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Spatial Lanchester models


  • González, Eduardo
  • Villena, Marcelo


Lanchester equations have been widely used to model combat for many years, nevertheless, one of their most important limitations has been their failure to model the spatial dimension of the problems. Despite the fact that some efforts have been made in order to overcome this drawback, mainly through the use of Reaction-Diffusion equations, there is not yet a consistently clear theoretical framework linking Lanchester equations with these physical systems, apart from similarity. In this paper, a spatial modeling of Lanchester equations is conceptualized on the basis of explicit movement dynamics and balance of forces, ensuring stability and theoretical consistency with the original model. This formulation allows a better understanding and interpretation of the problem, thus improving the current treatment, modeling and comprehension of warfare applications. Finally, as a numerical illustration, a new spatial model of responsive movement is developed, confirming that location influences the results of modeling attrition conflict between two opposite forces.

Suggested Citation

  • González, Eduardo & Villena, Marcelo, 2011. "Spatial Lanchester models," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(3), pages 706-715, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:210:y:2011:i:3:p:706-715

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1991. "The Technology of Conflict as an Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 130-134, May.
    2. Eldridge S. Adams & Michael Mesterton-Gibbons, 2003. "Lanchester's attrition models and fights among social animals," Behavioral Ecology, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, vol. 14(5), pages 719-723, September.
    3. Gary M. Erickson, 1997. "Note: Dynamic Conjectural Variations in a Lanchester Oligopoly," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(11), pages 1603-1608, November.
    4. Protopopescu, V. & Santoro, R. T. & Dockery, J., 1989. "Combat modeling with partial differential equations," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 178-183, January.
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