Fox and Cadet: Successful Integration of Command and Control Components

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

Proceedings of the Federated Laboratories Capstone Symposium, College Park, MD (March 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 the lessons learned from integrating two C2 components with an open architecture that uses commercial standards and implementations. The FOX course of action (COA) planner and generator is developed by Charles River Analytics and uses an abstract wargamer in concert with a genetic algorithms-based search engine to present the commander with a small number of good COAs to choose from and modify. The CADET COA elaboration tool is developed by the Logica Carnegie Group and takes the initial COA and elaborates the COA to generate specific tasks for each unit and battlefield operating system (BOS), producing a sync-matrix. The desired connection between the two components is to use the output of FOX as the input to CADET. For this connection, there are two issues: the “physical” connection between the components and the “language” used to represent the COA. While the initial connection was made using the local file-system, we have moved to using the Java Messaging System (JMS), an open standard for which a number of possible implementations can be acquired. The JMS is a reliable COTS message delivery system that transparently allows collaboration between clients running on separate machines over a network. The semantic issue is more complex, as the representations used in FOX and CADET are somewhat different. Attempts were made to try to create a direct translator between the components, but in the end we created a dialect of XML (COA-XML) to specify the content of the messages. The COA-XML is extensive, and can express the input and output of both FOX and CADET. 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.

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