Barrow, Howard J., III
Alderson, David L., Jr.
Appleget, Jeffrey A.
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Network flow problems can be used to address any of the phases of the military joint operation model, but they do a poor job with the transition from interdiction to restoration activities. Previous research identifies methods to find the best- and worst-case scenarios for a given network, but do not show how interdiction activities affect restoration activities (or vice versa) and/or how we can make sense of these interactions in military planning. We develop a method of metagraph analysis to study various performance thresholds in a flow network and identify ways to interdict and restore systems not previously discussed in the literature. The presence of states not identified by traditional network flow problems indicates that, from an operational planning perspective, alternatives exist that may improve the attack and defense of a flow network. This result suggests that traditional interdiction and restoration methods prescribe only a subset of joint operational activities, and military operations would benefit from expanding analysis to consider more options. We define at least two ways to identify these options and conclude that there are system states not identified by traditional methods that can inform new ways to shape flow networks for military operations.
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