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. KSCO, 15 th February 2012 Tom Klapiscak, John Ibbotson, David Mott, Dave Braines , Jitu Patel. Motivation. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


An Interoperable Framework for Distributed Coalition Planning The Collaborative Planning Model

An Interoperable Framework for Distributed Coalition Planning

The Collaborative Planning ModelKSCO, 15th February 2012

Tom Klapiscak, John Ibbotson, David Mott, Dave Braines, Jitu PatelIntent: The commander's interpretation of his mission, defining what is to be achieved in more detail

Mission: A high level specification of the military intent of the agent1MotivationEffective coalition planning requires that distributed human 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.Shared understanding of commaners intent, objectives, resources and constraints, as well as decisions made and justification for planning operations chosen or alternatives rejected.

Loss of shared understanding results in decisions that are inconsistent with the overall goals and constraints of the team.

The focus of this work is, how to buikd and support shared understandingh between teams who are engaged in plan development supported by their specialised planning tools.

Time pressures, geographical separation and cultural differences make this challenging.

Why not just make phase out these existing planning tools, and replace them with one monolithic, centrally developed, planning tool that caters for all the specialised needs of each functional unit? Well, this simply isnt feasible, for political, technical, resourcing reasons.2Proposed SolutionAdopt 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.

One of the primary motivations behind the CPMs development was this facilitation of interoperability, and it has a number of features that contribute to this goal:

Formal specification: helps to ameloriate ambiguity in communication automated detection of inconsistienciesother benenfits: reasoning, machine support, transparency

Layered designgeneral, abstract -> specialised domainsThe diagram here shows some of the layers of the CPM and some key concepts from each layer.Here we can see, unpinning the entire model is a vocabulary for the description of basic logic, general and collaborative problem solving.Extensions to this vocabulary can be made, allowing it to describe new types of collaborative problem solving processes as they are explored.Of course, the focus of which in work to date has been planning, and specifically military planning.The inherent extensibility of the model, additional allows iterative refinement to the vocabnulary as necessary important for this work!

Explicit encoding:Not just problem solving or planning concepts but can also explicitly capture intermediate information produced during the planning process.This includes potentially valuable information such as:rationale (the reasoning steps employed by deliberative agents including humans that led to them drawing their conclusions)

Rationale is A network of reasoning steps leading from premises and assumptions to conclusionsThe record of how a person, potentially assisted by automation, reached a conclusion

OLD:Provide a common and extensible representational framework for the communication of plans and planning processes.Facilitate interoperability between domain-specific tools through ontological alignment.

3Origins of the CPMInitiated in May 2005Fundamental research in network and information sciencesAn alliance between the US/UK Governments and an IBM-led consortium5-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 International Technology Alliance (ITA)Project 12: Semantic Integration and Collaborative PlanningThe CPM is based on:Established AI planning research (PLANET [3], I-N-O-V-A [4])SME ConsultationExtensive review of military doctrineThe CPM has been the subject of two previous empirical evaluations: In 2008 [5] and 2011 [6, 7]Both yielded valuable insights and encouraging results

Task 1: Establish mappings between the elements of multiple domain ontologies as a means of identifying semantically-equivalent sub-components (ontology alignment problem)Task 2: How to enable agents to anticipate peoples needs by extracting information from peoples actions and interactions while they are collaborating in planning and executing military missions

4CPM Transition ProjectName:CPM Interoperability EvaluationStarted:November 2011Partners:DSTL, NATO, NC3AObjectives: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.

Build upon these previous evaluations, demonstrating the CPMs potential in an operational context


OLD:Goal: Demonstrate the CPMs potential to support shared understanding in an operational context.Approach: Develop a proof-of-concept transformation procedure to align the data model of the CPM with an operationally-deployed toolWorking with the NC3AREWORD

5Tool for Operations Planning Functional Area Services

Suite of planning tools developed by the NC3A to support current NATO planning doctrineComprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD) [1]

Collaborative environment for plan development and knowledge capture

Existing Export facility: MS Office documents design to support commanders briefingMeaning is opaque to machinesDoes not support interoperability between tools

Operational Planning Tool

Provides causal, spatial, temporal and resource views of an operations design

Does not currently support inter-operability with other tools - Existing export functionality produces only an unstructured and incomplete representation of a plan.

Collaborative environment for:Provides a collaborative environment for analysts and planners to assemble plans and support information for an on-going campaign

Here we have some of the main planning object vocabuarly that features in a TOPFAS Operations design; actions, effects, decisive conditions, objectives, lines of operation and endstates.

Operations design [COPD]The development of an operations design is fundamental to operations planning. It represents the formulation of an overarching idea for the operation, based on a general estimate of the situation and the mission analysis, and embodies the commanders intent. The design guides the development of the CONOPS and detailed planning documents.

At the operational level, planning seeks to transform strategic direction into a scheduled series of integrated military actions, carried out by joint forces to achieve operational objectives efficiently and with acceptable risks. The aggregation of operational objectives contribute to the attainment of strategic objectives. 6Initial WorkDetermine suitable (possibly composite) CPM analogues for TOPFAS vocabularyIdentify areas of apparent semantic consonance/dissonanceInvestigation is based on our interpretation of informal definitions of TOPFAS vocabulary

Partial coverage of TOPFAS OPT Vocabulary:ObjectiveEnd StateAction/Task and EffectDecisive Conditions and Lines of Operation

Example Plan: OPT Visualisation

We demonstrate our initial mapping procedure using a simple operations design derived from TOPFAS training material.Here is an visualization of an example plan as shown in the Operations Planning Tool. On the left is depicted an example line of operation, describing a set of military actions that must be performed, their desired effects, and how these contribute to the sequential attainment of decisive conditions.

This line of operation culminates in the achievement of an operational objective, which is ultimately necessary for the attainment of some overall desired political endstate as depicted on the right.

TOO MUCH DETAIL:The plan shown here is a small part of a larger campaign, the desired policitcal endstate of which is the attainment of a sufficiently safe and secure environment to allow humanitatian operations and handover of security responsibilites.One component of this is the strategic objective to put in place an effective arms embargo.Shown on the left hand side is a Line of Operation, describing the sequence of conditions that must be met for the maritime component of this embargo to be put in place.

8Objective-Goal MappingCPM GoalA statement about the world held by an agent which the agent desires to be true [2]

TOPFAS ObjectiveA clearly defined and attainable goal to be achieved. [1]

Comparison of TOPFAS Objectives a


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