Distributed Course of Action Planning using Genetic Algorithms, XML and JMS

Ruda, H., Burge, J., Aykroyd, P., Sander, J., Okon, D., and Zacharias, G.

Proceedings of SPIE, Volume 4396, AeroSense, Orlando, FL (April 2001)

Future command and control (C2) systems must be constructed in such a way that they are extensible both in terms of the kinds of scenarios they can handle and the type of manipulations that they support. This paper presents an open architecture that uses commercial standards and implementations where appropriate. The discussion is framed by our ongoing work with a course of action (COA) planner and generator that uses genetic algorithms together with an abstract wargamer to suggest a small number of possible COAs (FOX). We have connected the FOX COA planning C2 component with other components (input, viewer, GIS) using a dialect of XML (COA-XML) to specify the content of the messages. The use of XML allows the content of the messages to be parsed by widely available standard parsers; as well as provide a way to extend the range of the content without breaking existing components. At the same time, we have used the Java Messaging System (JMS), an open standard for which a number of possible implementations can be purchased, to actually distribute COAs and other component messages over a network. By using a commercial implementation of the JMS, it is easy to find a suitably scalable and secure implementation, and even to switch implementations with negligible effort. Because the system uses a publish and subscribe mechanism, the system is extensible in that new components can be added to the system to support enhanced functionality without breaking the interactions between existing components.

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