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Mathematics of Conflict

August31

In a recent issue of Nature was a paper by Juan Camilo Bohorquez, Sean Gourley, Alexander R. Dixon, Michael Spagat and Neil F. Johnson, which argued that all insurgencies–wars in which guerrilla-type units are fighting a standing military–share a single, predictable pattern in their violent attacks. In other words, according to their model, the decisions of insurgents…don’t take place in a wildly unpredictable “fog of war.” Instead, they’ll always tend to follow the same rhythm. Regardless of their beliefs, ideologies and motives. Regardless of their immediate tactical concerns. Regardless of what they may think they are doing.

Johnson, Spagat and their colleagues analyzed 54,679 violent events in nine separate insurgencies — Colombia, Peru, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland, Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Indonesia — and plotted the frequency of insurgent attacks against the number of people killed in each one. They found the same relationship between the two in every conflict.

The Nature authors say they’re more interested in using the model to understand insurgencies. In an email, Johnson and Spagat wrote: “We are now looking at where events occur, and when, to see if we can understand the spreading. We are also looking at intervention strategies etc. Also we are addressing ‘what if’ questions such as: What would happen if we added a third population of ‘peacekeepers’? How should they be deployed in order to minimize casualties?” (H3 Comment: perhaps these new peacekeepers will be mathematicians?) See full article from bigthink.com and check out this TED talk on The Mathematics of War:
math of conflicts

 

 

 

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NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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