Challenge: The Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Analysis Command (TRAC) has the responsibility to prepare assessments of U.S. Army capabilities and to support some training. TRAC uses several different combat models to support these responsibilities, each requiring large and complex databases. The time to prepare the database for any one of the models can range from a week to six months, depending on the similarities and differences from previously available databases. TRAC asked for support in producing a common database to support the Joint Theater Level Simulation (JTLS), the Joint Exercise Support System (JESS), the CORBAN model, and the TACSIM model. The concept was to reduce the time to prepare for an exercise or analysis using these models by requiring data definitions once, rather than four times. All four models require general military data and JTLS and JESS share a common ancestry. Thus, it was hoped that the overlap in data would be large.
Accomplishment: The DSRD project team determined that the intersection of data requirements among the four models was small. Further, many items in the intersection had only marginal connections from one model to another. In the best cases, only units conversion (e.g., from miles to kilometers) would be required. In the worst cases, major differences in modeling assumptions were involved and small models would be required to convert from one model's input to another's input. The recommendation was to drop the project as not cost effective.
Technologies Employed: The basic technology was database design.
Comment: Until recently (ca 2009), this would be the result in any similar project. However, the development of computer readable ontologies to support semantic descriptions of data that can be read and acted upon by computers makes such projects more realistic.
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