Earlier this month, I received the Department of Defense Request for Information (RFI) on the DoD Enterprise Information Web and a request to talk about how the semantic web can help DOD in particular, and perhaps the federal government on a broader scale as well.
Having recently completed a three month assignment at Binary Group to help bring semantic web standards and semantic technologies to various parts of the Department of Defense (DoD), I gained an increased appreciation and respect for the work of DoD and our service people. I learned more about their specific content and IT requirements and wanted to share some of my lessons learned with our readers.
He defined Resource Forest as a “hub and spoke” architecture that provides for a “non-meshed” infrastructure that greatly reduces the administration (at the tactical level) and coordination required when sharing information across multiple forest boundaries.
I decided to use my data science method to build a resource forest of COL Acevedo’s AKO resources. I cannot show you that because Army Knowledge Online, which is similar to Wikipedia and Intellipedia, restricts its contents to military personnel and their contractors.
Essentially, though, I used my data science method to assign well-defined Web addresses to samples of his AKO content (Word, PDF, Excel, and PowerPoint documents) and simulate putting integrated knowledge, services, and data in the cloud. My specific purpose was to show sample file indices as linked open data for integration across the network. It is not only about where you put the data, but how!
My data science method includes the Be Structured Architecture Methodology of Be Informed which is about two things:
The SOSE campaign is (1) working to develop an Army-wide approach to Battle Command and (2) Elements of a middle-ware operating system called System of Systems Common Operating Environment (SOSCOE) that might have broader applications.
As a middle ware, SOSCOE has the ability to connect software and different operating systems. For example, a SOSCOE-like screen might be configured to blend with Blue Force Tracker-technology and combine elements of each into a single platform.
So even though I could not access or show publicly an actual Battle Command situation, I knew that I could use software such as MindTouch for the knowledgebase, Excel for a small database, Spotfire for the interoperability interface platform (dashboard), and Be Informed for the middle-ware for dynamic case management of all of the aforementioned to simulate the application of semantic web standards and technologies.
The Spotfire Web Player of the Weapons System 2011 Dashboard shows a knowledgebase with 14 columns for 154 systems that was extracted from the Linked Data version of the Weapons System 2011 Document Knowledgebase, and a sample graphic showing the Army Weapons 2011 Contractors by State. The documentation of my work is found elsewhere.
Now imagine that this same thing was done for each of the 154 systems. So all of their information from concept-to-procurement-to-acquisition-to-retirement could also be made available and feeding live into the overall dashboard that I easily created in about one week, and viewable on the desktops and iPads of the Commander-in-Chief down to the warfighter in the field and everyone in between that had the security clearance for that information.
I think that would be a System of Systems that would make the US Army more efficient and transparent.