Human-Centered Technologies for Information Superiority

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


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


Technology innovations for countering the effects of information attack must be based on an understanding of how those attacks affect decision making. A key concern is the effect of information disruptions on the ability of a team to achieve and act on shared situation awareness. The Aptima team proposes to develop an in-depth understanding, based on field interviews with experts, of the different types of potential information attacks and to use that understanding to develop a conceptual model of how information attacks can disrupt the decision making process. Based on this model, we will identify ways in which decision support can make decision making more robust in the face of attack, develop prototypes for alternative decision support approaches, and demonstrate those prototypes using a testbed that can simulate the effects of information attack on information fusion and team decision making. Associated with the testbed are quantitative performance measures and innovative methods for assessing both individual and shared situation awareness. The project team combines extensive experience in command and control team decision making (Aptima, Inc.) with proven situation awareness measurement techniques already applied in the information warfare domain (SA Technologies) and previous experience interviewing both hackers and "hacker trackers" (Klein Associates). Information security is a critical concern in commercial as well as military environments, as evidenced by President Clinton's recent request for funding to counter the threat of cyber-terrorism to America's high-tech infrastructure. A decision support system demonstrated to make the decision making of a team more robust to information network failures and disruptions would have a broad market in today's increasingly network-dependent military and commercial organizations.