Tuesday, January 01, 2002
The Lockwood Analytical Method for Prediction (LAMP)
An Innovative Methodological Approach to the Problem of Predictive Analysis.
Background of LAMP
The method was developed by Dr. Jonathan Lockwood in 1992 while in DCI Exceptional Intelligence Analyst Program. It is utilized by numerous graduate students in JMIC as core methodology in MSSI theses. It was first published in Defense Intelligence Journal in Fall 1994.
Philosophical Basis of LAMP
The Future Is...
- Not Predetermined.
- The Sum Total of All Interactions of Free Will.
- A Dynamic Spectrum of Constantly Changing Relative Probabilities.
The 12 Steps of LAMP
1. Determine the Predictive Issue.
2. Specify the Actors Bearing on the Problem.
3. Conduct in-depth study of perceptions and intentions of each actor.
4. Specify courses of action for each actor.
5. Determine the major scenarios.
6. Calculate the number of alternate futures.
7. Do pairwise comparison of alternate futures.
8. Rank order the alternate futures.
9. Analyze consequences of alternate futures.
10. Determine focal events for alternate futures.
11. Develop indicators for each focal event.
12. Assess the potential for transposition between alternate futures.
A Step-by-Step Example of a LAMP Analysis:
"Its Application to the Chilean Economic Situation and the Middle East"
Step 1. Determine the Predictive Issue
What are the economic consequences of the Middle East crisis for Chile?
- Trade relations with Chile
- Potential Impact on other Chilean trade partners
- What if war occurs?
Step 2. Specify the Actors Bearing on the Problem
Actors should include most significant trade partners
- Others? (Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia?)
Step 3. Conduct in-depth study of perceptions and intentions of each actor
Analysis should focus on following:
- How does each actor view Chile? (friend, enemy, neutral)
- How significant is the economic relationship between each actor and Chile?
- What historical and contemporary factors may have an influence on their perceptions?
- The primary concern: Avoid ?mirror-imaging? in the analysis
Step 4. Specify courses of action for each actor
Potential Courses of Action for Each Actor:
- Increase Trade with Chile
- Decrease Trade with Chile
- Take No Action on Chilean Trade (Status Quo)
Step 5. Determine the major scenarios
Scenario I : Peaceful Resolution Favoring Israel
Scenario II : Peaceful Resolution Favoring Palestinians
Scenario III : No Resolution (continuing crisis)
Scenario IV : War Breaks Out in Middle East
Step 6. Calculate the number of alternate futures
- Hypothetical example:
- Assume three actors (Israel, Egypt, Syria) as y
- Take two courses of action for each actor as x
- Using xy= z (where z is number of alternate futures)
- We arrive at 23 = 8 alternate futures
- Beware of trying to include too many actors or courses of action in a single problem!
Step 7. Do pairwise comparison of alternate futures
ACTOR ISRAEL EGYPT SYRIA
Alt. Fut. 1 IT IT IT
Alt. Fut. 2 IT DT IT
Alt. Fut. 3 IT DT DT
Alt. Fut. 4 IT IT DT
Alt. Fut. 5 DT IT DT
Alt. Fut. 6 DT DT IT
Alt. Fut. 7 DT IT IT
Alt. Fut. 8 DT DT DT
- For each pair of alternate futures in a scenario, we ask:Based on everything we know up to this moment in time, which one of these futures is more likely to happen?
- Assume that the pair of futures you are voting on are the only ones that exist at the moment
- Each future chosen receives one vote
Step 8. Rank order the alternate futures
ALT. FUTURE NUM. OF VOTES
Alt. Fut. 1
Alt. Fut. 2
Alt. Fut. 3
Alt. Fut. 4
Alt. Fut. 5
Alt. Fut. 6
Alt. Fut. 7
Alt. Fut. 8
Total num. of votes 8 (8-1)/2 = 28 total votes
- Each alternate future will have a certain number of votes, ranked from highest relative probability to least relative probability based on the number of votes received
- This rank order represents a "snapshot in time"
- The rank order of relative probability can change with receipt of new information
Step 9. Analyze consequences of alternate futures
Normally, all futures would be analyzedMost political and military decision-makers will be interested only in three to five most likely futuresAssume that each alternate future actually happens:
- Describe effects on Chilean economy (if any)
- Assess potential long-term effects on other partners
- What are potential consequences in other areas?
Step 10. Determine focal events for alternate futures
For each alternate future, we must ask:
- What events must occur in our present to create this alternate future?
- Focal events are major occurrences that directly affect the relative probability of alternate futures (Example: Israel decides to increase trade with Chile)
- If most likely future has no focal events attached to it, it means that our present is the most likely future
Step 11. Develop indicators for each focal event
- Indicators are a subset of focal events
- Each focal event will have at least one ?indicator? tied to it which tells you that the focal event is about to occur
- Indicators and focal events are part of the ?analytic map? which make up the chain of occurrences within an alternate future
Step 12. Assess the potential for transposition between alternate futures
- Transposition is a highly abstract concept
- When alternate futures share common focal events and indicators, there is the potential for transposition
- If a ?unique? focal event in a less likely alternate future occurs, that single event has the power to change a less likely alternate future into the most likely one
- Policymakers are interested in influencing the future, not simply predicting it
- A good LAMP analysis can illustrate the focal events and indicators associated with the alternate future that the policymaker wants to occur; it is these events and indicators that the policymaker must influence, if he can
-This example shows how LAMP could be used to affect Chilean economic and diplomatic policy
Limitations of LAMP
- Exponential explosion problem with alternate futures.
- Analyst can identify "most likely" future, but cannot assign a quantifiable probability of occurrence for each future.
- Little allowance for ambiguity.
Potential Applications for LAMP
- Indications and Warning.- Estimative Intelligence.
- Common analytical method for intelligence.
- Computer software.
- Interface between academic and intelligence communities.
- Tactical intelligence (?).
- LAMP does not grant the gift of prophecy.
- LAMP is not an infallible method.
- LAMP does provide a logical and powerful method for analyzing the future's many possible paths.