Framingham, MA, United States
Framingham, MA, United States

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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 978.26K | Year: 2014

The objective of this project is to evolve the RF device ontology developed in Phase I, design and implement a run time prototype system, develop a test environment and perform an evaluation of the approach developed in Phase I. Based upon the findings and success of Phase I, we propose to continue the work on the Dev2WALDO ontology, augment it with necessary concepts, design and develop a prototype of DeVISor and carry out evaluation and assessment of the ontology expressiveness in describing capabilities of RF devices. DeVISor will interact with applications that require knowledge of the available RF devices on the one side and RF devices themselves on the other side. DeVISor will be connected to the network via the APIs of the network operating system (e.g., WALDO). DeVISor will answer applications' queries about the availability, capabilities and status of the particular devices.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 95.02K | Year: 2013

VIStology, Northeastern University and BBN are proposing a standards-based solution to seamless insertion of new RF devices and capabilities into multifunction Electronic Warfare (EW)/Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) networks without re


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.99K | Year: 2014

Development of intelligence products, especially when HUMINT and OSINT are involved, requires sifting through enormous amounts of (mainly unstructured) information. Although SMATs are a great way of achieving progress, most of the SMATs that have been evaluated by the Social Science Board (SSB) thus far have initially fallen in the"poor"and"weak"categories. Thus it is clear that tools that support the development and especially the use of SMATs are needed. VIStology will develop a tool that will take in information represented in RDF and produce visual output that is meaningful to the analyst, called concept map. The problem to be addressed in this research is the transformation of RDF to concept maps so that the resulting concept map is relevant to a specific analyst"s question, includes the appropriate context, and is presented in a more abstract form than the original RDF so that it is easy to comprehend.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2012

An intelligence analyst"s job is to monitor a stream of incoming reports and sensor data for information relevant to a situation, detect the salient information, answer the commander"s priority intelligence requirements (PIRs) and distill the salient information into a concise estimate of what is currently going on, what is most likely to happen, and what is the most dangerous course of events that could happen next. The question we will be pursuing is the extent to which the detection of salient information can be captured algorithmically, so that computerized systems can augment and assist the analyst in capturing salient information. VIStology and Northeastern University"s goal in this project is to examine the context, activity and artifacts involved in the intelligence analyst"s task and to explore how they might be used to model the excitation of a conceptual network that can be used to derive a measure of information salience for incoming reports. We will then validate this model experimentally.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2013

It is expected that the US military forces will be facing many new, unexpected types of mission from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery (HA/DR). To be able to accomplish such missions, the military will require"resilient systems"of all kinds digital, electrical and mechanical. The development of such new systems requires new design tools that can support the designer in exploring solution spaces and analyzing the suitability of a specific solution for a specific mission or task, as well as for a class of potential future missions and tasks. Such a capability is referred to as"tradespace exploration". This project will develop a prototype of a tool to support the designer of a resilient system in allocating functionalities to either hardware or software. The tool will be based on the principles of optimization and will provide a rationalization for the particular selections of the allocations. The tool will utilize models expressed in both UML and in semantic languages, like OWL. The designer will be able to enter problem formulations, descriptions of functions, systems and components. Additionally, this project will analyze and formalize various allocation problems and investigate algorithms for specific problems. VIStology will be collaborating with Raytheon, especially in the development of use cases and scenarios, as well as in the evaluation of the tool.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2012

ABSTRACT: Recent years have seen many emergency response situations in which the US military has played an important role. These include Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans (2005), the devastating earthquake in Haiti (2010), and the tsunami and resulting nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan (2011,"Operation Tomodachi"). In all of these cases, US military forces have stepped in quickly to provide needed aid and support to rescue and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) missions. Responding to HA/DR situations requires a Common Operating Picture (COP) for situation awareness. Situation awareness involves the identification and monitoring of relationships among objects participating in an evolving situation. In general, tracking the relationship of every set of entities in a situation is intractable, since there are too many of them. Instead, a COP provides a visualization of the situation, usually by means of frequently or automatically updated geospatial map overlays that depict the events and entities at issue and the geospatial relations between them. A shared COP allows for distributed planning, tasking and execution of courses of action to respond to, recover from, prepare for and mitigate hazards to civilians and property due to some disaster. Our plan is to use semantic technologies, in the form of annotating resources in terms of an OWL ontology of entities, times, and places, in order to find, filter, merge, display and store information in HA/DR COPs. We will leverage an existing state of the art HA/DR COP for our experiments in this area. BENEFIT: If successful, this technology will facilitate the deployment, management, and after-action review of HA/DR COPs by allowing users to more easily find, filter, merge, display and store information in an HA/DR COP. The resulting technologies and techniques should be useful in other context in which a Common Operating Picture is required, such as in law enforcement or in quickly mounting short-term campaigns with a geospatial dimension, perhaps in marketing or financial services.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2012

System requirements elicitation is a time consuming process with an extremely high penalty for errors. Mistakes made in the requirements phase will cost 50 times more to fix while they are uncovered in the production phase as compared to fixing them in the requirements phase. VIStology and Northeastern University are proposing to develop an approach for supporting the requirements elicitation phase with computer tools. Our approach will include tool support for analyzing requirements represented in text, extracting information from text and representing it in a formal language with computer processable semantics, analyzing the formal representation of specifications, storing the formal representations for future extraction and comparison, and guiding the systems engineer who will be in the loop of requirements formalization and analysis. We will provide an initial prototype of the system that will proof the feasibility of the proposed approach. Moreover, we will provide an assessment of the usability and the efficiency of the approach via experimentation with Northeastern graduate students.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.96K | Year: 2013

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this Phase II is to develop a working prototype of the HADRian tool that can assist SOC (Sensing Operations Center) Operators, the persons responsible for the display of information within an EOC (Emergency Operations Center) COP (Common Operational Picture) during a Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) operation in providing information for the COP to support the EOC commander and Incident commander. The tool will allow the operator to make information accessible to the COP by leveraging metadata annotations describing the repository with respect to an ontology. The ontology provides a formal representation (OWL) of the conceptual domain. Repositories of information are annotated with respect to this ontology in order to enable the system to (1) Infer which repositories are relevant to a high level query (statement of information need), based on the situation at hand; (2) Formulate queries for each relevant repository that (partially) satisfy the information need expressed in the high level query; (3) Reason about the results returned by the queried relevant repositories in order to filter out irrelevant items: (4) Transform the remaining results so they can be displayed within a common COP. BENEFIT: It is desirable (although very difficult) to have the ability to adapt a COP (Common Operational Picture) application to include new information sources and to display the information therein in an effective manner for HA/DR decision makers, including Emergency Operations Center commanders and field responders. This kind of feature is not part of the currently available EOR systems. Our proposed solution is to capture adequate metadata about available repositories in a format that supports automated reasoning in order to support identifying relevant repositories automatically, filtering and transforming their data, and display the results, thus mitigating the problem. The necessary metadata annotation must be simpler and more efficient than developing custom software adapters for new metadata repositories. We anticipate that this technology will be useful in integrating novel information into COPs of many kinds; particularly, those used in Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief or emergency management operations. The benefit of this technology is the improved responsiveness of emergency responders, better and more timely decisions, and in the end, even saving of lives.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.95K | Year: 2010

In the Global War on Terror (GWOT) large amounts of data must be effectively analyzed in a timely manner in order to provide an accurate and up-to-date understanding of current and potential threats. This problem requires robust real-time knowledge management that can be placed in the hands of human analysts. At the forefront of research in this area is the recent emergence of Semantic Wikis – web-based collaborative knowledge applications based around semantic web technologies of knowledge representation and automated reasoning. We propose to design an advanced Semantic Wiki customized to handle the large amounts of data relevant to the GWOT. The solution will leverage VIStology’s expertise in ontology management, text processing, consistency checking and highly efficient automate reasoning over semantic knowledge structures. For Phase I we will implement a prototype based on our design that will demonstrate the feasibility of our proposed approach. This prototype will have integrated into it as core components a fast reasoning engine, a rule-based alert notification engine, a robust consistency checker and state-of-the-art text extraction algorithms. A key capability will permit users to define high-level rules describing data patterns that will be monitored in real-time with notifications being sent out immediately to the appropriate users by email, SMS, twitter or an alternative means at the user’s choice.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: It is anticipated that XML will heavily dominate the next generation of telemetry systems. The syntax of XML-based languages can be constrained by a schema that describes the structure of valid documents and allowable values of attributes using data typing facilities. However, even on the syntactical level, the schemas cannot express all dependencies between XML elements and attributes, both within a single document and across multiple documents. This greatly complicates the validation process of XML data used in testing, because the process cannot be fully automated with standard schema processors. VIStology is proposing a solution that is based on Semantic Web technologies and allows different vendors and system integrators to independently develop their own semantic validation rules. Moreover, conflicts detected by the rules can be resolved with support of a solver. BENEFIT: (1) Different vendors and system integrators can independently specify their own validation rules. (2) The rules are equipped with powerful semantics, which allows for specification of constraints that any XML schema language could ever offer. (3) The approach is not specific to a particular T & E standard, it can be augmented to support validation of any XML-based standard. (4) The solution is entirely standards-based and thus should be cheaper for the government acquisition and maintenance.

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