Using social network analysis and agent-based modelling to explore information flow using common operational pictures for maritime search and rescue operations

C. Baber, N. A. Stanton, J. Atkinson, R. Mcmaster, R. J. Houghton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

The concept of common operational pictures (COPs) is explored through the application of social network analysis (SNA) and agent-based modelling to a generic search and rescue (SAR) scenario. Comparing the command structure that might arise from standard operating procedures with the sort of structure that might arise from examining information-in-common, using SNA, shows how one structure could be more amenable to 'command' with the other being more amenable to 'control' - which is potentially more suited to complex multi-agency operations. An agent-based model is developed to examine the impact of information sharing with different forms of COPs. It is shown that networks using common relevant operational pictures (which provide subsets of relevant information to groups of agents based on shared function) could result in better sharing of information and a more resilient structure than networks that use a COP. Practitioner Summary: SNA and agent-based modelling are used to compare different forms of COPs for maritime SAR operations. Different forms of COP change the communications structures in the socio-technical systems in which they operate, which has implications for future design and development of a COP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-905
Number of pages17
JournalErgonomics
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agent-based modelling
  • Command and control
  • Common operational pictures
  • Common relevant operational pictures
  • Search and rescue
  • Social network analysis

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