Accelerating the Development of Small Unit Decision Making (ADSUDM)
Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research | Published January 8, 2015 - Deadline March 31, 2015
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is interested in receiving white papers and full proposals for developing technology in Small Unit Decision Making (SUDM) training systems for the US Marine Corps (USMC). Accelerating Development of Small Unit Decision Making (ADSUDM) has been approved as a new research opportunity under the Capable Manpower Pillar (CMP) Future Naval Capability (FNC). ADSUDM will deliver new or improved capabilities in the following three 3) areas:
- SUDM learning management,
- Situated, tailored, and automated simulation-based training and assessment, and
- Relevant tactical simulation training environments.
These capabilities may work independently and shall be able to interoperate as described below.
While military science on decision-making has matured over the past twenty years, few research efforts have focused on accelerating infantry decision-making at the small unit level. The Marine Corps defines "small unit" as company-level equivalents and below. ADSUDM will focus on dismounted infantry squad personnel and operations and leverage the work done by Ross, K. G., Phillips, J. K., Rivera, I. D., Brown, T. F., Smith, K. M., & Hale, K. S. (2012), Marine Corps maneuver squad leader mastery model.
The assessment of SUDM skills are largely subjective, with few Training and Readiness (T&R) standards devoted towards higher order SUDM skills -- e.g. tactical thinking. The majority of SUDM training is accomplished using traditional instructional methods -- e.g., classroom or field based training with instructors. Some additional training occurs outside of the classroom using fielded simulation-based training capabilities, but these are limited and manpower intensive. Moreover, when simulation-based training methods are used they are too often not situated to reflect the relevant operating environment and the specific needs of the Marine in training. To address these challenges and develop capabilities that can accelerate decision-making training for Marine Corps infantry personnel, research proposals for the following three (3) scientific and technologies areas are sought:
- Decision Making-Learning Management System (DM-LMS) - DM-LMS will be based on mastery models (e.g., Novice to Expert), associated measures of effectiveness (MOEs) and measures of performance (MOPs). It will be capable of tracking and planning Marine SUDM skills development and characterizing SUDM readiness.
- Simulation Tailored Training and Assessment (ST2A) -- ST2A will augment current Marine simulation-based training (e.g., Virtual Battlespace -- VBS) with appropriate automated best practices in instructional strategies (e.g., adjusting timing, sequence, skill level, pedagogy) based on mastery model requirements and dynamically assessed Marine proficiency.
- Digital Integrated Representation of Tactical Environment (DIRTE) -- DIRTE will provide tools for rapidly modeling, editing and adding contextual elements (e.g., buildings and content in various states) to geographic terrain data bases for simulation-based training systems.
This call for science and technology white papers and proposals focuses on the three technical areas described above -- DM-LMS, ST2A, and DIRTE. The objective of the technical work is to deliver knowledge products, software, and possibly hardware that can enhance SUDM training systems and processes for USMC company-level equivalents and below.
Proposals may address one, or more, technical areas and should discuss how capability effectiveness will be demonstrated and measured. ADSUDM development efforts should incrementally address functional and technical requirements, growing capability in each area over time. ADSUDM capabilities shall achieve Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Six (6) before being deemed suitable for transition. ADSUDM's DM-LMS, ST2A and DIRTE shall use for the exchange of information open public standards, DoD mandated standards (e.g., Sharable Content
Object Reference Model (SCORM) xAPI) and / or open, formally documented, interfaces as most appropriate. The government shall seek license free Government Purpose Rights on all developed software and models and unlimited data rights on related open model specifications and associated artifacts. Finally, the government will conduct an independent evaluation of all final products (i.e., using performers not involved in the proposed research).
DECISION MAKING LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS) is a USMC source for Training and Readiness data, and the target acquisition program for DM-LMS. There are no Training and Readiness decision-making modules associated with MCTIMS. DM-LMS will provide a set of SUDM-specific, mastery model-based, MCTIMS software modules that support Training and Readiness planning and assessment. The following DM-LMS science and technology solutions are sought:
- SUDM mastery model that is an open, documented, machine-readable, knowledge base suitable for enabling ADSUDM functional and automation objectives,
- Definitions for Marine SUDM Training and Readiness standards and measures of effectiveness (MOEs) and measures of performance (MOPs),
- Validated SUDM assessment measures,
- Generation of tailored, simulation-based training curriculum and instructional products for individual Marines and small units that link to SUDM assessment measures,
-Knowledge repository and information services module, providing open management, analytics, visualization, and communications services for ADSUDM-related data, and
- An ability to define and link Training and Readiness criteria to a mastery model.
SIMULATION TAILORED TRAINING AND ASSESSMENT
ST2A software must reduce overall instructor time and effort required to identify, prepare, conduct, evaluate and report SUDM simulation-based training. Virtual Battlespace (VBS) is a target simulation-based training system for ST2A technology. The final delivery shall be VBS3 compatible. Ideally, ST2A will also work with other simulation based training platforms. The following ST2A SUDM science and technology solutions are sought:
- Automatically parse and adaptively execute and assess Marine performance based on scenario tasking passed from DM-LMS,
- Generate and execute locally created simulation-based training,
- Automate pedagogy using SUDM instructional best practices in the areas of situated tutoring techniques, biometric measurement techniques, adaptations to generate scenarios that fit student needs, and algorithms to assess the effectiveness of ongoing simulation-based training,
- Automate non-invasive, unobtrusive, and near real-time training interventions that enhance SUDM skills assessment,
- Simplify creation of enhanced situated and tailored scenario terrain and cultural features and import of DIRTE generated terrain data bases,
- Generate after action reports (AAR) for trainer/instructor reviews and reporting to DM-LMS, and
- Delivery of a SUDM Instructional Best Practices Guide (SIBPG) covering training effectiveness evaluation.
DIGITAL INTEGRATED REPRESENTATION OF TACTICAL ENVIRONMENT
Today, Marines rely on government agencies or contractors to build their VBS Terrain Data Bases (TDB). A product from Bohemia, Visitor 4, is available for building terrain, but it is difficult for novices to use. DIRTE functional capabilities shall provide novice modelers with time saving, rapid and automated methods for:
- Terrain modeling and editing, using unclassified geospatial data, and
- Combining and embellishing natural and cultural features to support tailored and situated SUDM simulation based training scenario requirements. The user should be able to "sketch" to add, remove or modify cultural and terrain features. Ideally, when sketching the software applies smart constraints to ensure reasonable results are rapidly achieved even by a novice user. A detailed Instructor/User Guide shall be delivered with the DIRTE software.