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C2 Self-Synchronisation and Swarming. J Miles June 2008. Contents. Discussion regarding alternative forms of synchronisation Characteristics of swarming Historical examples of swarming behaviour

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contents
Contents
  • Discussion regarding alternative forms of synchronisation
  • Characteristics of swarming
  • Historical examples of swarming behaviour
  • The appropriateness of self-synchronisation and swarming behaviour in the context of the maritime environment
alternative forms of synchronisation
Alternative forms of synchronisation
  • Hierarchical
  • Mutual
  • Self

or

or

or

slide4

Key

Key

Info Pull

Info Pull

Feedback

Feedback

b

b

Synchronising

Synchronising

activity

activity

Higher

c

c

c

Authority

Entity status

Entity status

Entity status

Entity status

supervision

supervision

Higher

a

a

Authority

Entity status

Entity status

Entity status

Entity X

Entity X

Entity X

Entity Y

Entity Y

Entity Y

Entity Y

Entity Y

Entity Y

Entity Y

Entity Y

Synchronisation point

Synchronisation point

Synchronisation point

Synchronisation point

Synchronisation point

Synchronisation point

Synchronisation point

Synchronisation point

slide5

Higher

Higher

Authority

Authority

2

1

Mutual Synchronisation

Mutual Synchronisation

Higher

Higher

Higher

Higher

Authority

Authority

Authority

Authority

Entity status

Entity status

Entity status

Entity status

Entity status

Entity status

Entity status

Entity status

Entity Y

Entity Y

Entity X

Entity X

Entity X

Entity X

Entity Y

Entity Y

Synchronisation point

Synchronisation point

Synchronisation point

Synchronisation point

slide6

+

+

Control

Control

-

-

Hierarchical

Hierarchical

Hierarchical

Self

Self

Self

Swarming

Swarming

Swarming

Uncoordinated

Uncoordinated

Uncoordinated

Mutual

Mutual

Mutual

-

-

-

peer

peer

peer

Chaos

Chaos

synchronisation

synchronisation

synchronisation

synchronisation

synchronisation

synchronisation

behaviour

behaviour

behaviour

activity

activity

activity

synchronisation

synchronisation

synchronisation

Synchronisation process

Synchronisation process

+

+

Coordination

Coordination

Direct

Direct

Indirect

Indirect

-

-

Hierarchical

Hierarchical

Hierarchical

Self

Self

Self

Swarming

Swarming

Swarming

Uncoordinated

Uncoordinated

Uncoordinated

Mutual

Mutual

Mutual

-

-

-

peer

peer

peer

Chaos

Chaos

synchronisation

synchronisation

synchronisation

synchronisation

synchronisation

synchronisation

behaviour

behaviour

behaviour

activity

activity

activity

synchronisation

synchronisation

synchronisation

Synchronisation process

Synchronisation process

swarming
Swarming
  • An extreme form of self-synchronisation
  • "The systematic pulsing of force and / or fire by dispersed networked units, so as to strike the adversary from all directions simultaneously.” 1
  • The \'emergence\' of macro-behaviour - based on the totality of self-synchronised micro-behaviour.

1 (Arquilla, Ronfeldt, Swarming and the future of conflict, RAND Corporation 2000)

swarming characteristics
Swarming Characteristics
  • A number (usually many) of low-level components with specialised functions;
  • multistability – flexible agile capability through clustering of function;
  • Bifurcation – rapid change of function
  • Coordination achieved through indirect interaction – very localised SA;
  • Survival of the collective takes precedence over individual components.
military swarming
Military swarming
  • Massed Swarm, implies a convergent attack as a primary manoeuvre
    • Convergent attack
      • Encircling and surrounding an adversary
      • cuts off the adversary’s lines of supply
      • destroys morale
      • prevents any possible retreat
examples of swarming behaviour
Examples of swarming behaviour
  • Battle of the Atlantic – U Boat “Wolf Pack” operations (1939–1945)
  • RN Coastal Defence Force (1939-45)
  • Battle of the Pacific, kamikaze air attacks (1944-45)
  • FIAC swarms (present day)
  • Other applications e.g. social swarming
appropriateness of swarming behaviour in military operations
Appropriateness of swarming behaviour in Military Operations
  • behaviour cannot be controlled, only influenced through prior communication of Command Intent and ROE.
  • non-linear process – very short-term prediction of behaviour
  • Large numbers of platforms
slide13

1

1

2

2

50m

50m

36

36

2m

2m

Etc.

Etc.

300m

300m

constraints
Constraints
  • Small platforms not “ocean-going”
  • Transport assistance from larger platforms
  • Sustainment requirements:
    • sufficient crew numbers for the force to operate 24/7;
    • Maintenance 24/7;
    • Therefore difficult to achieve sufficient numbers of maritime swarm components in the zone of operations
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Much NCW / NEC literature / discussion is phrased as though this is a blank canvas and self-synchronisation is a new concept. This is not the case.
  • The swarming concept needs to accept :
    • large numbers of units
    • less direct control of the self-synchronising / swarming force
    • less detailed plans
    • self-synchronising / swarming SA is different from conventional SA
  • difficult to see how a future maritime force could apply offensive swarming in expeditionary operations
  • if maritime aircraft and UXVs were to be included in the force then the potential for swarming operations increases.
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