Enhancing the Usability of Computer Generated Forces

Period of Performance: 05/18/2000 - 02/18/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Array
Woburn, MA 01801
Principal Investigator


Computer-generated forces (CGFs) play a key role in large-scale exercises and training in the joint synthetic battlespace. Current CGFs require extensive effort to create, use, and modify, however, and have limited capability to act effectively as team players. The Aptima/BBN team proposes to enhance the usability of CGFs by providing them with knowledge about the goals, intentions, and concerns of exercise designers and controllers, thus allowing them to act as "confederates" of the controller, making intelligent decisions about what information to provide the controller and when to ask for guidance. In Phase I, the team will demonstrate this innovative concept using the D-OMAR framework to construct a CGF agent that uses knowledge about the exercise designer/controller to act as a confederate in the Distributed Dynamic Decisionmaking (DDD) simulated battlespace environment. The final product of Phase I will be a conceptual model of the goals and concerns of the exercise designer/controller, a demonstration of how that model can enhance the usability of a CGF, and a plan for a tool set, based on D-OMAR, to facilitate the construction of such CGFs. In Phase II, we will create a prototype tool set and expand the method to additional simulation environments. The ability to substitute synthetic nodes for players on a team would greatly enhance the feasibility and affordability of simulation-based team training. A technique and tool set for more easily creating and using synthetic players would find widespread application in military exercises; training for the power industry, the petrochemical industry, and manufacturing; and in the entertainment and gaming industry.