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Charles River Analytics Develops Knowledge Exchange Toolkit

Charles River Analytics is developing the TREK Toolkit for Real-Time, Distributed, Decision-Making applied to Targeting, Fire Control & Damage Assessment. TREK is a Java toolkit that provides an information management system as well as a real-time role assignment component. It addresses concerns that existing collaborative software systems do not by supporting the development of collaborative, real-time, role-based information sharing systems. TREK’s novel approach is centered around using explicitly-defined roles and user models to craft information distribution and presentation, as well as allowing for the reallocation of roles in a dynamic fashion.

“Users receive information through TREK that is tailored to their needs,” said Alex Feinman, Associate Senior Scientist at Charles River Analytics. “TREK tailors representations of information that match the needs of a user in a distributed collaboration according to the set of roles they fulfill. Information presentation takes into account the cognitive demands of the roles the user is already fulfilling, the sensitivity of the information coupled with the authorizations of the user, and the technology available to the user for interacting with the TREK system.”

Feinman continued, “Additionally, TREK suggests and keeps track of role assignments informed by models of the tasks at hand and the pool of available users. This provides managers and commanders the ability to build and manage task-focused teams in real-time in an ad hoc, adaptive fashion.”

In the current phase of research, Charles River Analytics is focusing on Time-Sensitive Targeting (TST), which involves the task of re-targeting a missile while in flight. TST is a real-time task domain involving interrelated roles and a variety of sources of information.

TREK is being funded by the Air Force Research Lab.

Charles River Analytics brings valuable experience to the development of TREK, including expertise in workflow analysis and design. The company has several years of experience in cognitive analysis, human factors, information presentation for action and decision support, and development of distributed systems.

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