C4I & Cyber Seminar Series:
Mission Success: Assured Communications and Agile Organizations

Presented by: Dr. Marius Vassiliou
Institute for Defense Analyses


Success in complex missions, whether in the civilian, military, or mixed sectors, depends on agile organizations adapting their enterprise (C2) approaches to suit the purposes and circumstances at hand, and being able and willing to communicate necessary information. We have conducted case studies of complex endeavors in theaters including warfare, terrorism, and response to natural disasters. These show that communication failures are a very significant cause of adverse consequences, often including overall mission failure. Communication failures can be behavioral ones, exacerbated by inappropriate organizational choices. They can also arise from shortfalls in system design and technology. Enterprise/C2 approaches that are decentralized and network-enabled to varying degrees have differing propensities to communicate necessary information in diverse circumstances. They also have a complex and varying interplay with the enterprise’s information and communications technology, and varying resilience to communications disruption. While more agile organizations can make up for communications shortfalls to an extent, there is no substitute for assured communications capabilities. In this connection, the ability to communicate relatively small amounts of information reliably can be much more important than the ability to transmit large multimedia files with high throughput. Important facets of assured communications systems include agility with respect to channel and spectrum, protection from attack and tampering, resilience in the face of disruptions, and interoperability. In some cases the goals can be achieved with appropriate policy guidelines, and in others with new technology development.

Speaker Information:

Dr. Marius Vassiliou is currently at the Institute for Defense Analyses, where he has worked on conceptual aspects of C2, communications, and networking. He has authored a number of books, including the recent “C2 Re-envisioned: the Future of the Enterprise” (CRC Press, 2015). Previously, he was an Executive Director at the Rockwell Science Center. He also led the US Army Research Laboratory’s Advanced Displays Federated Laboratory Consortium, in which several government, industry, and university organizations worked together to develop new technologies for multimodal interaction, augmented reality, and sensor networks. Dr. Vassiliou has published in a number of other scientific areas as well, including computational physics, geophysics, materials, and R&D policy. He received his PhD in Geophysics with minor in Electrical Engineering from Caltech, MS in Computer Science from USC, MBA from UCLA, and AB from Harvard.

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1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

C4I Center ENGR 4705