Carnegie Mellon University
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AFOSR PRET: Information Fusion for Command and Control: The Translation of Raw Data To Actionable Knowledge and Decision
This project is no longer active.
Head: Katia Sycara
Contact: Lori R. Price
Mailing address:
Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Associated center(s) / consortia:
 Center for Integrated Manfacturing Decision Systems (CIMDS)
Associated lab(s) / group(s):
 Advanced Agent - Robotics Technology Lab
Project Homepage
To respond to an ever-changing, uncertain environment, human commanders must maintain a general awareness of the battlespace, and yet focus on relevant contextual information when making decisions, without distraction from peripheral events. Decision cycles have shortened, available information has expanded, and missions have become increasingly variegated. The repertoire of traditional battle functions has expanded to include new types of operations, such as ad hoc responses to terrorism, response to biochemical threats, and operations other than those of war and coalition operations. To meet these new challenges, the commander needs enhanced decision support. Yet providing this automation becomes increasingly difficult as uncertainty increases.

Furthermore, while the volume of raw information available for command decisions at all echelons is rapidly increasing, its coordination and dissemination as useful information becomes far more difficult, leading to the problem of "data overload and information starvation." Data is often fragmented, multi-modal, uncertain, and distributed across disparate sources.

The next generation of battlefield information systems must meet the twin challenges of scaling up to accommodate the explosion of cheap ubiquitous sensors, while extending access to increasingly heterogeneous information sources, from the Air Force's own legacy systems to those of other cooperating services and nations. These new sources of information must not only be accessed; they must be converted from mere data into sources of usable, actionable knowledge.

To address these issues in high-level information fusion, we are conducting a multidisciplinary research effort involving computer scientists, engineers and cognitive psychologists, from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, the Munitions Directorate of Air Force Research Laboratory (MN/AFRL), Rome Labs, and Northrup Grumman. We will combine our various expertise to develop the next generation of information fusion systems.