Statistical physics and modern human warfare

Alex Dixon, Zhenyuan Zhao, Juan Camilo Bohorquez, Russell Denney, Neil F Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modern human conflicts, such as those ongoing in Iraq, Afghanistan and Colombia, typically involve a large conventional force (e.g., a state army) fighting a relatively small insurgency having a loose internal structure. In this chapter, we adopt this qualitative picture in order to study the dynamics – and in particular the duration – of modern wars involving a loose insurgent force. We generalize a coalescence-fragmentation model from the statistical physics community in order to describe the insurgent population, and find that the resulting behavior is qualitatively different from conventional mass-action approaches. One of our main results is a counterintuitive relationship between an insurgent war’s duration and the asymmetry between the two opposing forces, a prediction which is borne out by empirical observation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationModeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology
PublisherSpringer Basel
Pages365-396
Number of pages32
Volume51
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameModeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology
Volume51
ISSN (Print)2164-3679
ISSN (Electronic)2164-3725

Fingerprint

Military operations
Statistical Physics
Coalescence
Physics
Fragmentation
Asymmetry
Internal
Generalise
Prediction
Human
Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Engineering(all)
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Modeling and Simulation

Cite this

Dixon, A., Zhao, Z., Bohorquez, J. C., Denney, R., & Johnson, N. F. (2010). Statistical physics and modern human warfare. In Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology (Vol. 51, pp. 365-396). (Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology; Vol. 51). Springer Basel. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-8176-4946-3_14

Statistical physics and modern human warfare. / Dixon, Alex; Zhao, Zhenyuan; Bohorquez, Juan Camilo; Denney, Russell; Johnson, Neil F.

Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology. Vol. 51 Springer Basel, 2010. p. 365-396 (Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology; Vol. 51).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Dixon, A, Zhao, Z, Bohorquez, JC, Denney, R & Johnson, NF 2010, Statistical physics and modern human warfare. in Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology. vol. 51, Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology, vol. 51, Springer Basel, pp. 365-396. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-8176-4946-3_14
Dixon A, Zhao Z, Bohorquez JC, Denney R, Johnson NF. Statistical physics and modern human warfare. In Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology. Vol. 51. Springer Basel. 2010. p. 365-396. (Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-8176-4946-3_14
Dixon, Alex ; Zhao, Zhenyuan ; Bohorquez, Juan Camilo ; Denney, Russell ; Johnson, Neil F. / Statistical physics and modern human warfare. Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology. Vol. 51 Springer Basel, 2010. pp. 365-396 (Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology).
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