2
The Information Infrastructure

INTRODUCTION

Success in modern warfare hinges on information superiority not only in surveillance and intelligence, but also in weapons targeting and guidance, navigation, force management, and logistics. The United States, if it must resort to combat to protect its interests, must have armed forces able to achieve and maintain this superiority anywhere in the world, including in the vicinity of an adversary's heartland. In achieving this superiority, the U.S. Navy must reach back to other Services and agencies for information, weld its combat units into a virtual entity of overwhelming power for independent operations, and interoperate with other service components, while relying only on wireless technologies for passing information among its mobile platforms. As the forward-deployed service operating without benefit of forward bases, the Navy particularly relies on remotely provided information support. By necessity, the Navy depends heavily on space systems for communications, navigation, and observation.

WARFIGHTING REQUIREMENTS

The Joint Chiefs of Staff's Vision 20101 recognizes the need for a military force to transmit and receive needed information from any point on the globe in a flexible, reconfigurable structure capable of rapidly adapting to changing tacti

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Shalikashvili, John, GEN, USA. 1996. Joint Vision 2010, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.



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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare 2 The Information Infrastructure INTRODUCTION Success in modern warfare hinges on information superiority not only in surveillance and intelligence, but also in weapons targeting and guidance, navigation, force management, and logistics. The United States, if it must resort to combat to protect its interests, must have armed forces able to achieve and maintain this superiority anywhere in the world, including in the vicinity of an adversary's heartland. In achieving this superiority, the U.S. Navy must reach back to other Services and agencies for information, weld its combat units into a virtual entity of overwhelming power for independent operations, and interoperate with other service components, while relying only on wireless technologies for passing information among its mobile platforms. As the forward-deployed service operating without benefit of forward bases, the Navy particularly relies on remotely provided information support. By necessity, the Navy depends heavily on space systems for communications, navigation, and observation. WARFIGHTING REQUIREMENTS The Joint Chiefs of Staff's Vision 20101 recognizes the need for a military force to transmit and receive needed information from any point on the globe in a flexible, reconfigurable structure capable of rapidly adapting to changing tacti 1   Shalikashvili, John, GEN, USA. 1996. Joint Vision 2010, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare cal environments. The information infrastructure must support these needs, while allowing force structures of arbitrary composition to be rapidly formed and fielded. Furthermore, the infrastructure must adapt to evolving organizational structures and surging requirements in times of crisis. The panel believes that the infrastructure must allow information to be distributed to and from anyone at any time: its architecture must not be constrained to support a force-structure (enterprise) hierarchy conceived a priori. Most importantly, the information and services provided to an end user through the infrastructure must be tailored to the user's needs and be relevant to the user's mission, without requiring people at the user's location to sort through volumes of data or images. In the panel's view, the warfighter requires an information infrastructure that: Provides robust and reliable service; Avoids exposing a user to detection and targeting; and Supports force structures of arbitrary composition both by moving information in any format from any source to any destination, and by providing information tailored to the user's needs. The year 2010 is a reasonable focus for the Joint Staff's Vision. The platforms, major national sensors, and weapons available then will be a mix of the platforms available now and those already defined but still in the development/acquisition pipeline. All three take a long time to develop, and, particularly in the case of platforms, stay in inventory for a long time after initial fielding. Because information system technology changes very rapidly, and because information systems can, in principle, be introduced quickly, major changes in warfighting capabilities between now and 2010 will likely depend on new information systems that support the vision. The period from 2010 to 2035 will likely see the arrival of significant numbers of new sensors and weapons, and the replacement of many naval platforms. It is harder to predict the extent to which new naval platforms will differ radically from those now in service or being developed, but it seems likely that warfighting architectures will continue to evolve in the direction of over-the-horizon fires, information-hungry weapons, and the remote sensors and information systems that they require for their support. Fortunately, the technologies of information systems, particularly satellite communications, on which warfighting architectures must rely, can be expected to advance at an even more rapid pace than the weapon systems themselves (see Appendix B). Translating operational requirements into information infrastructure characteristics leads to three principles. First, the infrastructure must be based on an integrated, scalable, fully distributed processing and transport environment. It must be dynamically adaptive, self-configuring, robust, secure, and nonexploit-

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare able. It must be capable of automatically providing tailored information when and where needed. Second, the processing environment must provide intelligent software agents, hosted on heterogeneous computers fully interconnected by the transport environment, that help get the right information to each user. Third, the transport requirement must be a network of networks capable of intelligent, adaptive routing of information in any format. The links must be robust and unexploitable, and it is expected that satellite communications will be extensively used for many links. FULFILLING REQUIREMENTS Are the components of this recommended infrastructure currently available? Some components that are not yet available for system integration are listed below in the section titled ''Technology Investments." Although the discussion above presents the required information infrastructure characteristics in approximate order of descending difficulty, they are examined below in the reverse order, from those that are relatively easy to develop to those that are the most difficult. Transport Environment The technological issues concerning the movement of information from one node to another are well understood, and technology is available to meet the warfighter's requirements. Robust, Unexploitable Links Because the naval forces are making more and more use of over-the-horizon targeting, cooperative engagements, just-in-time logistics, and so on, they need to be sure that links are available without interruption due to natural causes or enemy actions. They must be unexploitable, that is, immune to platform detection localization, targeting, interception of message content, and insertion of deceptive information. With the continuing fall in the cost of computer components, it is possible to demand cryptographic security in the transport mechanism and significantly reduce the hazards of exploitation of message content and insertion of deceptive information. Elimination of detection and targeting is possible but more expensive; the available techniques are spectrum spreading and use of directional beams. As a general rule it is not necessary to eliminate completely the signature of a platform's links; it is only necessary to make that signature no easier to exploit than the platform's other signatures. The cost of spectrum spreading has been the major barrier to its wider use,

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare but that cost is decreasing due to advances in the manufacture of computer components. The use of spread spectrum in commercial systems is growing. The components used in electronically steered antennas are more specialized, and DOD action may be needed to motivate the commercial sector to produce a stream of the necessary components. The same two techniques—spreading and use of directionality—also confer jam resistance. Intelligent Adaptive Routing of Information in any Format Routing sends information from source to destination over available links. Military systems need adaptive routing because traffic demands are highly variable over time and because link availability and capacity vary rapidly due to platform motion and combat damage. The ability to send information from any source to any destination is an essential feature of "plug-and-play" warfare architectures. We see in the commercial world intelligent, adaptive routing both in computer networks and in telephone networks. We also see that networks can generally carry any information, provided that it is suitably wrapped. It is the panel's view that it should not be too hard to meet the warfighter's need with currently available technology. Military tactical networks, however, often have fixed routing, and many can carry only precisely formatted messages. The Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) was conceived of over 25 years ago at a time when physically small computers were not capable of dynamic routing and store-and-forward messaging. It was reasonable then to envision it as a time-division-multiplex system with relatively fixed slots, and the JTIDS program cannot be blamed for co-mingling levels of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) model in an era before that model existed. Today, there is no reason for the Navy not to move aggressively toward adaptive routing. As an interim measure, part of the capacity of the JTIDS network could be reserved for an adaptive router of Internet protocol (IP)-like packets. The cooperative engagement capability (CEC) defense dissemination system (DDS), a robust closed system with adaptive routing within the system, cannot carry arbitrary packets to an arbitrary destination within a participating platform. Again, some capacity should be reserved for an IP-like router. For those nodes that are multiply connected, adaptive routing provides robustness beyond that provided by the individual links. Network of Networks Interconnection of networks, each capable of carrying information in any form to any destination within the network, supports force structures of arbitrary

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare composition. Heterogeneous networks rely on multiple-hop satellite links and fiber-optic cables, as well as open architecture using commercial protocols and standards. Internetworking is so commonly practiced in the commercial world that we sometimes forget that the Navy does not fully Internetwork in its tactical infrastructure. A specialized converter translates between Link 11 and Link 16 formats, but there is no way to address an arbitrary packet from outside the network to a member. If the intelligent adaptive routers recommended in the previous subsection were implemented, Internetworking would be facilitated. Information Services The transport network connects nodes that together perform the services needed to fulfill the warfighter's requirement for information tailored to users' needs. The panel's description of the processing environment identifies four important characteristics of the environment. Hosted on Distributed Heterogeneous Computers Unless the required information services can be provided by distributed networks of heterogeneous computers, the Navy will have to continue requiring uniform "standard" computers, a policy that condemns the Navy to lag the state of the art, makes upgrades appear unaffordable, and fails to recognize platform-specific requirements. The Internet would not have grown if every participant had to own a "standard" computer or even a "standard" operating system. The Navy should learn from this model. Clearly, the requisite technology is commercially available. Provided by Intelligent Software Agents In the "Warfighting Requirements" section above, the panel cited the warfighter's need for an information infrastructure that provided information tailored to users' needs. The panel believes that this will be one of the major challenges of the coming decades. Great progress was made in the 1980s in making high-performance computing available in small, affordable packages, and the panel expects this progress to continue. The 1990s saw an explosion of Internetworking with great progress in integration, interoperability, and collaboration through the use of open architectures, protocols, and standards. The Army seems committed to these architectures. However, these technologies can cause an information glut. We will need the capability to assemble voluminous information in a reasonable way for a particular user and to make inferences from the assembled set. Meeting the warfighter's need for tailoring of information can be accom-

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare plished through the use of intelligent software agents2 (ISAs) that are aware of a user's situation and needs, will gather the information that will fulfill these needs, and will provide the information in a convenient form, all without requiring a specific request from the user. Because of the distributed nature of the architecture, these agents can reside at multiple locations, optimized for platform and transport considerations. For example, if there are many users with different needs located on large platforms, then it may be convenient to have a single broadcast with agents at each user's location plucking the information relevant to that user from the broad-cast. Conversely, if the users are dismounted Marines, the agent for each user might reside on a computer located on a large platform—a communications channel would be dedicated to the user, and the user would need to carry only a radio and a rich human-computer interface. Intelligent software agents can also perform format translation, providing an alternative to the present system wherein message formats are rigidly standardized, standards are modified at a glacial pace, and each change in standard engenders expensive software redevelopment. Because they are migratory, a node that does not have the capability to "understand" a message can acquire the capability over the infrastructure. The need for intelligent software agents to perform data mining exists in the commercial as well as in the military sphere. Although there may be considerably synergy in inference engines and system-building tools, it is not clear that commercial products will meet naval needs. Integrated and Scalable Integration and scalability fulfill the warfighter's requirement to support force structures of arbitrary composition. Capable of Automatically Providing Tailored Information When and Where Needed This capability can be provided by the combination of intelligent software agents distributed among nodes and the transport environment that interconnects the nodes. However, integration implies that the agent understands more than the local situation and can adapt its behavior to changing needs. 2   A software agent provides a service or function on behalf of its owner; an intelligent software agent is likely to be autonomous, goal directed, migratory, and able to create other entities. An example of a software agent is a filter that processes mail, or a newswire, and presents to its owner only that information likely to be of interest. Whether an agent would be considered intelligent is likely to hinge on the degree of specificity with which it must be instructed.

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare Dynamic, Adaptive, Self-configuring, Robust, Secure, and Nonexploitable Dynamic, adaptive, and self-configuring systems are enabled by the adaptive routers. Information infrastructure is robust for two reasons: (1) links are made as robust as is economically feasible, and (2) most nodes are multiply connected, with the adaptive network automatically reconfiguring to take advantage of uninterrupted links. Security and nonexploitability result both from the use of waveforms that resist jamming, others that enable identification and geolocation, and where appropriate, from the use of directionality that resists both. Adaptive routing can ameliorate some of the difficulties arising in systems with directional links. Security and nonexploitability also are enhanced by cryptography, which prevents unwanted extraction of information from, and insertion of false information into, the information infrastructure. However, the integrity of information must be protected from flaws and corrupt information accidentally or deliberately introduced into the infrastructure before it was fully constituted. Intelligent software agents could possibly help detect these possible sources of damage, isolate them, and reconfigure the infrastructure, but the technology does not exist today. Implementation Implementation of the envisioned tactical information infrastructure will require policy actions, system acquisitions, and technology investments. Policy Actions Needed policy actions include the following: Commitment to information superiority through adequate provision of resources, timely incorporation of innovation, strong defense of our information and information systems, and preparations to degrade an adversary's information and information systems; Adoption of commercial standards and equipment, and adaptation of naval practices accordingly; Standardization at the proper level, e.g., routing wrappers, and the use of software radios and ISAs to permit introduction of new waveforms, formats, and services; and Exploitation of the organizational flexibility arising from a powerful information infrastructure.

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare Committing to Information Superiority The United States military now enjoys a substantial information advantage over potential opponents. Information dominance was a key factor in attaining victory in the Kuwait theater of operations while sustaining very low casualties. We must be careful not to let this crucial advantage slip away. As force levels shrink and as precision weapons permit victory with smaller forces, the fraction of the defense budget devoted to information would be expected to increase. The panel observes, however, that the ratio has remained fixed. A mechanism is needed to rebalance investments in information, platforms, and weapons in terms of the new warfighting architectures. Lacking such a mechanism, the likely outcome will be that next year's budget share will be based on the past year's and that sunset and sunrise systems will be drawn down together. We could lose our advantage through complacent acceptance of the traditional delays in introducing military innovations. Major military systems often require 25 years from conception to full deployment; computer systems become obsolete in a tenth of that time. An agile opponent could deploy systems with state-of-the-art commercial technology while we were using systems of much lower performance. As the military adopts open architectures, it will become technically easier to upgrade systems, but procurement habits change slowly. These upgrades can be accomplished through advanced concept technology demonstrations (ACTDs) with a very abbreviated development and evaluation cycle. Secretary Perry recently noted that "full implementation of legislative and regulatory changes enacted two years ago will allow the department to save literally billions of dollars as well as to rapidly incorporate cutting-edge technology into the military's weapons systems."3 Because information systems are key to U.S. warfighting capabilities, we must defend them against enemies seeking to deprive us of our advantage. The panel pointed out above the requirement that information systems be robust, but there are other actions that need to be taken, including training information system operators to be alert to the possibility of attack and to know how to reconfigure networks and to continually probe our own systems for vulnerabilities. Conversely, we should be prepared to degrade an adversary's information systems through conventional, electronic, and cyberspace warfare. The maintenance of information superiority in face of the threat of enemy information operations will require skilled and motivated people. However, the panel is aware that when the Defense Intelligence Service Agency (DISA) and Fleet Information Warfare Center (FIWC) attempt to penetrate military computer 3   Perry, William J. 1996. "Defense in an Age of Hope," Foreign Affairs , 75(6): 64-79.

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare networks, they usually succeed and are seldom detected, even when they use simple, well-known, penetration methods. The Navy is introducing courses to increase the skill level of information system operators, administrators, and security officers, but the success of this approach hinges on the availability of high-quality people in both enlisted and officer pipelines. Unfortunately, even though warfare is becoming more information-centered, the people who make it possible are still at a disadvantage in competing for promotion with people in traditional warfare specialties. When RADM Bell, a submariner, became Director of Naval Communications, he considered it a career negative, stating, "The volume entitled 'Famous Naval Communicators' is very slim." Unless naval personnel well skilled in the information technologies are treated with respect and have clear paths for career advancement, they will defect to the civilian sector where their skills are in high demand. Adopting and Adapting Commercial interests will continue to drive the development of most information technologies, and the Navy must be prepared to accommodate rapid changes in the direction that commercial capabilities evolve by adopting commercial technologies and equipment and adapting naval practices and systems to incorporate them. Although many developers of military information system claim that they are using COTS products, closer inspection often reveals that they have adapted the commercial product. Adaptation is markedly less desirable than adoption because in upgrading products commercial suppliers protect customers who have adopted previous generations, while a naval customer who has frozen on an earlier version and adapted it to his needs will lose the benefit of product upgrades and may end up with the burden of maintaining the system. Instead of adapting COTS systems to naval practices, the Navy should lean toward adopting commercial products and adapting the naval processes that use them. Standardizing Selectively The folly of attempting service-wide standardization on a single model of a computer is now well understood, but there are some things that need to be standardized within the tactical infrastructure. The panel believes that a standard way of indicating information sources and destinations is needed, although ISAs at various locations could deduce additional destinations toward them. Obviously waveforms at both ends of a link need to be identical, but that waveform can be adapted to conditions through software radios. Agreement on the meaning of transmitted data is clearly required, but alternatives to the present practice of promulgating standard software suites that are changed infrequently should be investigated. Precedents exist in commercial

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare practice: a node can acquire over the network "applets" to perform a service not native to that node. A tactical information infrastructure with ISAs should be able to accommodate new formats and services almost as easily. Ensuring Organizational Flexibility Supporting force structures of arbitrary composition will require considerable coordination at the execution level even though some of the command structures of executing units may be absent. Implementers of the infrastructure should avoid the error of enshrining the current military organization chart in the architecture. Experience in the business world demonstrates that rich information infrastructures lead to changes in the organization chart. While the armed forces will reorganize at their own pace, the infrastructure must not be an impediment to reorganization. System Acquisitions Four of the elements of the tactical information infrastructure—adaptive routers, robust links, relay proliferation, and open systems—are sufficiently mature for acquisition, given adequate budgets and policies. Adaptive Routers Although control algorithms better than those currently available may be desired, it is not too early to plan the acquisition of adaptive routers and choose a wrapper format. Adoption of other than a commercially successful format would require very compelling reasons. Much can be done now in acquiring components of the transport environment. Robust Links The three major options for robust military-only links are, in descending order of capacity and robustness, extremely high frequency (EHF) as it will evolve in MILSTAR II and successors, Link 16, and very high frequency (VHF)/UHF software radios. The CEC DDS is also a robust, high-capacity system, but the panel doubts that it will proliferate outside the Navy. Lightweight, deployable EHF terminals have been developed and should be acquired as soon as compatibility with future processing relay satellites is assured. The Navy is committed to Link 16, although the $1 million price of the JTIDS terminal and the $500,000 price of its multifunction information distribution system (MIDS) successor is slowing deployment. It would deserve wider deployment if it could be made a more open system, if terminal prices could be reduced, and if its frequency spectrum could be protected from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare imposed restrictions. The software radios offer robust low-data-rate communication. Although they probably will be initially programmed to the single-channel ground-to-air radio system (SINCGARS) waveform for backwards compatibility, their programmability can be exploited in adaptive architectures. Open systems architectures enable the same encryption technology to be used in many applications and thereby increase production volume and lower prices. Relay Proliferation System robustness derives not only from robust links but also from a proliferation of links. In addition to the military-only relay satellites, commercial relay satellites, including new low-altitude systems, will provide additional links. The two leading acquisition issues are terminals and antennas for multiple links and whether additional military-only relay platforms should be acquired. Tri-band terminals have been developed that can operate in either the commercial C and Ku satellite communication bands or the military X band. Ships, in particular, need multibeam antennas capable of maintaining several such links simultaneously, as well as several dedicated common data link (CDL) sensor links. UAVs offer additional military-only relay capacity. The panel urges that any new military relay platform be equipped with routers functionally equivalent to those found at system nodes, rather than predesignating the services that each class of relay platform would offer. Open Systems Actions should be taken now to put ports on such closed systems as JTIDS on CEC DDS for router access throughout the infrastructure. The concept of separating the message content from the means of transmission implicit in the variable message format (VMF) that the Army applies to its use of software radios should be embraced by the Navy. Technology Investments Although some information infrastructure elements are ready for acquisition, technology challenges remain in providing the following: Components for robust links; Means to adopt appropriate commercial information technology without assuming poorly understood risks; Architectural integration of heterogeneous systems, including adaptive, flexible human-computer interfaces and appropriate network-of-network protocols;

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare Adaptive transport protocols, including incorporation of appropriate commercial Internetwork protocols; and Means to develop intelligent software agents, including those for knowledge representation and intelligent action. The panel believes that the two areas particularly requiring near-future DOD technology investment are the information assurance aspects of risk management, ISAs, and system integration. Components for Robust Links To meet the need identified above for adaptive multibeam antennas suitable for naval platforms, a number of technology-base programs have been proposed, but none has been adequately funded. Links, whether wireless or cable, require cryptographic devices to prevent exploitation and deception. Commercial interest in electronic commerce has motivated the development of commercial cryptography with good products that will likely improve. Policy, however, gives the National Security Agency (NSA) total authority over the encryption of national security information. The heart of a cryptographic system is its key generator. The NSA has developed a low-cost, computer-compatible card (Fortezza) incorporating approved key-generation algorithms. However, the Fortezza card itself must be imbedded in security services software, which has not been developed. If the Fortezza card were to incorporate the interfaces of the commercial software cryptography systems, the DOD would be relieved of the burden of maintaining and improving security services software but would still maintain control of key generation and distribution. Means for Adoption of Commercial Technologies Without Assuming Poorly Understood Risks Warfighting systems require a high degree of assurance, higher than that provided by most commercial systems. In our desire to exploit commercial technology, we must not introduce security hazards. The panel identified six candidates for DOD investment; none of them is Navy-unique. Four candidates can be classified as information service elements: Detection of flaws, corruption of information, and information warfare attacks; Building of assured systems from insecure components; Automatic fault detection, reconfiguration, and load balancing; and Dynamic security policy dissemination, arbitration, and enforcement.

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare These candidates, and particularly the second, which concerns composition, reflect the fact that commercial products may not be individually strong, and that the panel's recommended policy of adopting products and adapting the way naval forces use them requires fixing this deficiency at the system level, rather than trying to modify the commercial products. Two candidates pertaining to the transport infrastructure arise from the desire to push the open systems architecture as far as possible for use in combat. Although breaking the barriers between stovepipes reduces average delays, it is necessary to understand how to respect deadlines on time-critical functions. Therefore, the panel recommends investment in the following: Dynamic resource management, and Meeting deadlines. The inevitable inclusion of commercial links and services in the DOD's information architecture requires assurance of their availability in times of stress. Both technical approaches (e.g., dynamic routing) and policy action (e.g., becoming an anchor tenant on commercial systems) will likely be needed. Network Integration A vibrant commercial network integration industry already exists, but some effort will be needed to integrate legacy military networks. Establishing gateways is an obvious solution, but better methods should be sought. Adaptive Transport Protocols The panel's instinct is that the DOD should follow the commercial mainstream protocols, but it recognizes the need to investigate their suitability for naval force needs. For example, most dynamic routing protocols assume that while information traffic may vary considerably, the switching nodes move seldom or never and that link failures are uncorrelated with each other and with node outages. Intelligent Software Agents Intelligent service application software agents must provide tailored, human-centered data acquisition and processing, data fusion, and information generation and dissemination to users. These agents act to deliver processed, synoptic information rather than volumes of data and images. A function such agents serve is rapid search and discovery of geographic knowledge. The basis for such search is often geographic location. The object is to retrieve all data and information concerning a place. These data and information must be retrieved and

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Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 3 Information in Warfare organized into a form from which the user can effectively and efficiently extract required information. The service application software agents collaborate with other software agents to achieve general goals set by users, and based on user profiling, generate pertinent situation changes that may be of interest to the user. The agents support automatic, dynamic, adaptive allocation of transport and processing resources, and replicate as necessary for efficiency and to ensure continuity of services provided to the user. Intelligent application software agents must provide an array of functions appropriate to the user's mission and situation, and exchange information and status with other application software agents to provide integrated yet distributed execution of requested user services. These agents automatically select and perform their functions depending on specific user requirements and profiled user interest areas. The agents provide discovery and integration of text, tabular and geospatial data from multiple, heterogeneous databases, broker between other agents for sharing of information, and negotiate with service agents to establish appropriate network and resource allocations to achieve their goals. These agents are adaptive, in that they profile user needs for information such as measurements, targets, maps, changes in areas, and models against direct user input, past user requirements, and an understanding of user mission, status, and intentions. Although successful examples of both types of agent exist, there is general agreement that more investment to strengthen the technology base is needed before robust agents can be routinely constructed. This is not trivial. As the nation attempts to integrate DOD and commercial geospatial data, many important questions remain open. Needed technologies include: Universal language and computational models for declaring agents, Representation technology for knowledge and system resources, Algorithms and protocols for agent management and interagent negotiation and information exchange, and Automated learning and user-profiling techniques. Because of commercial interest, DOD need not pay the entire bill, but the pattern in the past has been one of DOD investment in high-risk developments and commercial investment in turning the successful developments into products. Even if this pattern is broken, some DOD investment is needed in domain-specific developments.