ARL’s S&T investments in Network & Information Sciences are focused on gaining a greater understanding of emerging technology opportunities that support intelligent information systems that perform acquisition, analysis, reasoning, decision-making, collaborative communication, and assurance of information and knowledge. Understanding gained through these research efforts will lead to technological developments that make it possible to manage and utilize information flows in the complex battlespace of the future. Technologies resulting from these efforts will have a direct impact on the Information Supremacy of the Army of 2050 and beyond.
Sensing, Effecting & Battlefield Environment research concentrates on understanding and exploiting information gained through sensing and exploiting data to drive effectors in complex battlefield environments. Both sensing and effecting necessitate detailed understanding of corresponding physical behaviors and phenomenology’s that generate and utilize data, as well as effective means for storage, retrieval, extraction and manipulation of data. Additionally, knowledge of the physical environment such as terrain and local weather conditions is necessary to understand the impacts on mission planning and decision-making including quantifying uncertainty and reducing the element of surprise. Specific research areas include: 1) multi-scale M&S of environment and terrain effects, 2) understanding phenomenology’s and behaviors, 3) effecting, 4) sensing, and 5) sensing and forecasting in complex environment.
Data Sciences & Data Analytics research concentrates on understanding and exploiting the fundamental aspects of large-scale multidimensional data analytics in complex environments. Experiments, observations, and numerical simulations are on the verge of generating petabytes of diverse data at ever increasing rates. These sources of data are distributed over disparate locations on a heterogeneous collection of platforms and pose a challenge in providing real-time analytics in situational understanding, information processing and uncertainty characterization and quantification.
Intelligent & Autonomous Systems research concentrates on understanding and exploiting interactions between information and intelligent systems, such as software agents or robotic agents. Information can be thought of as data in context that dynamically changes over time and space. In order to fully exploit that data, the mission context must be taken into account. The data can then be used in providing automated intelligence: perception, reasoning, planning, collaborating, and decision-making. These broad issues in automated intelligence can be applied to a wide range of systems and environments, like cyber virtual environments or decision support. Aspects of Intelligent Systems complement research conducted in the Sciences for Maneuver Campaign, which focuses on Intelligent Systems concepts applied to vehicles or robotic platforms. Specific research areas include: 1) computational intelligence, 2) human information interaction, 3) learning and reasoning via interaction with physical environment, and maneuvering in complex environment.
Networks, Communications, Computing & Cyber research concentrates on understanding and exploiting information’s interactions with socio-technical networks, particularly communications, and command and control networks, both formal and social. The objective is to develop novel techniques to connect, protect and process information at the tactical edge to enable Soldiers to operate in a contested and congested operational environment. Of particular importance is Network Science – the study of structure, dynamics, behaviors and evolutions of networks, especially in the context of interactions between communications, information and social networks. Research to protect these networks concentrates on understanding and exploiting interactions of information with cyber attackers – human and/or intelligent agents. These interactions involve friendly operations against adversary information systems and networks, defense of friendly information systems and networks, and assurance of persistent information support to Soldiers even when parts of the friendly systems and networks are compromised. Key to operating at the tactical edge are techniques to compute and fuse information that may be distributed across the edge network to provide Soldiers with relevant information needed to dominate and win. Specific research areas include: 1) C4I in complex environment, 2) multi domain channels and protocols, 3) distributed information delivery, and 4) adaptive threat analysis and resilience.