Management of C4I and M&S Data Standards with Modular OWL Ontologies
Diallo, Saikou Y.
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Standard information exchange data models (IEDMs), such as the Joint Consultation Command and Control IEDM (JC3IEDM) managed by the Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP) and the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) managed by the US Department of Homeland Security, often are expressed as XML Schema Definition (XSD) documents. This choice of model representation comes with the benefits of a widely adopted format and a well-supported XML toolset and libraries. Although XML, as a technology, has been an enabler in achieving model alignment and interoperability among C4I and M&S systems, several key issues have not been fully addressed. For instance, XML does not provide a standard means for representing semantics. This means that XML expressions generally cannot be interpreted by applications in a meaningful manner unless specific code has been added for this purpose. In addition, systems utilizing multiple IEDMs are faced with difficult mapping and model translation tasks that cannot easily be automated. Furthermore, the use of multiple IEDMs creates significant maintainability and scalability challenges associated with the use of the relevant standards and specifications. As the user-base of a data standard grows, the need for distributed management and extensibility becomes critical. Developer communities are driven to make extensions to the data models to support their domain- and system-specific requirements. This results in laborious, manual, often unsustainable extension-management processes. In particular, the MIP-JC3IEDM, SISO Military Scenario Definition Language (MSDL), and US Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) Order of Battle Service (OBS) XML specifications have growing user-bases, and while they share many concepts, no clear maintainable alignment has occurred among them. Although some efforts toward alignment across IEDMs have occurred, no standard, maintainable process or methodology for this has been proposed. This paper describes a framework for such a model management methodology that endorses the use of the Web Ontology Language (OWL) as the choice for model representation and embraces Semantic Web best practices. This framework shows how the "mappability" of various models can be explicitly expressed using OWL. Beyond the model mapping problem, also shown is how multiple standards can be related and aligned such that they leverage and build upon each other and also provide the basis for model execution—including SISO’s suite of standards and products. This is to include MSDL, the Coalition Battle Management Language (C-BML), JC3IEDM, OBS, and Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS).
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.Documents include Paper & Presentation.Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO) SIW Conference Paper
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