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Higher-level fusion for military operations based on abductive inference: proof of principle
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Paper Abstract

The ability of contemporary military commanders to estimate and understand complicated situations already suffers from information overload, and the situation can only grow worse. We describe a prototype application that uses abductive inferencing to fuse information from multiple sensors to evaluate the evidence for higher-level hypotheses that are close to the levels of abstraction needed for decision making (approximately JDL levels 2 and 3). Abductive inference (abduction, inference to the best explanation) is a pattern of reasoning that occurs naturally in diverse settings such as medical diagnosis, criminal investigations, scientific theory formation, and military intelligence analysis. Because abduction is part of common-sense reasoning, implementations of it can produce reasoning traces that are very human understandable. Automated abductive inferencing can be deployed to augment human reasoning, taking advantage of computation to process large amounts of information, and to bypass limits to human attention and short-term memory. We illustrate the workings of the prototype system by describing an example of its use for small-unit military operations in an urban setting. Knowledge was encoded as it might be captured prior to engagement from a standard military decision making process (MDMP) and analysis of commander's priority intelligence requirements (PIR). The system is able to reasonably estimate the evidence for higher-level hypotheses based on information from multiple sensors. Its inference processes can be examined closely to verify correctness. Decision makers can override conclusions at any level and changes will propagate appropriately.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 April 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6242, Multisensor, Multisource Information Fusion: Architectures, Algorithms, and Applications 2006, 624207 (18 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.666240
Show Author Affiliations
Aleksandar V. Pantaleev, Ohio State Univ. (United States)
John Josephson, Ohio State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6242:
Multisensor, Multisource Information Fusion: Architectures, Algorithms, and Applications 2006
Belur V. Dasarathy, Editor(s)

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