Radio communications interdiction problem

Karaşan, Oya
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Bilkent University
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Tactical communications have always played a pivotal role in maintaining effective command and control of troops operating in hostile, extremely fragile and dynamic battlefield environments. Radio communications, in particular, have served as the backbone of the tactical communications over the years and have proven to be very useful in meeting the information exchange needs of widely dispersed and highly mobile military units, especially in the rugged area. Considering the complexity of today’s modern warfare, and in particular the emerging threats from the latest electronic warfare technologies, the need for optimally designed radio communications networks is more critical than ever. Optimized communication network planning can minimize network vulnerabilities to modern threats and provide additional assurance of continued availability and reliability of tactical communications. To do so, we present the Radio Communications Interdiction Problem (RCIP) to identify the optimal locations of transmitters on the battlefield that will lead to a robust radio communications network by anticipating the degrading effects of intentional radio jamming attacks used by an adversary during electronic warfare. We formulate RCIP as a binary bilevel (max–min) programming problem, present the equivalent single level formulation, and propose an exact solution method using a decomposition scheme. We enhance the performance of the algorithm by utilizing dominance relations, preprocessing, and initial starting heuristics. To reflect a more realistic jamming representation, we introduce the probabilistic version of RCIP (P-RCIP) where a jamming probability is associated at each receiver site as a function of the prevalent jamming to signal ratios leading to an expected coverage of receivers as an objective function. We approximate the nonlinearity in the jamming probability function using a piecewise linear convex function and solve this version by adapting the decomposition algorithm constructed for RCIP. Our extensive computational results on realistic scenarios that reflect different phases of a military conflict show the efficacy of the proposed solution methods. We provide valuable tactical insights by analyzing optimal solutions on these scenarios under varying parameters. Finally, we investigate the incorporation of limited artillery assets into communications planning by formulizing RCIP with Artillery (RCIP-A) as a trilevel optimization problem and propose a nested decomposition method as an exact solution methodology. Additionally, we present computational results and tactical insights obtained from the solution of RCIP-A on predefined scenarios.

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