Monday, July 15, 2013

On the OODA loop and the 4D

Richard Veryard asked in a comment to my post on  the recent tutorial given by Jeff Adkins and myself if our 4D scheme (which was introduced by Jeff)  is related to the famous OODA loop.  I have mentioned the OODA loop in the past in connection with the need to act faster than the speed of thinking. the strategy of air combats, later he also made claims about the generality of this method.    The 4D is certainly from the same family, and the four stages are indeed similar.   Interestingly Boyd's had event-driven thinking.    
The OODA loop was aimed to describe event-driven decision by a human - the human has to observe that an event happened, perform mental self orientation to analyze the meaning and implication of the event,  decide what to do, and act accordingly, have feedback loop to see whether the observation has changed.

The 4D describes a computational process, where the event is detected (not necessarily directly observed),  situation is derived (by computational means and not by mental process), and then a decision is taken (autonomic or manual) and an action is performed.   

The mapping is not 1-1:    
detect is always mapped to observe;
derive can be mapped to observe - as the detected situation is a derived event, and sometimes to orient - as it may derive a conclusion.
decide can be mapped to the combination of orient and decide in the OODA loop
do seems to be always mapped to act. 

More thoughts about the 4D and related stuff - later.  

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