Garbage in , Hollywood Out !


As military forces around the world embrace modelling and simulation as a fundamental enabling technology necessary to help them meet strategic objectives, the limitations and potential misuses of these tools and the processes that use them are worth closer examination. Of particular concern is the potential for decision-makers to be unduly influenced by state-of-the-art animation and 3D graphics that make the simulation appear more realistic than the underlying data and algorithms would suggest. The old adage “Garbage in, garbage out!” applies as much to a simulation study as it does to any type of data analysis effort. In simulation studies, however, it is an even greater concern as the simulation developer can take advantage of the ever-improving representation technologies to make the simulation appear to be very realistic potentially resulting in “Garbage in, Hollywood out!” As appropriate as this may be for a video game, or in some cases for a virtual simulator used for training, it also affords analysts and others the opportunity to influence decision-makers in potentially inappropriate ways. Army transformation decisions based upon models and simulations of weapon systems that do not yet exist imply high risk that cannot be mitigated by fancy animation. This paper brings attention to these risks and suggests what measures should be taken to mitigate them.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Roman2005GarbageI, title={Garbage in , Hollywood Out !}, author={Paul A. Roman}, year={2005} }