Valued information at the right time (VIRT): why less volume is more value in hastily formed networks
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Defense and homeland security leaders have focused recently on the problems of fielding networks to enable rapid decision-making and agile responses to various crises. Mostly, they have concentrated on the lowest levels of networks, namely the hardware and software to enable bits to flow from senders to reveivers. However, most crises require a different approach, one that emphasizes the highest levels of network design. At these levels, the problems we face are: Who needs What information, and How does that information Find them? In addition, because people in crises have so little time, we must also answer this question: How do we assure receivers are not glutted by a deluge of low-value data and consumed by attendant low-level tasks? Our answers to these questions employ dynamic context and operator requirement to assure high value information flows quickly where it's needed and is processed promptly by the recipients. We call this approach Valued Informaton at the Right Time (VIRT). Initial studies have shown that this approach reduces the volume of bits by several orders of magnitude. It also raises the productivity of every operator enormously by assuring each can give immediate attention to truly valued information. A VIRT perspective leads us to see networks as information supply chains. Well-designed supply chains will dramatically improve the performance of hastily formed networks (HFNs).
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