Swarming and the Future of Warfare and Other Good Theses

Before I went on vacation, I set tdaxp to automatically posts sections of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. A much more interesting, better written, and fascinating work is Sean J. A. Edwards’ “Swarming and the Future of Warfare. Written as a dissertation for the Pardee RAND Graduate School, it looks at an ultra-violent form of distributed denial of service attack.

For a taste, try footnote 15 from the Introduction

On April 14, 2004 a Marine amphibious assault vehicle carrying supplies came under RPG fire, made a wrong turn into unsecured Fallujah area controlled by insurgents and was ambushed. The vehicle caught fire and the 17 man crew sought refuge in a nearby home. Within minutes at least 100 insurgents converged from all directions towards the firefight and plume of smoke, firing RPGs and small arms. A rescue force of 4 tanks, 6 Humvees, and a dismounted platoon with air support fought their way through enemy held terrain, moving with a 360 degree defense, and rescued the encircled crew.

A quick segue into computer science: some lines from Edwards masterpiece remind me of Doug Jennewein’s An Analysis of the N-Best Ant System: a General-Purpose Meta-Heuristic for Combinatorial Optimization, from which a powerpoint of the defense is available from USD’s Computer Science Research page. Also, many concepts can be horizontally mixed with Zacher and Bielenberg‘s blog clustering thesis

But all that distracts from the real point: Read Sean Edwards’ Swarming and the Future of Warfare. Hat-tip to new tdaxp commentator John Robb.

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