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Modeling Scenario

5-077-MandMAttritionWarfare-ModelingScenario

Author(s): Lukasz Grabarek

Matanuska-Susitna College, University of Alaska Anchorage, Palmer AK USA

Keywords: attrition Lanchester model predator-predator N-square Law

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Abstract

Resource Image Students model attrition between two opposing forces using M&M candies and discover a system of linear differential equations of order one, often called the Lanchester equations.

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Article Context

Resource Type
Differential Equation Type
Qualitative Analysis
Lesson Length
Technology
Approach
Skills
Pedagogical Approaches
Vision and Change Core Competencies - Ability
Bloom's Cognitive Level

Description

Through experiment and data collection, students will determine the parameters describing the fighting strength of each force, solve the system, arrive at Lanchester's N-square Law and use it to analyze a historical battle.

In 1916 Frederick William Lanchester proposed a model of how two opposing forces of aircraft would attrit one another in combat. Lanchester's model came two years before the establishment of the first air force as an independent branch of any nation's armed forces. Since then, Lanchester's model continues to find applications in operations research. In this scenario we will investigate mock military engagements between opposing forces of M&M candies and derive Lanchester's model.

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Authors

Author(s): Lukasz Grabarek

Matanuska-Susitna College, University of Alaska Anchorage, Palmer AK USA

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