Command and Control

Under Air Force contract in the area of dynamic planning and scheduling, GCAS is designing an interactive and continuous planning system for Air Operations Planning. The system architecture is based on the Logic Modeling paradigm. This approach allows us to design a very flexible planning architecture where planning processes can be executed at different levels of abstraction concurrently. This means that several threads of planning can be executed at the same time, one for each level of authority. Another advantage of this approach is that it naturally takes into accounts multi-level objectives together with their deadlines and priorities in a collaborative way. In addition, it also takes into account assumptions and external factors in the planning and replanning processes.

The design is based on the Aerospace Operations Center Operational Procedures that:

  • Supports horizontal and vertical integration methods thus providing centralized planning and decentralized execution.
  • Provides each user of the system a Logic Model view of the mission. This view can be zoomed-in, zoomed-out depending on the user’s access rights.

The system architecture design meets two sets of requirements. First, the system is able to:

  1. Continuously and dynamically plan/replan to meet a set of established objectives,
  2. Consider and adapt to real-time information updates in its planning/replanning,
  3. Consider competing and changing priorities, and
  4. Account for changes in the status of resources.

Second, the system is able to take into account multi-level, collaborative objectives together with their deadlines, and assumptions and external factors in planning/replanning.

The real-time information updates includes changes in the status of resources, additional or revised mission objectives, revised priorities of objectives or target lists in the process of planning and replanning. Plans are continuously generated and adapted by a Planning/Replanning module that lies at the heart of the planning system. The Planning/Replanning module is designed in such a way that planning is de-coupled from scheduling and they interact with each other in either a master-slave or a peer-to-peer manner. Such decoupling is expected to improve efficiency in plan generation and flexibility in resource allocation. With a User Interface module, the planning system allows users to interact with the Planning/Replanning module in order to direct plan generation, monitor plan execution, and update information at different levels of operations. Several knowledge representation languages, including goal specification language, action and task representation languages, and a domain knowledge language are being developed for use in building a planning system.

The resulting system is capable of supporting centralized planning and decentralized execution.

Commercial Applications:

The interactive and dynamic planning techniques at the center of this project have widespread relevance in military, intelligence and civilian organizations. Immediately expected applications of the product are in Air Operations Planning, in enhancing Air & Space Operation centers and Navy Planning Yards, Marine Mammal Mitigation Mission Planning. More broadly, potential users include Federal, State and City governments, traffic and airline management concerns, computer network service providers, and healthcare services. Another potential market is in the Enterprise Resource Planning arena for large and small corporations that operate in competitive markets that require fast adaptation to new situations. It is also expected that the solution will have application in the field of complex project and program management.