Director: Dr Mark Pullen


XMSF Overview
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Overview for
Extensible Modeling and Simulation Framework


In 2002 a small group of modeling and simulation experts from academia and industry, with partial DMSO support, undertook a study of the potential of Internet and Web technologies for interoperation of simulations with command and control (C2) systems. The study engaged a team of world-class experts and resulted in two workshops, study reports, and clear recommendations to pursue the benefits for these technologies for Defense M&S, under the label “Extensible Modeling and Simulation Framework (XMSF). ” The fundamental advantages are ease of interfacing heterogeneous systems for interoperation, availability of commercially-developed supporting technologies, and compatibility with the Web-based, Service Oriented Architecture planned for support of future C2 systems in the DoD Global Information Grid (GIG).

DMSO has supported ongoing efforts to demonstrate the potential of this approach and to expand the horizons of the defense M&S community into the high-potential capabilities of commercially-developed Web technologies, in particular the Web services approach to information exchange among distributed software systems. Activities of the community indicate that this combination of community outreach, standards body involvement, and implementation of exemplar projects has been successful in adding XMSF to the working set of technologies for Defense M&S.


    Much of the interest in XMSF derives from several rapidly-executed pilot projects that demonstrated its potential:
  • A Web-Enabled Run Time Infrastructure (RTI) expanding the High Level Architecture (HLA) for M&S
  • A prototype distributed simulation viewer for JFCOM’s Distributed Continuous Experimentation Environment (DCEE), which employed the Web-Enabled RTI and other Web technologies to create a distributed capability in under two months.
  • Transformation of Army Battle Management Language, a simulation-to-C2 project, into the Extensible Battle Management Language (XBML) and JC3IEDM using Web service technologies.
  • Web-based visualization combined with simulation, using the new X3D Web graphics standard and XML Tactical Chat (XTC).
  • Standardized XML Schema-based Binary Compression (XSBC) to support efficient operation and maximize M&S interoperability with C2 systems.
  • Synthesis of Web services and rationalized system design to provide efficient networking for distributed simulations via overlay multicast (subject of a separate overview paper).
  • Creation of a Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO) Study Group focused on a future XMSF Profile interoperability standard.
  • A new Technical Activity (TA) within the NATO M&S Working Group to pursue Coalition BML (C-BML), based on a successful demonstration between XBML and a project of the French Ministry of Defense, and formation of an associated SISO Product Development group for C-BML standards

Next steps for XMSF

Since the XMSF work began, it has become increasingly evident that C2 system interoperation with simulations offers a huge potential for improved information support to the warfighter, and that XMSF represents the best path to achieve this. DMSO is now considering the need to fill several gaps in the needed standards and technologies, including a consistent M&S Namespace for the M&S GIG Community of Interest (COI) and streaming/multicast Web service standards. The goal is to facilitate and demonstrate real-time M&S capabilities that can seamlessly interoperate with warfighter C2 applications, all via the Global Information Grid (GIG) using extensible Web services.

Last updated: 01/09/06