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Shared Understanding within Military Coalitions: A Definition and Review of Research Challenges

Smart, Paul R, Mott, David, Sycara, Katia, Braines, Dave, Strub, Michael and Shadbolt, Nigel R (2009) Shared Understanding within Military Coalitions: A Definition and Review of Research Challenges At Knowledge Systems for Coalition Operations, United Kingdom. 31 Mar - 01 Apr 2009.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Shared understanding is commonly seen as essential to the success of coalition operations. Anecdotal reports suggest that shared understanding enables coalition forces to coordinate their efforts in respect of mission goals, and shortfalls in shared understanding are frequently cited as the reason for poor coalition performance. In spite of this consensus regarding the importance of shared understanding, however, there are very few empirical studies that attempt to explore shared understanding in a military coalition context. This paper attempts to support future research efforts into shared understanding by proposing a specific definition for shared understanding and identifying a number of research challenges. Shared understanding is defined as the ability of multiple agents to exploit common bodies of causal knowledge for the purposes of accomplishing common (or shared) goals. This definition implies that agents possessing shared understanding will be capable of coordinating their respective behaviours in order to ensure the efficient realization of cognitive and behavioural objectives. We also identify a number of areas for future research into shared understanding. These include the factors that affect shared understanding, the effect of shared understanding on coalition performance, and the development of techniques to reliably measure and assess understanding in coalition environments.

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Accepted/In Press date: 6 March 2009
Additional Information: Event Dates: 31st March-1st April 2009
Venue - Dates: Knowledge Systems for Coalition Operations, United Kingdom, 2009-03-31 - 2009-04-01
Keywords: Shared Understanding, Coalition Operations, Situation Awareness, Shared Mental Models, Machine Understanding, Understanding
Organisations: Web & Internet Science


Local EPrints ID: 267173
PURE UUID: 6fa3a1d8-9ea6-4c5c-9199-62dda5b66c79
ORCID for Paul R Smart: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 06 Mar 2009 12:51
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 07:07

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Author: Paul R Smart ORCID iD
Author: David Mott
Author: Katia Sycara
Author: Dave Braines
Author: Michael Strub

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