General Stanley McCrystal, US Army, former commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, highlighted the importance of understanding people in their environment (the ‘Human Domain’). In achieving a deep understanding and to enable insight and an ability to influence, the following specific areas are considered as key areas to be addressed:
• The creation of location-specific, geo-social models which reflect spatio-temporal social, cultural, economic, political, religious, ethnic and other dynamic factors.
• Modelling human behaviour to assess local norms and detect deviations.
• Understanding and capturing the effects of scale (nation, province, city, neighbourhood, sect, tribe, individual) and time.
• Visualising motives, intentions, reactions, interactions.
The project benefited from the Geo expertise and the in-depth MOD domain knowledge of Helyx together with Human Factors expertise provided by the University of Nottingham. Our approach involved engagement with key stakeholders and participation in a major overseas Defence exercise that explored future Army structures and concepts for providing stability to failing or failed states. Helyx provided a critical reachback analysis and web service capability, documenting, first-hand, how Human Domain data and information flows within and between deployed operations and Head Quarters.
Helyx developed a methodology for understanding and exploiting the Human Domain that spans the macro to micro level. Our outputs included an understanding of the Human Domain environment within UK Defence, a taxonomy of terms and definitions as well as an information enterprise that aims to bring greater coherence to the collection and exploitation of data thus enabling novel techniques for visualising subjective information.