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Supporting the C2 of Training Exercise Management: The Design of a Decision-Centered Scenario Management Tool

Potter, S. and Farry, M.

Proceedings of the 14th International Command and Control Research and Technology Symposium. Washington DC.

In this effort, we investigated the problem of supporting the real-time management of complex scenarios within a large-scale training or evaluation exercise. Developing cognitively challenging scenarios is a fundamental challenge for these types of situations (Mumaw and Roth, 1992; Roth, et al., 2002). For the exercise or evaluation to be useful and effective, the scenarios must be carefully designed to address specific training objectives as well as specific cognition and collaboration demands imposed on the participants. Then, the scenario must be able to be managed efficiently during the exercise to adapt to disruptions and deviations from the plan. The critical issues identified through our investigation and addressed in our proof-of-concept demonstration include:

Designing and managing cognitively challenging scenarios. Critical to the effective exercise of cognitive skills is the design and conduct of challenging scenarios. This includes specification of the (often) complex set of world events to set up the challenging decision-making situation as well as the modification of these events as the training exercise unfolds.

Representing System Events and Activity. Fully-specified scenarios require the coordination of system activity in response to world events. This includes automated system activity as well as information processing activity in support of human decision-making.

Depicting Operator Activity. Both predicted and actual activity in response to world events and system activity should be represented. Specifying expected behavior provides the ability to identify deviations from planned behavior as well as confirmation that the progression of operator activity is going as planned.

Linking Scenario Events and Activity to Exercise Objectives. This is critical for the determination of achieving training objectives. Establishing these links supports the ability to determine the significance of world events in exercising the training objectives. In addition, this linkage permits the planning and management of the training exercise to meet the desired objectives.

In this paper, we discuss these concepts and directions for potential follow-on efforts to implement and evaluate these concepts. Note that these concepts should apply widely and generally in the design and evaluation of software, work systems, and training systems.

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