Decision Loops: The Cybernetic Dimension of Battle Command [report]

Charles A. Bass, Jr
1996 unpublished
Modem communications. data processing systems. and the complexity of modem land warfare have led to the explosion of information in tactical combat organizations. The commander must use this information within a decision process to exploit its value. This monograph examines how the rational and cybernetic decision processes are used in tactical battle command. It explores the decision loop. a cybernetic decision process based on feedback. as a means to connect information directly to action and
more » ... exploit the time value of information. The rational decision process. the analytical process of choosing an optimum course among alternatives. does not support the rapid use of information. The cybernetic decision model, the use of feedback to regulate action. provides an alternate means of exploiting the time value of information. This model views command as a control problem with the objective of controlling both the enemy and friendly forces on the battlefield. In order to control the battlefield. the variety (a function of the number and type of component pans, and possibilities of employment) of the control system must match the system being controlled. The criteria of fast-acting. self-regulating. and self-organizing are applied to analyze the Boyd cycle or observe-orient-decide-act (OODA) loop. the recognitionprimed decision (RPD) model. and the Lawson loop. The OODA and RPD loops do not provide the framework for self-regulation or self-organization. The Lawson model differs by providing a regulator that compares feedback to a desired state. This suggests two layers of decision: an execution layer that translates information to action. and a
doi:10.21236/ada324331 fatcat:ytr4hvg3wbgbpev4sb3ovn7p54