Dealing with TRACS: The Game of Confidence and Consequence

Kevin Burns

Chance discovery and management require judgments and decisions under uncertainty. Our research explores how, and how well, people make these judgments and decisions. Our tool is a card game called TRACS in which players are faced with prototypical tasks of "probabilistic risk assessment" and "dynamic resource management". Our methods include experiments with human subjects to identify cognitive strategies, and simulations with software agents to evaluate the effectiveness of cognitive and alternative strategies. These scientific investigations on TRACS have potential applications to "command and control" in a variety of practical situations. This paper provides the conceptual foundation, presents our initial investigations and previews practical applications of TRACS.


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