Critique, Explore, Compare, and Adapt (CECA): A New Model for Command Decision Making
DEFENCE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TORONTO (CANADA)
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This report argues that Observe-Orient-Decide-Act OODA Loop is outdated as a model of human cognition and proposes a new model based on theoretical advances in the psychological and behavioural sciences since the 1950s. The Critique-Explore-Compare-Adapt CECA Loop is explicitly based on the premise that goal-oriented mental models are central to human decision making as the means to represent and make sense of the world. The model assumes that operational planning establishes the initial conceptual model, which is a mental model of the plan. A situation model is created to represent the state of the battlespace at any given point in time. The four phases of the CECA Loop broadly correspond to the identification of information needs Critique, active and passive data collection and situation updating Explore, comparison of the current situation to the conceptual model Compare, and adaptation to aspects of the battlespace that invalidate the conceptual model or block the path to goal completion Adapt. The CECA Loop is intended to serve as a simple but widely applicable framework in which to think about decision making in the context of C2. Among the advantages of the CECA Loop over the OODA Loop are greater insight into the nature of perception and understanding, introduction of critical thinking elements, and exposition of the central role of planning and the mental representation of operational concepts in C2.
- Command, Control and Communications Systems