Presented at The 2009 Air Force Agile Combat Support (ACS) Conference: Atlanta, GA, February 3, 2009. 23 pages.
Over the past decade the Collaborative Agent Design Research Center (CADRC) at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo) and its commercial arm CDM Technologies, Inc. (CDM) have developed a suite of information-centric software tools in support of military deployment and distribution processes. All of these tools feature agents that are capable of reasoning about data in the context provided by an internal information model. Together they represent an evolving suite of adaptive Knowledge Management Enterprise Services (KMES) that can be readily configured into a net-centric, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) based planning and decision-support toolset for a particular application domain. As a set of KMES tools the Integrated Computerized Deployment System (ICODES) is configured to support the movement of supplies in the military deployment and sustainment operational domain. The application focus is conveyance load-planning, including the staging of cargo in marshalling yards, assembly areas, and rail heads.
ICODES is an example of a new generation of information-centric military decision-support software tools that feature expert agents with automatic reasoning and analysis capabilities. This is made possible by an internal virtual representation (i.e., ontology) of the load-planning environment, in terms of conveyance and cargo characteristics and the complex relationships that constitute the context within which load-planning operations are performed. ICODES agents monitor the principal determinants of cargo stowage, including: the placement and segregation requirements for hazardous cargo items; the trim and stability requirements of the conveyance; the accessibility of stow areas; the correct placement of cargo items in respect to restricted areas and inter-cargo spacing tolerances; and, the accuracy of cargo characteristics (e.g., dimensions, weight, type, and identification codes) relative to standard cargo libraries and associated reference tables.
A critical requirement for the ICODES suite of load-planning services is the ability to grow to meet increasing needs. With an initial narrow focus ICODES was designated as the migration system for ship load-planning in 1996. However, as the user-base of ICODES increased so did the number of requests to support specialized problems and application domains that were not considered in the original design of the ICODES toolset. In November 2007, after an extensive evaluation of alternatives, ICODES was designated by USTRANSCOM’s Distribution Steering Group (DSG) to become the Single Load Planning Capability (SLPC) for all types of conveyances. Consequently, by 2011 ICODES Global Services (GS) is expected to provide planning and execution support for cargo movement by ship, rail and trucks, airlift, warehousing, staging, and other domains that require space planning and in-transit visibility capabilities. Beyond this, within a wider scope of domains, ICODES GS must also be architecturally ready to integrate additional capabilities or services, such as viewers tailored to specific operational needs, critical data feeds from external sources, and newly available capabilities such as smart tags and other emerging technologies.