Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Raymond R. Hill, PhD


This research investigated the applicability of agent-based combat simulations to real-world combat operations. An agent-based simulation of the Allied offensive search for German U-Boats in the Bay of Biscay during World War II was constructed, extending the state-of-the-art in agent-based combat simulations, bridging the gap between the current level of agent-like combat simulations and the concept of agent-based simulations found in the broader literature. The proposed simulation advances agent-based combat simulations to “validateable” mission-level military operations. Simulation validation is a complex task with numerous, diverse techniques available and levels of validation differing significantly among simulations and applications. This research presents a verification and validation taxonomy based on face validity, empirical validity, and theoretical validity, extending the verification and validation knowledge-base to include techniques specific to agent-based models. The verification and validation techniques are demonstrated in a Bay of Biscay case study. Validating combat operations pose particular problems due to the infrequency of real-world occurrences to serve as simulation validation cases; often just a single validation comparison can be made. This means comparisons to the underlying stochastic process are not possible without significant loss of statistical confidence. This research also presents a statistical validation methodology based on re-sampling historical outcomes, which when coupled with the traditional nonparametric sign test, allows comparison between a simulation and historic operation providing an improved validation indicator beyond the single pass or fail test.

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