Terrain-Based Information Fusion and Inference

Robin Glinton, Sean R. Owens, Joseph Andrew Giampapa, Katia Sycara, Charles E. Grindle and C. Michael Lewis
Conference Paper, Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Information Fusion, July, 2004

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A key prerequisite for higher-level fusion is the use of context to disambiguate and interpret sensed data and guide data collection. For ground operations terrain information supplies an important context. The layout of terrain is a determining factor in arraying of forces, both friendly and enemy, and the structuring of Courses of Action (COAs). For example, key terrain, such as a bridge over an un-fordable river, or terrain that allows observation of the opposing forces’ line of advance, is likely to give a big military advantage to the force that holds it. Combining information about terrain features with hypotheses about enemy assets can lead to inferences about possible avenues of approach, areas that provide cover and concealment, areas that are vulnerable to enemy observation, or choke points. Key terrain identifies areas where intelligence collection effort should be focused. In addition, if force movements are observed, terrain features give additional information with respect to the intent of enemy forces that have been observed on the move, thus confirming or disconfirming hypotheses about enemy intent. Currently, intelligence officers manually combine terrain-based information, information about the tactical significance of certain terrain features as well as information regarding enemy assets and doctrine to form hypotheses about the disposition of enemy forces and enemy intent. In this paper, we present a set of algorithms and implemented tools for automating terrain based information fusion and inference. The products of automated terrain analysis are currently being validated using analysis of the same terrain produced by human intelligence officers.

author = {Robin Glinton and Sean R. Owens and Joseph Andrew Giampapa and Katia Sycara and Charles E. Grindle and C. Michael Lewis},
title = {Terrain-Based Information Fusion and Inference},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Information Fusion},
year = {2004},
month = {July},
keywords = {automatic terrain analysis, high-level information fusion, MCOO, IPB},
} 2017-09-13T10:43:56-04:00