Computer-based Tool for Information Flow Analysis of a Complex and Adaptive Theater Warfare System

Period of Performance: 06/14/1999 - 06/14/2001

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Research Topics

Abstract

Information plays a critical role in modern military operations. Research shows effective information management to be predictive of mission performance, yet current computer-based tools to capture and analyze information flow in complex human-machine architecture are lacking in functionality and ease-of-use. In Phase I, we demonstrated a COTS-based Information Flow Analysis and Simulation Tool (IFAST) prototype to assess information flow among the hardware, software, and human components of a system. In Phase II we will develop IFAST into a unique, stand-alone information analysis product that builds upon core components of a discrete event simulation engine. Our goal is to develop a model-driven computer-based tool to represent and analyze information flow and information management in the context of complex systems with accurate representations of the human element. Cognitive task Analysis and other knowledge engineering methods will be used to understand candidate users' needs and to conduct extensive study of information flow issues within the theater of war domain. In addition to building the IFAST product, our Phase II efforts includes demonstrating the utility of IFAST modeling and analysis capabilities to solve real operational problems. Our goal is to develop a tool soundly anchored in theoretical constructs, yet with practical, real-world applications. IFAST has a significant potential for commercialization in information-rich environments. Network-centered corporations, in technology, banking, and health services, as well as C2 organizations, need tools to visualize and assess their information management process for the early identification of potential bottlenecks and overused links. The human-centered focus makes IFAST attractive as both a design and a training device for system designers and decision-makers.