secau Security Research Centre Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
To make good decisions, we need to be suitably informed. 'Good' and 'Suitably' in this case depend on the informational needs of the decision and the mechanisms of getting the information to the decision maker in time. The trade-offs in qualities, quantities, timeliness, impacts on other activities, and so on are infamously wickedly complex, and usually buried in a clutter of special circumstances, personality characteristics, environments unsuitable for study, and so on. Decision-making systems can be explored using case studies and exercises, but these are limited by the expense and time of using real people. A virtual simulator for large scale networks of communities can provide systems to examine that are not otherwise possible, while bearing in mind that simulators only partially reflect real systems. This paper describes a design for such a simulator framework that can be implemented on an ordinary desktop computer. We intend to use it to exercise and explore various ‘knowledge distribution strategies’ in order to understand and suggest information communication mechanisms for investigation in the real world, without expecting it to be complete enough to be prescriptive. We focus on military collaborations as suitably 'eXtreme' environments to exercise these communication mechanisms. Topics for further investigation include isolation, turnover and resilience.