Background for
Extensible Modeling and Simulation Framework

As the Department of Defense (DoD) is engaged in both warfighting and institutional transformation for the new millennium, DoD Modeling & Simulation (M&S) also needs to identify and adopt transformational technologies which provide direct tactical relevance to warfighters. Because the only software systems that composably scale to worldwide scope utilize the World Wide Web, it is evident that an extensible Web-based framework shows great promise to scale up the capabilities of M&S systems to meet the needs of training, analysis, acquisition, and the operational warfighter. By embracing commercial web technologies as a shared communications platform and a ubiquitous delivery framework, DoD M&S can fully leverage mainstream practices for enterprise-wide software development.

An interdisciplinary team from the Naval Postgraduate School, SAIC Inc., and George Mason University has begun to investigate how the high potential of the new technologies can be brought to bear on the modeling and simulation problems DoD faces today. It is clear that Web-based technologies have the capability to support interoperability of the spectrum of DoD models and simulations including constructive, virtual, and live as well as integrating legacy simulation frameworks and the increasingly important distance-learning technologies. The next step is to define a consistent framework for integrating the new technologies to meet future challenges in a way that also harmonizes as much as possible with legacy systems. To do this well requires the persective of a broad cross-section of technologists from defense and commercial sectors. We have begun this process by organizing an invitational workshop that will involve some of the brightest and most experienced technologists from both sectors. The workshop is charged with producing a definitive top-level extensible modeling and simulation framework for consideration by the defense modeling and simulation community.

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