Variations of the OODA Loop 3, The Sophisticated Boydian Loop

Note: This is a selection from Variations of the OODA Loop, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

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A more detailed version of the OODA loop was presented by John Boyd and two other authors in 1995.35 The more complex Sophisticated Boydian loop allows one to skip the decision stage completely and even to go backward. With this, the sophisticated OODA loop now features both “feedback” and “implicit guidance and control.”36 von Lubitz37 et al provide an excellent summary

Two aspects of the loop are striking: its multidimensional complexity and its dynamic nature that encompasses both time and space. The deceptively simple Loop represents arguably the best depiction of the complexity of interactions and interrelationships involved in critical thinking and decision-making processes., and how actions based on these processes together with other, external, inputs affect the environment, and hence – the next revolution of the loop. Importantly, all actions within the loop are simultaneous – action does not interrupt observation or decision does not relieve from the need to orient. Contrary to the commonly committed error, OODA loop does not represent a linear process developing along the time axis but a process that develops simultaneously within the operational sphere where time is but one of the constituent elements.

Note that the authors do not recognize the Sophisticated Boydian Loop as merely one variation, but rather the only acceptable OODA loop. Other authors38 share this bias. While this version, which is seconded by Beaumont,39 also includes details within observation such as “genetic factors,” the Sophisticated Boydian loop has also been visualized without these sub-processes.40


Variations of the OODA Loop, a tdaxp series:
Variations of the OODA Loop 1: Introduction
Variations of the OODA Loop 2: The Naive Boydian Loop
Variations of the OODA Loop 3: The Sophisticated Boydian Loop
Variations of the OODA Loop 4: Pseudo-Boydian Loops
Variations of the OODA Loop 5: Post-Boydian Loops
Variations of the OODA Loop 6: Bibliography

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