Applying Bayesian belief networks in Sun Tzu's Art of war
Ang, Kwang Chien
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The principles of Sun Tzu's Art of War have been widely used by business executives and military officers with much success in the realm of competition and conflict. However, when conflict situations arise in a highly stressful environment coupled with the pressure of time, decision makers may not be able to consider all the key concepts when forming their decisions or strategies. Therefore, a structured reasoning approach may be used to apply Sun Tzu's principles correctly and fully. Sun Tzu's principles are believed to be able to be modeled mathematically; hence, a Bayesian Network model (a form of mathematical tool using probability theory) is used to capture Sun Tzu's principles and provide the structured reasoning approach. Scholars have identified incompleteness in Sun Tzu's appreciation of information in war and his application of secret agents. This incompleteness resulted in circular reasoning when both sides of the conflict apply his principles. This circular reasoning can be resolved through the use of advanced probability theory. A Bayesian Network Model however, not only provides a structured reasoning approach, but more importantly, it can also resolve the circular reasoning problem that has been identified.
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