2. Computer and Information Sciences
The computer and information sciences address fundamental issues in understanding, formalizing, acquiring, representing, manipulating, and using information. The advanced systems, including the software engineering environments and new computational architectures, facilitated by this research will often be interactive, adaptive, sometimes distributed and/or autonomous and frequently characterized as intelligent. Based on the recommendations from an investment strategy meeting among senior scientists from ARO, ARL, RDECs, TRADOC, DUSA-OR, CAA, COE, and academia, research in the following areas was determined to be important to the Army:
(1) Theoretical computer science
(2) Formal methods for software engineering
(3) Software prototyping, development, and evolution
(4) Knowledge base/database systems
(5) Natural language processing
(6) Intelligent systems
b. Major Research Areas
Theoretical Computer Science
- Formal models underlying computing technology, optimization of I/O communication, new computing architectures, multi-processing, parallel systems and advanced architectures.
- Graph theoretic methods applied to parallel and distributed computation, models, and algorithms for the control of heterogeneous concurrent computing.
Formal Methods for Software Engineering
- Logics: formal logics for software engineering.
- Scalability: granularity and extensibility of formal methods.
- Software languages: specification languages, programming languages, interface languages.
Software Prototyping, Development, and Evolution
- Software engineering architectures: environments, tools, integrated tool sets.
- Graphical interfaces: multilevel displays for requirements elicitation, simulation, logic visualization.
- Software generation: invocation of formal methods, software reuse.
- Software evolution: change, merging, documentation.
- Software reliability: validation, verification.
Knowledge Base/Data Base Sciences
- Heterogeneous data structures: mediators, complex reasoning.
- Machine learning: methodologies for uncertainty, incompleteness, information recognition and content-based retrieval.
- Multi-modal information: synthesis of knowledge from Multi-modal resources.
- Query/interrogation languages: domain- specific languages.
Natural Language Processing
- Text: content-based retrieval and understanding.
- Speech: translation, understanding, and generation with dialogue.
c. Other Research Areas
Computer-based systems that process information and transfer data and analysis among various Army commanders and units are essential for military success. The computer science and software issues that arise in this context often require input from a number of subdisciplines of computer science, as well as from other disciplines. Multi-sensor fusion, multi-image fusion, image understanding, language processing, distributed interactive simulation, multi-variable and multi-resolution methods for terrain modeling, scalable parallel algorithms and algorithms for processing large-scale data are but a few of these areas. In these areas, computer and information sciences research is organized in a cross-cutting fashion to provide the expertise needed to accomplish the Army goal (rather than remain within traditional disciplinary boundaries).
d. Benefits of Research
The contribution of the computer and information sciences to a well-equipped strategic force capable of decisive victory in conflicts in the Information Age is important in the following areas:
- Digitized battlefield
- Distributed command and control
- Information processing
- Distributed interactive simulation
- Design and validation of software and of large software systems
- Adaptive, anticipative systems
- Intelligent systems
- Human/machine interface
- Intelligence augmentation of human-centered systems
- Battlefield management
The Army is able to build interactive modeling and animation systems such as JACK (see Figure V-7) because of progress in these areas.
Figure V-7. JACK, an interactive computer-based modeling and animation system for studying human capabilities/limitations. JACK enables effective complex-system and interface design, and simulation for performance assessment/training.