The Warfighter Associate: Decision-Support and Metrics for Mission Command

Report No. ARL-TR-6309
Authors: Norbou Buchler; Dan ONeill; Stacey Sokoloff; Jonathan Z. Bakdash
Date/Pages: January 2013; 56 pages
Abstract: This report describes a unique and promising intelligent agent plug-in technology for Mission Command Systems—the Warfighter Associate (WA)—that enables individuals and teams to respond more effectively to the cognitive challenges of Mission Command. The WA uses a doctrinally based knowledge representation to model role-specific workflows and continuously monitors the state of the operational environment to enable decision-support, delivering the right information to the right person at the right time. Capabilities include: (1) monitoring communications in chat rooms and other sources, (2) automatically plotting tactical graphics in a common operating picture, (3) reporting the current tactical situation, and (4) recommending courses of action (COAs) with respect to the necessary staff collaborations, re-tasking of assets, and required reporting. Specifically, two interrelated, hierarchical knowledge graphs based on the Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act (OODA) Loop model workflows and the state of the operational environment, facilitating doctrinally based recommendations for COAs based on available assets and asset capabilities. The knowledge graphs are state traces, measuring the staff cognitive demands across scenario runtimes as dynamic events unfold on the battlefield. Mission Command performance metrics can be automatically derived from the traces. Last, we discuss the potential of this technological approach to support Control and Command agility.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 2013