Next-Generation Command and Control Wind Tunnel for Courses of Action Simulation

TitleNext-Generation Command and Control Wind Tunnel for Courses of Action Simulation
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsNeema, H., G. Karsai, and A. Levis
Refereed DesignationDoes Not Apply
Series TitleISIS Technical Report
Document NumberISIS-15-119
Date Published05/2015
InstitutionInstitute for Software-Integrated Systems, Vanderbilt University

The increasing complexity and heterogeneity of operations necessitate the use of sophisticated planning tools and processes that allow the rapid evaluation of alternative Courses of Action (COA) to give feedback to planners. As the domain of Air Force operations extends across air, space, and cyberspace, the performance of existing processes and their supporting computational tools is not meeting the operators’ needs. COA evaluation should be rapid, allowing fast planning and change cycles. While raw computational power is becoming readily available and connectivity is improving, software tools that allow the effective harnessing of that power are lagging behind. Simulation-based evaluation of COAs is complex, as it involves multiple, heterogeneous domains, each with its own tools and simulations. The configuration and integration of these simulations into a coherent framework, namely, a federation of simulations, is a very difficult, time-consuming, labor-intensive, and error-prone task. Consequently, COA evaluation cannot be done rapidly and in a timely manner to provide answers to the planners. Because a COA has to be tested against a number of scenarios and situations, at most one COA with some minor variants is analyzed. The problem becomes more acute as the focus is shifting to integrated C2 where several COAs developed by different Command Centers (e.g., the different command centers for Air, Space, and Cyber Operations) have to be integrated and the result evaluated. Designing and efficiently deploying such a computational resource on a high-performance computing platform is a major challenge. In the course of the work described in this report, our team has devised, designed, constructed, and demonstrated a novel software framework and tool environment to support the evaluation of operational sequences that are prepared by and derived from COA by human experts.

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