Strategy Development Assistant
The Strategy Development Assistant (SDA) is a knowledge-based system for
aiding Air Campaign Planning. Specifically, the SDA addresses the
problem of decomposing high-level objectives into more specific
objectives. It is one of Information
Sciences Institute's Loom-based
applications for DARPA's JFACC
The SDA provides suggested decompositions for (some) objectives in an
air campaign plan based on the current situation and high-level goals.
The goal is to provide guidance to a planner in the early phases of air
campaign plan development, when broad objectives such as "Stop invading
forces" and "Protect Lines of Communication" are being developed. The
SDA provides guidance based on good planning practices from the
strategies-to-tasks methodology of planning.
Source of Knowledge
The SDA uses knowledge of air campaign planning that is encoded in
templates that describe how to decompose plan objectives. This
knowledge was developed by following a theory of air campaign planning
obtained from an expert in this area.
Currently the SDA implements templates based on the JOUST theory of
strategy development by John Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Aegis Research.
Given the flexible nature of the SDA architecture, decomposition
templates based on other planning theories could also be developed.
The SDA is implemented using the Loom knowledge
representation language as its knowledge repository. The decomposition
templates are encoded in the Loom language and along with an ontology
oftheory planning and a domain theorry, form the knowledge-base for the
application. Additional code for the inference engine is also present
in the SDA server. A Java-based client can be invoked from the Mastermind plan editor. The
interface is described in the next section. An
overview of the architecture follows:
The interface to the SDA is used present plan decompositions to military
planners in an early phase of air campaign planning. The choice of
decompositions is template-driven, based on a set of underlying
assumptions. The interface details the assumptions, allows the user to
modify the values of the assumptions and thus captures the assumptions
underlying the plan. The SDA is a truly mixed-initiative planning
system. All elements of the interface design are geared towards giving
the user total control of the decisions taken in the decomposition
A document describing our design goals presents more details, and also explains the philosophy behind the interface.