Fire Engagement Analysis Tool
A Collaborative Planning System for the US Marine Corps Sea Dragon Program
Please click here for to see the FEAT4 Brochure (PDF)
In 1994, the CADRC began working with the U.S. Marine Corps in the mission planning area of command and control. Under this sponsorship, we developed FEAT, a collaborative planning system that provides a framework for real-time decision support. It incorporates expert agents to assist in mission analysis, intelligence preparation of the battlefield, situation awareness, and cooperative planning across functional areas.
Mission planning is a complex problem environment involving many conflicting issues such as: readiness and availability of military units, transportation alternatives, budgetary limitations, and severe time constraints. This information intensive activity demands that decision makers understand and respond quickly under severe time constraints, incomplete information, and logistical limitations. During all phases, the situation continues to change, impacting both the solution objectives and the strategies for orchestrating solutions. In order for decision makers to understand and effectively respond to these changing circumstances, agents provide alerts, inferences, and recommendations to identify critical aspects of the situation.
In FEAT, a set of agents continuously monitors the evolving mission plan and makes proposals as they interact with each other and the user. Agents are experts in areas such as deployment costs, transportation, resource location, timing, resource availability, and resource readiness. Users can plan in both shared and private worlds, and the agents can distinguish between these worlds as they concurrently operate in both arenas.
The FEAT prototype is designed to integrate into the existing military command and control systems environment as a knowledge-based decision-support tool. It utilizes intelligent modules (agents) executing in parallel to determine the impact of decision alternatives and detect potential conflicts during mission planning and execution. Users at remote FEAT4 workstations are able to collaborate across functional areas using Internet (i.e., TCP/IP) protocol communication facilities.
FEAT enhances, rather than replaces, existing command and control software systems by assisting the user in determining the impact of recommendations and decisions. Within the cognitive model of command and control, FEAT assists the user in the multiple transformations of data to information, information to knowledge, and knowledge to understanding. All of these transformations occur within a dynamically changing environment of resource availability, resource demands, military priorities, and political imperatives.