Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Overview of MSA Needs for Homeland Security



Charles R. McLean, Sanjay Jain, Yung-Tsun Lee


A number of modeling, simulation and analysis (MSA) efforts have evolved to support homeland security initiatives. Various organizations involved in homeland security related work have realized the value of MSA and have funded development for their identified needs. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recognized the need for a coordinated approach to MSA to reduce the potential for overlapping efforts and help ensure that developed models are interoperable and reusable. This paper presents a comprehensive view of needs for MSA to support homeland security efforts. The needs are described using two orthogonal dimensions, namely, application types and application domains. Four major application types are discussed that include analysis and decision support, systems engineering and acquisition, planning and operations, and training, exercises, and performance measurement. The application domains are classified in seven major categories that include social behavior, physical phenomena, environment, economy, organization, critical infrastructure, and other system, equipment, and tool. Needs are identified for multiple subcategories under each domain that can be met through the use of MSA applications. For example, needs are defined for crowd, traffic, epidemics, and consumer behavior under the social behavior domain. Social behaviors of the affected population would have a large influence on the impact of an incident. The dynamics of the crowd and traffic in the affected area need to be modeled to understand aspects of the immediate impact in some incidents, while social behavior over longer time frames would need to be modeled for epidemics and incidents resulting in commodity shortages. The defined needs for each subcategory can serve as a platform for developing detailed requirements for MSA solutions. The discussions also refer to the need for guidelines, policies, and procedures for development, verification, and validation, and use of MSA for homeland security applications.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference (
Conference Dates
November 30-December 3, 2009
Conference Location
Orlando, FL, US


modeling, simulation, homeland security


McLean, C. , Jain, S. and Lee, Y. (2009), Overview of MSA Needs for Homeland Security, Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference (, Orlando, FL, US (Accessed June 13, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created July 28, 2009, Updated October 12, 2021