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An Interoperable Framework for Distributed Coalition Planning The Collaborative Planning Model
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An Interoperable Framework for Distributed Coalition Planning The Collaborative Planning Model

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  1. An Interoperable Framework for Distributed Coalition PlanningThe Collaborative Planning Model KSCO, 15th February 2012 Tom Klapiscak, John Ibbotson, David Mott, Dave Braines, Jitu Patel

  2. Motivation • Effective coalition planning requires that distributedhuman teams working in specialised functional areas maintain shared understanding. • Various specialist software tools are used to support planning within planning cells. However, these distinct tools do not interoperate. • Thus, communication between teams is inefficient and lossy: • Static, hard-copy office documents must be interpreted and adapted manually. • Only the outputs of planning activity are shared; intermediate steps in the planning process (rationale, assumptions, constraints) are often omitted. • “One size fits all” tooling is not feasible.

  3. Proposed Solution • Adopt a shared, generic and machine-interpretable ontology for the representation & communication of plans and planning processes. • Develop mapping procedures to align the data models of bespoke tools with the shared ontology. • Extend the shared ontology into new conceptual domains where necessary. • The CPM was designed with this purpose in mind: • Formal specification of the semantics of planning and collaboration. • Layered design: general abstract planning concepts can be extended to cover new military domains. • Explicit encoding of the planning process.

  4. Origins of the CPM • The International Technology Alliance (ITA) Project 12: Semantic Integration and Collaborative Planning • Initiated in May 2005 • Fundamental research in network and information sciences • An alliance between the US/UK Governments and an IBM-led consortium • 5-year program extended in 2011 for a further 5 years • Task 1:Semantic integration and Interoperability (Southampton, IBM UK, RPI, DSTL, ARL) • Task 2: Plan representation for human to human communications; and for human to machine communication (IBM UK, Southampton, Klein, DSTL, ARL) • The CPM is based on: • Established AI planning research (PLANET[3], I-N-O-V-A [4]) • SME Consultation • Extensive review of military doctrine • The CPM has been the subject of two previous empirical evaluations: • In 2008 [5] and 2011 [6, 7] • Both yielded valuable insights and encouraging results

  5. CPM Transition Project • Name: CPM Interoperability Evaluation • Started: November 2011 • Partners: DSTL, NATO, NC3A • Objectives: • Define and implement an export capability for NATO TOPFAS Operational Planning Tool (OPT). • Demonstrate the representation of TOPFAS operational plans in CPM. • Demonstrate the sharing of plans between TOPFAS and country-specific planning tools.

  6. Operational Planning Tool • Provides causal, spatial, temporal and resource views of an operations design Tool for Operations Planning Functional Area Services • Suite of planning tools developed by the NC3A to support current NATO planning doctrine • Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD) [1] • Collaborative environment for plan development and knowledge capture • Existing Export facility: MS Office documents design to support commander’s briefing • Meaning is opaque to machines • Does not support interoperability between tools

  7. Initial Work • Determine suitable (possibly composite) CPM analogues for TOPFAS vocabulary • Identify areas of apparent semantic consonance/dissonance • Investigation is based on our interpretation of informal definitions of TOPFAS vocabulary • Partial coverage of TOPFAS OPT Vocabulary: • Objective • End State • Action/Task and Effect • Decisive Conditions and Lines of Operation

  8. Example Plan: OPT Visualisation We demonstrate our initial mapping procedure using a simple operations design derived from TOPFAS training material.

  9. Objective-Goal Mapping Comparison of TOPFAS Objectives and CPM Goals based on our interpretation of informal TOPFAS vocabulary definitions CPM Goal • “A statement about the world held by an agent which the agent desires to be true”[2] TOPFAS Objective • “A clearly defined and attainable goal to be achieved.” [1] • Some Similarities • “Goal to be achieved” ≈ “Desired world state” • Both associated with an owner (or commander) ultimately responsible for its attainment • Both permit decomposition into sub-objectives • In both, sub-objectives can be used in the delegation of responsibilities from superior to subordinate

  10. Objective-GoalMapping • Some Issues • No obvious CPM analogue for some attributes held by TOPFAS objectives: e.g. Acceptability, Feasibility, Suitability • Notable difference in expressed temporal attributes: • CPM permissible intervals vs. TOPFAS “end date” instant. • What is the precise meaning of ”end date”? • The mapping must ensure temporal implications of the CPM model are aligned with those of TOPFAS

  11. Example plan: CPM Visualisation

  12. Example plan: CPM Visualisation

  13. Future Work • Identify suitable CPM analogues for more TOPFAS OPT vocabulary • Validation of proposed mappings is needed • Qualitative: E.g. SME review • Quantitative: E.g. (Semi-)formal verification techniques • Demonstration of proof of concept implementation: 14th March 2012 • Demonstration of final implementation: Summer 2012

  14. References • [1] “Allied Command Operations Planning Directive COPD Interim V1.0”, 17 December 2010. • [2] Mott, D. “CPM: Visual Guide to the CPM v3”,, 2011 • [3] Gil, Y and Blythe, J. “PLANET: A Shareable and Reusable Ontology for Representing Plans”, 2000, • [4] Tate, A. “Representing Plans as a Set of Constraints – The <I-N-O-V-A> Model. In proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Planning Systems, 1996 • [5] Dorneich, M.C., Mott, D., Bahrami, A., Yuan, J., Smart, A. “Evaluation of Shared Representation to Support Collaborative Multilevel Planning”, Technical Report, See • [6] Michael C. Dorneich, David Mott, Ali Bahrami, John A. Allen, Jitu Patel and Cheryl Giammanco “Lessons Learned from an Evaluation of a Shared Representation to Support Collaborative Planning” • [7] Dorneich, M.C., Mott, D., Bahrami, A., Patel, J., and Giammanco, C. “Evaluation of a Shared Representation to Support Collaborative, Distributed, Coalition, Multilevel Planning”, The 5th Annual Conference of the International Technology Alliance, Maryland,US, August 2011