A Neural Network-Based Optimization Algorithm for the Static Weapon-Target Assignment Problem

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/ijoc.1.4.232

A neural network-based algorithm was developed for the static weapon-target assignment problem in ballistic missile defense. An optimal assignment policy is one which allocates targets to weapon platforms such that the total expected leakage value of targets surviving the defense is minimized. This involves the minimization of a nonlinear objective function subject to inequality constraints specifying the maximum number of interceptors available to each platform and the maximum number of interceptors allowed to be fired at each target as imposed by the battle management/command control and communications system. The algorithm consists of solving a system of ordinary differential equations whose trajectories are the assignment variables of the problem. Simulations of the algorithm on PC and VAX computers were carried out using a simple numerical scheme. In all the battle instances tested, the algorithm has proven to be stable and to converge to solutions very close to global optima. The time to achieve convergence was consistently less than the time constant of the network's processing elements (neurons). This suggests that fast solutions can be realized if the algorithm is implemented in hardware circuits. Three series of battle scenarios are analyzed and discussed in detail. The main advantage of this algorithm is that it can be adapted to either a special-purpose hardware circuit or a general-purpose concurrent machine to yield fast and accurate solutions to difficult decision problems.

INFORMS Journal on Computing, ISSN 1091-9856, was published as ORSA Journal on Computing from 1989 to 1995 under ISSN 0899-1499.

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