DSS News 
                    D. J. Power, Editor 
              April 27, 2003 -- Vol. 4, No. 9 
       A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM 


Call for Papers: Special issue of DSS Journal on Web-based
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* Ask Dan! - Report from Minnowbrook 
* What's New at DSSResources.COM 
* DSS News Releases 


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Ask Dan!

Report from Minnowbrook
by Dan Power

From April 15-18, 2003 I had the opportunity to attend the Information 
Institute Decision Science Workshop at the Minnowbrook Adirondeck 
Conference Center in New York. The Information Institute is a virtual, 
collaborative research environment concentrating on Information Science 
and Technology. The Information Institute consists of universities 
allied with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information 
Directorate at the Rome, NY research site and at the Wright Patterson 
Air Force Base research site, Dayton, OH. The Information Directorate is 
the Air Force Research Laboratory component responsible for command, 
control, communication, computers and intelligence (C4I) research and 

Jerry Dussault, the workshop coordinator, gave me permission to report 
about the workshop. Thirty two attendees converged on Minnowbrook Lodge 
Tuesday morning.  Most of the attendees were from the Air Force Research 
Lab Information Directorate, but nine attendees were from contractor 
organizations and universities. The intent of the workshop was to 
identify potential research and development investment opportunities 
that could help in predicting the behaviors of individuals and military 
organizations to support Predictive Battlespace Awareness (PBA) and 
Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) decision making. The 
emphasis was on exploring advanced applications of modeling and 
simulation for decision support. 

We met in three working groups to brainstorm and discuss R&D needs in 
the 3-10 year time frame. Our Wednesday workgroups focused on different, 
but related topics associated with behavioral modeling and using 
simulation and visualization technologies in battlespace planning and 
management. On Thursday, all 3 working groups focused on Course of 
Action (COA) development, analysis and selection processes. We tried to 
identify approaches to achieve desired capabilities, technical challeges 
and R&D needs.

Each group had a slightly different perspective on Course of Action 
decision support. Groups explored a variety of topics including 
"constraint-aware" continuous course of action planning, team decision 
making aids, intelligent critics, an automated approach for generating 
COAs, computerized elicitation of values, aggregation of data and 
situation awareness, modeling and simulation relevant to Effects-Based 
Operations (EBO) and PBA, and model validation issues. 

Most of the workshop discussion was on model-driven DSS for planning, 
but the group seemed to agree that the next generation decision support 
user interface for COA planning should be the same as the operational 
data-driven decision support user interface for COA monitoring and 
control. Some discussion of using knowledge and document-driven decision 
support for COA planning also occurred.

The workshop built on ongoing efforts to map the "way ahead" for 
advanced, next generation decision support for Joint Task Force
Commander and/or Joint Force Air Component Commander decision making. 
Over the past 20 years, many decision support tools have been built to 
support operations and planning decision making in the various services, 
including tools for air campaign plan development and for critiquing air 
campaign plans. It appears that the next generation of decision support 
will need to improve the efficiency of decision making and planning, 
provide more task visualization, and increase the integration of 
decision and planning activities with real-time data from many diverse 

The workshop was a positive experience and I want to thank John 
Graniero, Director of the Information Institute, for inviting me. Both 
John and Nort Fowler, Chief Scientist of AFRL/IF, attended the workshop 
and helped me understand acronyms like COA, PBA and EBO. Overall, I met 
many great folks at Minnowbrook. Thanks. 

DSS News readers are encouraged to suggest specific research directions 
or technical approaches that need to be pursued to develop next 
generation Battlespace Decision Support. Faculty and contractors 
interested in this research area are encouraged to visit the website of 
the Information Institute of the AFRL Information Directorate at 

For 10 weeks this coming summer, I will be working as a Visiting Faculty 
Researcher with the Information Institute at Wright Patterson Air Force 
base in Dayton, OH. The current plan is to publish DSS News on schedule 
every 2 weeks. My Ask Dan! columns may focus more on modeling and 
simulation for planning and on computerized elicitation of values in an 
effort to build on my summer research, but feel free to send other 
questions that would be of general interest.

This summer I'm also planning a quick trip to Ustron, Poland for the 
International Society for Decision Support Systems 
( conference July 13-16 and a 2 day 
visit to Tampa, FL. for AMCIS 2003 ( on August 4-6.


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What's New at DSSResources.COM 

04/25/2003 Posted Marco, D., "IT Portfolio Management". 
Check the articles page.


DSS News Releases - April 14 to April 24, 2003

04/24/2003 Crystal Decisions delivers enterprise reporting and analysis 
for Visual Studio .NET 2003 and Microsoft Windows Server 2003. 

04/23/2003 J.D. Edwards introduces new business modeling tool for 
manufacturers and distributors; supply chain business modeler reduces 
implementation and integration time.

04/22/2003 Comshare(R) and Business Objects partner to deliver 
integrated performance management solutions.

04/22/2003 Honeywell installs AXCESS I.D. technology for military base 
entry to provide real time personnel and vehicle I.D. while vehicle is 

04/22/2003 Appian and U.S. Army win DCI's 'Portal Excellence' award. 

04/22/2003 Kubi software ships Kubi client; delivers on the promise of 

04/21/2003 SGI delivers the lowest-priced advanced visualization 

04/21/2003 New York City Department of Education cuts invoice processing 
time by 75 percent, gains big savings with Esker DeliveryWare platform. 

04/21/2003 OGC releases request for comment for proposed location 
services specification.

04/21/2003 MetLife develops web-based life insurance benchmarking tool 
for employers. 

04/18/2003 Timberline introduces bid management software.

04/17/2003 Dubai Municipality Roads Department selects IMEL and GCWare 
to implement Intergraph's IntelliWhere Technology in traffic navigation 

04/16/2003 Realization Technologies customers featured at first annual 
Constraints Management User Conference. 

04/15/2003 Sun Fire 15K System Running Oracle9i Delivers World's Fastest 
Single System TPC Data Warehouse Result on TPC-H Benchmark. 

04/15/2003 Comcast selects MicroStrategy BI Platform to improve 
efficiency & productivity by reporting on internal operations. 

04/15/2003 Terminal Railroad Association deploys RailConnect(R) from 

04/15/2003 Defense Week sponsors conference to explore the Pentagon's 
requirements and acquisition plans for intelligence, surveillance and 
reconnaissance in the urban environment.

04/15/2003 Comshare announces the publication of "The Strategy Gap", on 
leveraging technology.

04/14/2003 Experian and PredictiveMetrics introduce small business lease 
decision score. 

04/14/2003 Physical and cyber security leaders collaborate to promote 
industry-wide security management.

04/14/2003 Expanded scope of exhibit amplifies conference focus on 
real-world geospatial solutions at Intergraph's GeoSpatial World 2003. 

04/14/2003 Sybase opens mobile development to PowerBuilder community. 

DSS News is copyrighted (c) 2003 by D. J. Power. Please send your questions to  

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