Papers relevant to current projects.

For Integrated Battle Command, a key idea is on-the-fly creation of a confederation of decision aids.  A confederation is a loosely-coupled set of tools that can all communicate with one another and, for the military commander, provide broad context and capability to meet the unique challenges of future conflicts.  We can expect future conflicts to involve coalitions of nations and many elements of national power, not just military forces.  As a result, a crisis-intervention team may include military commanders and forces, diplomats and State Department analysts, economists, social scientists, public affairs and information managers, and contracted engineers and laborers who can address infrastructural problems.  This array of experts will need a wide variety of decision aids and information systems, all of which add value but only if integrated.  Enemy actions are likely to be asymmetric in nature, and only with an integrated approach can military commanders address this threat effectively, hence the need for integration technology in addition to new technology for assisted problem-solving.

These five papers describe the "Confederation Web," a new name for what used to be called the "Structured Data Web," a web-like approach for building up structured data useful for machine reasoning.  Using a pre-defined database schema, the Confederation Web provides a simple and uniform way for applications to share variable values in a particular problem-solving context.  The context includes application name, the user of the application, a specific problem-solving instance for that user, and the variable name.  Also provided:  meta-data including the time the variable was set, the source of the value (which could be an AI algorithm acting on the user's behalf), and additional information useful to humans but not necessarily to algorithms.  Key ideas associated with the Confederation Web include (1) integration by design and from the start, (2) support for bottom-up development and innovation, (3) a "URL for structured information," and (4) "semantics by example," i.e, through use, data becomes available, enabling a form of understanding based on the range of variable values.


Here is the IBC Proposer’s Day brief on the Confederation Web.

This paper describes the "Interaction Manager," the new name for what used to be called the "Confederation Manager."   The Interaction Manager includes tools to inteface with the Confederation Web, exploiting it's dynamic content to find and understand useful variables, appropriate applications, and expert users.  The Interaction Manager also includes a set of tools for posing problems to and getting information from the Confederation Web.  Finally, the Interaction Manager aims to act as a user agent, identifying inconsistent results from decision aids whose functions overlap, providing users with alerts when variables exceed thresholds, and returning information that helps users to understand the meaning of variables.

This paper describes a search engine for structured information in the Confederation Web and illustrates how useful it is for building and adapting a confederation.  SearchEngine is a key component of an Interaction Manager.

For future conflicts, many factors thought to be important for decision-making:  political, military, economic, social, informational, and infrastructure (PMESII).  This paper describes an extensible model for assessing courses of action in the broad context of PMESII effects. The Reflex PMESII model uses natural language descriptions of planned actions to provide scores for each P-M-E-S-I-I effect ranging from 0 to 10. Given a current PMESII state, Reflex provides an estimate of the change in state one might expect if the planned actions were executed. Reflex is based on a set of categorized, natural language questions which are derived after considering a causal model of each P-M-E-S-I-I factor. To provide scores, Reflex exploits the keywords in context (KWIC) algorithm previously developed at DARPA for the National Defense University's Pre-Conflict Management Tool. KWIC supports a form of information extraction and natural language interpretation in the context of the questions in the Reflex model. Using KWIC, relevant questions are identified for the plan being analyzed, and default scores are assigned. Given this automated assistance, a human user can use expert judgment to check and perhaps modify the scores and add and delete new questions, scoring them appropriately. Once a plan is associated with Reflex questions and the questions are scored, total scores may be calculated for each PMESII effect using linear equations. Optionally, the influencing effect of each PMESII factor on the other factors may be considered by the Reflex algorithm when calculating total PMESII scores.  Have you read this far wondering what PMESII is?  It's all the factors thought to be important for future conflicts:  political, military, economic, social, informational, and infrastructure.