Belief Network-based Situation Assessment for Air Operations Centers

Call, C. and Gonsalves, P.

Proceedings of SPIE Defense & Security, vol. 6235, Orlando, FL (April 2006)

In dynamic environments (e.g. an Air Operations Center (AOC)), effective real-time monitoring of mission execution is highly-dependent on situation awareness (SA). But whereas an individual’s perception of mission progress is biased by his or her immediate tasks and environment, the combined perspectives of key individuals provides an effects-based assessment of the mission overall. Belief networks (BNs) are an ideal tool for modeling and meeting the requirements of SA: at the individual level BNs emulate a skilled human’s information fusion and reasoning process in a multi-task environment in the presence of uncertainty. At the mission level, BNs are intelligently combined to yield a common operating picture. While belief networks offer significant advantages for SA in this manner, the work of defining and combining the models is difficult due to factors such as multiple-counting and conflicting reports. To address these issues, we develop a system consisting of two distinct functional elements: an off-line mechanism for rapid construction of a BN library of SA models tailored to different air combat operation situations and derived from knowledge elicitation with Subject Matter Experts; and an on-line mechanism to adapt and combine the BN models. The adaptation supports the ability to adjust the SA models over time and in response to novel situations not initially available or anticipated during model construction. The combination of SA models supports an enhanced SA and the ability to monitor execution status in real time in a way that is informed by and responsive to the individuals and situations involved.

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