Cost function design for modeling information overload in radar systems

Paul G. Singerman, Ram M. Narayanan, Muralidhar Rangaswamy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


It is a common assumption that more effective decisions can be made in radar sensor processing if more "information is available. However, this is not always the case since more information may not necessarily translate to better sensor performance due to a phenomenon known as information overload. What determines the effectiveness of a decision is rarely only dependent on a single performance metric. Instead, there are often multiple performance metrics involved. This necessitates the use of cost functions for modeling a loss in decision effectiveness due to deviations from the optimal values of the performance metrics. These optimal values are also often determined in a fuzzy/subjective manner by an individual using language. Two different types of statements are looked at and modeled, namely, soft and hard constraining statements. These models, called language-based cost functions (LBCFs), are derived and their properties are explored. These can then be easily combined, via a summation, to obtain a smooth objective function. The objective function is then used to find the utility of the radar system. By altering the systems parameter values the amount of information introduced into the system can be varied and the point at which the utility of the radar system decreases due to excess information can be found. This is then regarded as the information overload point or the point at which more information causes a decrease in the utility of the system. An example of a radar system with imposed constraints is provided and its resulting information overload point is found by utilizing LBCFs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRadar Sensor Technology XXIII
EditorsKenneth I. Ranney, Armin Doerry
ISBN (Electronic)9781510626713
StatePublished - 2019
EventRadar Sensor Technology XXIII 2019 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Apr 15 2019Apr 17 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceRadar Sensor Technology XXIII 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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