Technical report | Army Sustainability Modelling Analysis and Reporting Tool (A-SMART) Prototype: Model Description and Algorithms
The Army Sustainability Modelling Analysis and Reporting Tool (A-SMART) is a prototype software application that has been developed as a platform to assist Army to better understand its requirements for a comprehensive decision-support environment for Army modernisation and as an interim analysis capability; especially to support force structure design, development, analysis and refinement. Here we describe the modelling approach, the software architecture, data design and the algorithms employed in the model code for the prototype; it is hoped that the approach and methodology outlined here for the prototype will assist, but not constrain, the development of detailed specifications for a fully operational, comprehensive system.
The Army Sustainability Modelling Analysis and Reporting Tool (A-SMART) prototype software system has been developed as a platform that, through its use, assists in defining Army's requirements for a comprehensive, fully operational system to support force structure design, development, analysis and refinement; which forms the basis for all Army modernisation decisions. This report describes the modelling approach, the software architecture, data design and the algorithms that are employed in the model software code of the A-SMART prototype.
The A-SMART prototype uses Markov modelling techniques to forecast the dynamics of populations over time and indicates any expected shortfalls in terms of the sustainability of personnel and major systems (equipment), as well as forecast operational requirements for the levels of supplies and strategic lift. The prototype allows detailed scenarios to be modelled, including likely changes to the organisational/unit entitlement structures and any number of operations. In this way, the sustainability of current or planned force structures can be tested against a range of operational commitment levels and policy initiatives. The focus of development has been on personnel modelling, especially individual training aspects, although major systems and supplies/strategic lift modules have also been produced. It is anticipated that all of the Fundamental Inputs to Capability and a costing module will be included in a fully operational system. The approach used in the development of the A-SMART prototype provides insights into techniques that could be useful for the fully operational system.
The report is structured in ten main sections: Introduction, Background, Context, Modelling Approach, Conceptual Overview of System Architecture, ORBAT/Scenario Module, Personnel Module, Major Systems Module, Supplies/Strategic Lift Module and Future Work. The first five sections provide information on our motivation for initiating this work, where we expect the tool to be utilised in terms of Army business processes, a discussion of the general approach and the high-level architecture of the system. The sixth section describes how the tool has structured the design of scenarios and describes briefly the organisational data that underpins the tool. Sections seven, eight and nine describe the Personnel, Major Systems and Supplies/Strategic Lift Modules, respectively. The last section provides a brief discussion of future work. The data design is described in the appendix, documenting every table in the A-SMART database. Other documents are available to assist with setting up scenarios, running the tool and interpreting the model results, as well as a description of the software code and architecture.