. "7 Challenges in Assimilating and Exploiting M&S Technology." Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035 Becoming a 21st-Century Force: Volume 9: Modeling and Simulation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1997.
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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force
coordination. Centralized funding makes common-good efforts easier, but the resulting programs may be hobby horses, failures, or irrelevant because of being too distant from where the real action is, within the programs and in operations. It seems clear to the panel that the Department of the Navy needs a good deal more centralization than it has today (almost none), but finding the right balance is inherently difficult. 2 It is even more difficult for outsiders to judge.
Education of Officers
A key element of any assimilation effort must be an increased emphasis on educating young officers. The effective exploitation of M&S depends upon the experience, knowledge, and wisdom of its practitioners, hence upon their education. The panel recommends Navy investment in such education at all levels: for those who acquire and design M&S tools and also for those who rely on them to guide acquisition, training, and operations. Some of the education should be in the form of enhanced master's and Ph.D.-level programs. Other aspects should include short courses tailored for officers needing refresher courses, technology updates, and preparation for next assignments involving M&S management. One new educational activity is a master 's degree program at the Naval Postgraduate School with OPNAV endorsement. It will emphasize both computer technology (e.g., virtual simulation) and also human-computer interaction modeling, with a strong component of operations analysis. This and other programs—and a competition of programs is important—could make a significant difference over time.
Significantly here, the panel does not necessarily recommend an emphasis on computer science alone, but rather a priority on increasing the supply of young officers with rigorous training in the “hard” sciences or engineering that includes solid exposure to modern M&S, including software engineering. It is common for crack teams in industry doing projects with advanced M&S to be composed mostly of engineers, mathematicians, operations researchers, and scientists.
Realism suggests that master's-level education is much more likely to create wise consumers than practitioners. Thus, the Navy will wish to consider how many of its personnel should go on to obtain Ph.D.s and how best to link up with the best expertise in the university and private domains.
The panel was divided on the recommendations of Calvin et al. (1995) regarding model management. Panel members were sympathetic to this Center for Naval Analyses report's diagnosis of problems (e.g., chronic inattention to verification and validation of models, and inadequate analytical sophistication regarding what model-base analyses are and are not sound), but there was considerable doubt about the prescriptions, which seemed to some of the panel to call for an excessively centralized approach that would generate bureaucracy and associated frictions.