Formalized Ontology for Representing C2 Systems as Layered Networks

Formalized Ontology for Representing C2 Systems as Layered Networks

T. J. Grant (R-BAR, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6058-8.ch005
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Command and Control (C2) is an essential operating capability in which the commander exercises authority over assigned forces to accomplish the mission. Traditionally, military C2 was organized hierarchically with the commander issuing directives top-down and subordinates reporting progress upwards. Over the past two decades, developments in digital telecommunication technology have made it possible to link distributed computer systems into a network. These developments can be exploited to delegate decision-making authority down the organizational hierarchy. Subordinates can be empowered to share information and synchronize their actions with their peers, speeding up the response to changes in the situation. This is known as Network-Enabled Capabilities or information-age C2. Experience has shown that multiple factors must co-evolve to gain the full benefit of transforming C2 to become network enabled. In this chapter, the authors group these factors into five layers: geographical, physical, information, cognitive, and socio-organizational. They formalize the key entities in each layer, together with within- and across-layer relationships, into a conceptual ontology, known as the Formalized Layered Ontology for Networked C2 (FLONC). To ensure the ontology is militarily relevant, the authors show that a set of networks found in military operations can be extracted from the ontology. Finally, they compare the formalized ontology to related work on ontologies in C2. In further research, the ontology could be used in developing software to simulate and support network-enabled C2 processes. A case study based on the events of September 11, 2001 shows how this could be done.
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