefield buddies,” squads, platoons, rank hierarchy, and native peoples Interdependence, efficacy of group performance, barriers due to differences in rank, language and cultural differences Individual versus group goals and function; lack of cooperation; impediments to communication, verbal and otherwise Conflict, confusion, functional degradation of performance of individuals or groups, offensive/threatening behavior by troops or enemy Economic Use of natural, human, and financial resources in financial infrastructure to produce products and services Capital and operational budgets, human resource management systems, physical plants and equipment Creation of value-added products and services, successfully competing with other business networks Competition, waste, inefficiency, mismanagement, technical obsolescence, governmental regulation effects Inadequacy of funding; personnel supply, support, management, and retention; research budget; facilities and maintenance

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation FIGURE 2-1 Typical communications and information network topology. users for timely and useful information are met in a manner that is compatible with human cognition. Cognitive psychology can contribute to understanding the processes of situational awareness and decision making in networked environments. Leaders will direct others via networks, communicating information and their decisions and providing support remotely. Therefore, research on social networks and leadership development for the purpose of understanding and optimizing team and leader behaviors in a networked environment (e.g., collaboration) will be critical to the operational success of a networked Army. Research in social networks can also help the Army to identify the skills in personnel that will be necessary for soldiers and leaders to operate in the networked environments of the future, as well as the types and structures of organizations needed. Such research will help improve not only the operation of networked systems, but also how to train soldiers to use the systems most effectively in future battlefield scenarios. Knowledge of social networks is critical to understanding interactions between and among personnel who are integral to military operationsin units of U.S. and coalition forces, and in indigenous populations. It will also be important for understanding how adversary networks and cells work at the ethnic,

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation religious, familial, tribal, and economic levels. Detailed understanding of the social structure and communications patterns of adversary forces is essential to intelligence acquisition and analysis, and to the ability to disrupt enemy assets and objectives. Analysis of financial and social as well as command and control (C2) linkages can provide powerful information and tools in counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. Social network and behavioral modeling research is particularly critical to understanding and predicting the behavior of adversaries under a variety of situations. Specific applications of biological and other non-physicals networks, such as those identified in Table 2-2, are less predictable, but many are likely to have significance to the Army in the longer term. The Army should invest selectively in areas that will ensure awareness and understanding of emerging network developments and applications. PRIORITIES Communications and information network areas continue to represent the highest priority for the Army, as they are necessary for the linkage of multiple infrastructure nodes and cover a wide range of military applications. Less obvious, perhaps, are the many facets of human performance in networks, ranging from the physiological make-up and function of individual soldiers to the psychological and behavioral performance of multitudes of linked soldiers and other individuals. Much of what will be learned from research and study in these vital human areas will trickle down and be applicable to research in network areas involving understanding adversaries and in other network areas involving the biological and social sciences and their applications (see Table 2-2). The Army’s support of research efforts in all of these disciplines will have far-reaching benefits. Table 2-3 groups all network areas of particular importance to the Army into four categories. While the categories are broad and somewhat overlapping, it is evident that an integrated approach in all network areas will be essential to support successful development of applicable technologies and capabilities. This integrated approach will require close working relationships between engineers and scientists in computer, behavioral, social science, and other relevant disciplines. The committee assigned Priorities 1, 2, or 3 in Table 2-3 based on the potential criticality of the network areas to Army missions now and in the foreseeable future. These priorities also indicate the relative value of NSTE expenditures. Thus, continuing efforts in the network areas of communications and information are Priority 1 both in terms of potential criticality and relative amount of expenditures. The two categories assigned Priority 2 (human performance in networks and adversary understanding) would require a major boost in investment emphasison the order of 20-25 percent of the Army’s fiscal and personnel resources for NSTE.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation TABLE 2-3 Network Areas and Priorities Priority Network Areas Important Applications 1 Communications and information Predictable performance: fundamental to command and control (C2) systems, logistics, training, etc., for both high and low levels of conflict, including operations at higher echelons down to the individual units and soldiers 2 Human performance in networks Improved command decision processes, soldier and team interaction, training, social interactions, etc. 2 Adversary understanding Social, cultural, organizational, religious, and economic command and control networks; critical counterinsurgency (COIN) interactions; intelligence analysis 3 Non-physical areas of network science (see Table 2-2) Systems biology, neural networks, and economic networks The assignment of Priority 3 in Table 2-3 to efforts in non-physical areas of network science should not be interpreted as meaning that efforts in such areas should be stopped, or that funding should be dramatically reduced during times of tight budgets. The Priority 3 areas are in fact what would differentiate an integrated center for network science, technology, and experimentation from typical networking research centers. For this reason, those charged with establishing and administering an Army NSTEC must actively advocate that the full scope of network science as laid out in the 2005 NRC report Network Science be pursued. NSTE S&T Investment Strategy Future science and technology investments for NSTE should correspond to the priority assignments shown in Table 2-3. These considerations, combined with the need to provide solid scientific foundations for all pertinent network applications, lead to a recommended investment strategy for NSTE as follows: Continue the current Army focus on information networks, expanding these activities to address basic understanding and predictability of those networks. Develop and fund a plan that will provide the theoretical and scientific foundations for all network science research and applications.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Significantly increase funding and efforts for human performance in networks and adversary understanding. Make selected investments in other disciplines, such as sociology, behavioral biology, and neural science, to ensure that the Army continually advances its understanding of network science. Proposed Mission Statement Based on the considerations discussed above, the committee proposes that an appropriate mission statement for the Army NSTEC, whose activities would range from basic research to network applications, would include the following elements: Strengthen the theoretical underpinnings of network science. Conduct basic research on how and why biological and social (non-physical) networks function, and determine their application to military networks. Manage activities in network science research, technology development, and experimentation for the Army. Focus science and technology (S&T) investments to enable network-centric operations and warfare. Focus applied S&T to enable social networks important to Army operations. Enable development of network science applications, and facilitate their transition to Army and joint operations. CHAPTER SUMMARY Without a plan to combine and unify NSTE activities, the Army will merely re-construct the Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC) at APG in its present form and fail to capitalize on the synergies possible with network science research. Ultimately, the technical content of Army programs in NSTE should be selected, coordinated, and managed by a center for NSTE activity, an Army NSTEC, influenced by a highly qualified staff who are specifically recruited for this purpose, and by discussions with the primary customers (e.g., program managers (PMs)/program executive officers (PEOs), warfighters, the Army Chief Information Officer, and others). There should be a conscious effort to avoid competition with commercial network research activities unless there is a case for efforts to meet special needs. Every effort should be made to collaborate with commercial network research organizations in areas of ongoing research. As the military increases its reliance on network-centric operations and warfare, the Army will be pressed to exploit NSTE to an unprecedented degree. The

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation 2005 NRC report Network Science identified several areas of network research of interest to the Army and assessed value propositions for pursuing network science to achieve Army objectives. The committee combined relevant findings from that report with its own understanding of Army requirements to determine an S&T investment strategy and a mission statement for a new center of Army NSTE activity. Conclusion 1: Table 2-3 provides a priority list of the network science areas and applications that the committee believes will be most important to the Army in the future. These include communications and information; human performance in networks; adversary understanding; and other non-physical areas of network science, such as systems biology, neural networks, and economic networks. Recommendation 1a: The Army should base its investment strategy for network science, technology, and experimentation (NSTE) on the priorities shown in Table 2-3 and develop and fund a plan that: Continues the current Army focus on information networks, expanding these activities to address basic understanding and predictability of those networks; Provides the theoretical and scientific foundations for all network science research and applications; Significantly increases funding and efforts in human performance in networks and adversary understanding; and Invests in other disciplines, such as sociology, behavioral biology, and neural science, to ensure that the Army continually advances its understanding of network science. Recommendation 1b: The Army should immediately increase funding in the critical areas of: Predictability of network performance, Human performance in networks, and Adversary understanding. Moreover, the Army NSTE community should continuously consult with the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC), and the program executive officer/program manager (PEO/PM) of programs of record to identify additional gaps for immediate emphasis.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Recommendation 1c: In order to implement its investment strategy in NSTE, the Army should organize a center for NSTE (NSTEC) with a mission to: Strengthen the theoretical underpinnings of network science; Conduct basic research on how and why biological and social (non-physical) networks function and determine their applications to military networks; Manage activities in network science research, technology development, and experimentation for the Army; Focus science and technology (S&T) investments to enable network-centric operations and warfare; Focus applied S&T to enable social networks important to Army operations; and Enable development of network science applications and facilitate their transition to Army and joint operations.