Ontology of Military Planning and Operations Assessment

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The Living Plan

Erik Thomsen, Fred Read, William Duncan, Tatanya Malyuta and Barry Smith, “Ontological Support for Living Plan Specification, Execution and Evaluation”, Proceedings of the Conference on Semantic Technology in Intelligence, Defense and Security, Fairfax, VA, (STIDS 2014), CEUR, vol. 1304, 10-17.

Tutorial organized as part of the 2014 Semantic Technologies for Intelligence, Defense, and Security (STIDS) Conference

The background of this tutorial is a US Air Force Research Laboratory initiative to transform Air Force planning and operations assessment from a disjointed static approach based on paper documents into a unified dynamic approach based on a computational 'living plan'. Part of this initiative will rest on the development of an ontology of plans and of military operations, viewing the latter as forming a three-stage cycle of plan specification, plan execution, and post-execution review. This cycle is seen as continuously unfolding on the strategic, operational and tactical levels – hence 'living plan'. A special role is played by the issue of devising a framework for the coordination of collaborative agency across large organizations. How can we build feedback mechanisms into the planning and outcomes assessment process in such a way as to enable evolutionary improvement in the framework over time?


13:00 Barry Smith (NCOR) Slides

The role of doctrine in the planning process
Why planning needs a controlled vocabulary
An Example: The CALL (Center for Army Lessons Learned) Thesaurus
Need for a plan ontology as part of a suite of interoperable military ontology modules
Basic Formal Ontology as upper level architecture
Populating ontology modules through iterative extension
Plans vs plan specifications
The Information Artifact Ontology
Anatomy of a plan specification
Elements of the planning process: Informational, Mental, Action-related
What is the living plan?
Appendix: Draft Plan Ontology based on military doctrine
See current version of the ontology here
See additional slides on the ontology of deontic elements and on collaborative plan execution here

13:50 Frederick Reed (Charles River Analytics) Slides

The current state of planning
Strategic level
Operations level
Ops assessment
What works; what doesn’t
What’s needed

14:40 Break

15:00 Erik Thomsen (Charles River Analytics) Slides

Motivations and approach
Typed ontologies
Typed Ontology-driven planning systems

16:30 BS, FR, ET and tutorial participants

Exploratory session to allow critical review, presentation of alternative approaches, identification of potential secondary uses



Frederick Reed, scientist at Charles River Analytics working in areas such as man-machine systems analysis, human factors, organizational learning and development, knowledge management, and applied philosophy (particularly Pragmatism of C.S. Peirce).

Barry Smith, founder of the Ontology for the Intelligence Community (now STIDS) conference series, is an internationally recognized leader in the field of ontology and semantic technology. He is Professor of Philosophy, Biomedical Informatics, Neurology, and Computer Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Director of the National Center for Ontological Research.

Erik Thomsen is Senior Scientist - Cognitive Systems at Charles River Analytics in Boston, MA. He has over 20 years experience creating analytical software and business applications with an emphasis on intelligent systems and socio-economic and environmental models. He is also the author of multiple publications on data integration and fusion, semantic technologies, visualization, pattern recognition, foundations of logic, language and mathematics, and of the influential textbook OLAP: Building Multidimensional Information Systems (Wiley, 2nd edition).