News Release 

Levis & Elder studying escalation management in the gray zone

George Mason University

Alexander Levis, University Professor of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Robert Elder, Research Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, are exploring the impact of mutual understanding regarding the acceptability of one actor's behaviors (types of actions) to another as a factor in determining the ability of actors to deter one another.

The researchers are doing this by drawing on the classic tenets of deterrence theory and U.S. military doctrine, conceptual and computational models.

Levis and Elder are completing two tasks as part of this research. First, they are developing conceptual and computational models to: 1) enable investigation into the degree to which an actor is deterred; 2) explore the impact of mutual understanding among actors in deterring one another; and 3) revisit the dynamics of escalation management in scenarios involving competition short of armed conflict. Second, they are developing computational models of potential experiments and use them to: 1) refine the design of such experiments, and 2) explore the sensitivity of the computational results or outcomes to model inputs.

The researchers received $74,524 from the Office of Naval Research for the second year of this project. They began their work in July 2018 and will complete their work in late June 2021.

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