SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N102-158 (Navy)
Title:  Intelligent Agents for ASW Threat Prosecution
Research & Technical Areas:  Information Systems, Battlespace

Acquisition Program:  Under Sea Warfare Decision Support Systems (USW-DSS) ACAT II
  Objective:  This topic seeks to determine how best to employ automation in (a) supporting the ASW Commander (ASWC) in the execution of Pre-Planned Responses (PPRs), and (b) in the decision making process that leads to deviation from doctrine, taking into consideration the complexity of the environment in which strike groups operate.
  Description:  Critical performance in Anti-Submarine Warfare depends on the coordinated activity of a team of individuals. However, the decision environment in which the ASW Commander must operate during threat prosecution is characterized by severe time pressure, complex multi-component decision tasks, rapidly evolving and changing information, high short term memory demands, and high information ambiguity. To reduce this burden, pre-planned responses (PPRs) are employed. ASW PPRs (tailored by the Carrier Srike Group (CSG) Sea Combat Commander (SCC) and ASWCommander) specify immediate and follow-up actions that ASW units / forces should take in response to emergent, time-sensitive scenarios. Simple by design for ease in execution, PPRs are usually promulgated in narrative format by message (OPTASK ASW Supplements), and are typically committed to memory by key watch standers and reproduced in laminated check sheets for ready reference. PPR execution, by nature, occurs under stressful conditions where departures from doctrine can be as important as compliance with doctrine in engaging the threat and / or surviving attack. A flexible set of ASW Contact Prosecution workflows and associated decision support models is sought that automates ASW PPR execution, allowing the ASW Commander to focus on evaluation of threat intent and risk to high value units. An intelligent agent should be prototyped based upon this workflow analysis to assist in the execution of PPRs. The key metric to be used in evaluating the effectiveness of the prototype will be reduction in the detect to engage timeline.

  PHASE I: Identify specific decision support algorithms/rule-sets to support particular ASW missions, such as HVU Screen, Area Search, and Barrier Search, and develop workflows to reduce the Detect-to-Engage timeframe. Determine where automation supports and where it interferes with effective Course of Action (COA) implementation. Design an intelligent agent and task off-load aid to support threat prosecution and document in a final Phase I report.
  PHASE II: Build the prototype designed in phase I and evaluate ASWC effectiveness in assigning resources and prosecuting contacts. The number of contacts he is able to manage/prosecute effectively should increase, and the training required to do the job effectively should decrease.

  PHASE III: Transition the Intelligent Agent to USW Decision Support platforms. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/

  DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Commercialization potential is high. The firefighting community, emergency and disaster relief organizations, NASA and airline cockpit crews are all potential customers for this technology.

  References:   1. Moray, N., Editor "History and Scope of human factors" September 2005 2. Kirlik, A., Editor "Adaptive Perspectives on Human-Technology Interaction" Oxford University Press 2006 3. Brunswik, E. "The conceptual framework of psychology" University of Chicago Press 1952

Keywords:  Intelligent Agent; Decision Process Model; Anti Submarine Warfare; Cognitive Engineering; Human Factors; Automation

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