Found 150 Papers
(click title to view abstract)

Volume 2011
Open Streaming Terrain for Modeling and Simulation

Year: 2011

Authors: Brett Wiesner, Dan Brockway, Thomas Stanzione

Abstract:

In today's modeling and simulation market, there are many methods that can be used to create terrain databases for the various simulation applications. Some of these use more traditional terrain database generation processes, and some are new and innovative, utilizing the capabilities of cloud computing and geographic information systems. Each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages, and some are more suited for specific use cases than others. An emerging approach that VT MÄK has developed is the ability to use open standards streaming terrain in real time virtual and constructive simulation.

In this paper, we discuss the concepts of streaming terrain for modeling and simulation, where applications can subscribe to web servers for geo-data in real time. We start with a discussion of the different types of terrain data and the advantages and disadvantages of each, covering the spectrum from traditional hand and tool modeled terrain databases, to direct from source geo-data, to streaming terrain from a server. We provide examples of each of these types of data, how it is created and used in simulation applications, and which use cases it is best suited to. We discuss the benefits of streaming terrain approaches to more traditional terrain database generation techniques, utilizing Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards like web map service (WMS) and web feature service (WFS) for streaming elevation, imagery, and features. We discuss how the streaming terrain approach is different from other terrain approaches, like the Common Database (CDB).

The streaming terrain approach described in this paper offers a new flexibility to dealing with terrain data. Applications that can make use of streaming terrain provide a lot of flexibility when designing simulation exercises or events, where new sources of terrain data can be found and used directly as an alternative to the traditional terrain database generation approaches.

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Educating the Acquisition Workforce Utilizing Social Media & Other Alternatives

Year: 2011

Authors: Jill Garcia, Lawrence Leggett, Anne Little

Abstract:

Shrinking travel budgets, limited physical space and increased student throughput place heavy burdens on training providers to utilize alternative delivery approaches that are effective. The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is addressing these issues by developing and implementing learning assets conducive to a non-classroom setting. This represents a paradigm shift from traditional methods to train the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition workforce. The use of social media tools has been identified as a viable solution; however preparing instructor staff in the use of these tools is necessary. This paper examines the use of non-traditional course delivery systems to build immersive training experiences that promote student interaction and engagement while addressing the throughput problem. Two courses, each with their own unique learning outcome requirements, were developed. Both were piloted using delivery tools available to DAU specifically, Socialtext, Blackboard, and Defense Connect Online (DCO).

The delivery method selected for the specific courses allowed students to apply what was being learned in different ways depending on the intended student outcomes. One course design (primarily utilizing Blackboard and DCO as delivery structures) delivered at a synchronous pace, allowed for the immersive engagement of an authentic problem within a team structure so that instructors could monitor student engagement regardless of student physical location. The other course was delivered via Socialtext. This design provided immersive self-directed learning experiences such that learners could examine and utilize a variety of social media tools within the tools themselves at an individual pace and desired depth of understanding.

The authors present the considerations and methodology used to design the courses with appropriate student activities that allowed for transfer of learning within the capacities and constraints of the tools. Additionally, pilot results demonstrating the effectiveness of the courses from student and instructor perspectives and next steps for course revisions will be presented.

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Evaluating the Impact of Dynamic Fidelity on Performance

Year: 2011

Authors: Lisa Holt, Brian Schreiber, Jasmine Duran, Mark Schroeder

Abstract:

Varying levels of dynamic fidelity are used to support combat mission training. At one extreme are static simulators (no motion) and at the other are costly live-fly exercises (high dynamic fidelity). Dynamic simulators employing force-cueing devices (e.g., motion platforms or motion seats) fall somewhere between. It is believed that increased dynamic fidelity in simulators will result in more effective training but empirical evidence is lacking. Numerous studies have been conducted, but the conclusions are mixed and often contradictory, with each study employing different motion cueing devices, simulation platforms, evaluation tasks, and measures of effectiveness. Both the tasks and objective performance measures used in these studies have been challenged, suggesting that they lack sensitivity to the effects of force cues.

More sensitive methodology is needed to evaluate the impact of dynamic fidelity on performance. Although there are established criteria to identify force cue-sensitive flight maneuvers, the maneuver itself does not appear to be the appropriate unit of analysis to detect performance differences. There are specific windows of time within each maneuver where the force cues play an important role in the pilot's execution and result in quantitative, measureable performance differences. Building on the research progress that has been made (defining critical phases of maneuvers and dividing them into segments), we introduce a novel unit of analysis: the force cueing sensitivity (FoCuS) window. FoCuS windows not only divide maneuvers into meaningful segments, but also include associated objective measures quantifying the role of the force cues for each segment of performance. This paper describes the application of this methodology to evaluate the impact of a motion seat on pilot performance of an advanced handling maneuver and a tactical intercept maneuver. Objective performance results contradict subjective results but illustrate the sensitivity of the method and its promise for future studies.

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Creating Micro-expressions and Nuanced Nonverbal Communication in Synthetic Cultural Characters and Environments

Year: 2011

Authors: Marjorie Zielke, Frank Dufour, Gary Hardee

Abstract: Understanding how to observe and analyze nonverbal communication of virtual humans in synthetic environments can assist warfighters with determining source credibility, deception detection, behavior observation, process training and other training objectives. The First Person Cultural Trainer (FPCT) is a high-fidelity, game-based simulation that trains cross-cultural decision making and is also a platform for the creation of synthetic characters which display culturally accurate facial and micro-expressions. These facial and micro-expressions serve as a channel for factors such as invariants and affordances within the synthetic environment that also communicate critical nonverbal information. This paper will discuss technical challenges and solutions in creating facial and micro-expressions and environmental invariants and affordances such as those needed in a high-fidelity training project. The paper will also provide an overview of the state-of-the-art for creating nuanced nonverbal communications from the gaming industry and will conclude with the description of one solution for developing facial and micro-expressions and nuanced nonverbal communication.

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Viral Learning: Taking Advantage of All Channels to Learning

Year: 2011

Authors: Jay Graser, Michael Anthony

Abstract:

Viral marketing has been used extensively to sell products and even win elections. In record time, it can distribute a message or concept to a large population of even a niche market. A Pew Internet study (2010) shows that of 2,259 adults, 75% who find news online receive it through forwarded e-mail or posts on social networking sites. Additionally, half of those adults will forward that same news to others. As learning professionals, we must consider whether this same communication channel can be used to improve human performance and learning effectiveness in a targeted audience. Even engaging CBT is often no competition for the barrage of information and communications channels available to the average learner. Learning must become an integral part of an increasingly multi-tasked audience who no longer has the time to get their news from the source, let alone volunteer to participate in web-based learning. However, one downside to using a viral approach to learning may be that once the learning objective is released, controlling the message can be problematic. This paper will explore the possibilities of using viral media as a tool for education, training and human performance. Some of the questions this paper will explore are:

• What is viral marketing and how does it map to education, training and human performance?

• What media are considered capable of making a concept go viral?

• How do you reach the right target market?

• Once the message is released, how do you maintain control?

• What are the pros and cons of using viral learning?

• What are good candidate topics for viral media?

• What are poor candidate topics for viral learning?

• How can viral learning be measured?

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Understanding the Impact of Intelligent Tutoring Agents on Real-Time Training Simulations

Year: 2011

Authors: Keith Brawner, Heather Holden, Benjamin Goldberg, Robert Sottilare

Abstract:

Over the past two decades, the use of agent-based technology within simulated training environments has increased. Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) technology may include reactive or proactive simulation agents that monitor and support computer-based training without human tutors. Reactive agents are able to provide hints and feedback on trainee performance within static scenarios. Based on the trainee's competency and their progress toward training objectives, proactive ITS use computational methods in real-time to decide when to change content, complexity and/or instructional methods within a training scenario (Niehaus & Riedl, 2009). This paper evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of reactive and proactive agents in computer-based tutoring systems; and discusses design considerations for the use of reactive and proactive agents in training simulations.

Historically, intelligent tutoring agents have been simple, passive observers within simulation environments. These reactive agents monitor the trainee's progress and provide hints or other feedback only when there is sufficient variance from expected norms. Reactive agent actions are often based on simple heuristics or scripted behaviors. This can be desirable if the goal of the training is repeatability. However, reactive agents often know little about the trainee and the training context beyond performance data.

Proactive agents have a higher computational cost in that they need to sense and understand more about the trainee, environment and training context, but are better able to predict trainee needs and adapt both feedback and scenario content. Complex military scenarios (e.g. ill-defined domains like bilateral negotiations) provide the opportunity to use more proactive agent techniques in assessing individual and team performance, and in adapting training scenarios to maintain challenge and flow.

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Simulating a vigilance task: Technology for homeland security research

Year: 2011

Authors: Robert Hubal, Matthew Cain, Stephen Mitroff

Abstract:

Airport and border security personnel are working to improve security practices and preparedness to prevent acts of terrorism. While they must guard against false positives that result in needless delays for travelers, they must also balance those against the grave costs of missing a threat. In support of a study investigating individual differences in vigilance tasks, the authors have developed and pilot-tested a controllable simulated airport security screening environment. The simulation enables, in a more realistic setting than typically possible, research focused on understanding issues such as:

• Implications when task instructions differ in detail;

• Implications when task instructions require simultaneous search for multiple classes of objects, or when the classes have differing security implications;

• Implications of distraction (e.g., noise, activity, both expected and not) in the environment.

These factors allow for an examination of distinct contributions to attentional processing, top-down executive control and bottom-up perceptual processing. Both processes need to be considered to adequately address perception of and attention to items in the environment. Ongoing basic studies are comparing use of the simulated environment against traditional techniques. Ongoing work with Government security personnel is directing the application to existing training needs to better determine how training can influence performance.

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Improving Soldier Threat Detection Skills in the Operational Environment

Year: 2011

Authors: Laura Zimmerman, Shane Mueller, Jessica Marcon, James Daniels, Christopher Vowels

Abstract: The ability to detect threats is particularly critical for Soldiers who serve in the dynamic and irregular battlefields of the U.S. Army's current Operational Environment (OE). Threat detection encompasses a variety of cognitive and perceptual skills, such as attention management, pattern matching, reasoning about threats, and change/anomaly detection. Training the cognitive skills associated with effective threat detection takes an understanding of the threat detection processes engaged in by experienced Soldiers. To identify these cognitive skills, research was conducted to understand threat detection in the OE and to differentiate between the threat detection performance of more and less experienced Soldiers. From these data, a computer-based training exemplar was developed with the goal of enhancing Soldier ability to detect animate (i.e., human) and inanimate (i.e., IEDs) threats. This paper presents research findings that suggested time pressure, threat relevance, and experience played a role in threat detection performance. A threat search task demonstrated that less experienced Soldiers were more susceptible to time pressure with accuracy increasing slightly with the number of deployments. Results also revealed that all Soldiers could infer threat-relevant locations and appropriately focus their attention on those areas as well as identify threatrelevant changes. Interview analysis provided insight into the reasoning of more and less experienced Soldiers. Less experienced Soldiers tended to make context-free procedurally based statements, indicating they did not have mental models to draw from to make specific interpretations of the situations in the photos. These finding indicated that Soldiers, even in threat search tasks using static photos, directed their search to relevant threats rather than randomly over the photo, making this useful stimulus for training. From this research, a computer-based training prototype was created to improve Soldier ability to identify relevant threats, detect relevant changes, and develop causal reasoning skills applicable to the operational environment.

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Biofidelic Virtual Terrorist—A Modeling and Simulation Tool for Human Threat Recognition Training

Year: 2011

Authors: Zhiqing Cheng, Stephen Mosher, Tim MtCastle, Jeanne Smith, Julia Parakkat, Kathleen Robinette

Abstract: Effectively detecting suspicious, hostile, and terrorist activities and human threats in both populated urban environments and in remote terrains has become increasingly important to US homeland security and military operations in asymmetric wars. A virtual terrorist recognition training system based on modeling and simulation can be used to train operators to recognize human threats from various ranges, viewing angles, and resolutions. However, human modeling and simulation technology currently used in these training tools lacks sufficient biofidelity and thus is not able to describe and demonstrate the nuances of human activities and human signatures that are indicative of threat. Therefore, the Air Force Research Laboratory is developing a software tool called the Biofidelic Virtual Terrorist (BVT). By using advanced dynamic 3-D human modeling technology, the BVT replicates and creates human threat activities in 3-D space. The development emphases of the BVT were placed on the biofidelity of human body shape and motion, representation and immersion of biosignatures of human threats, fidelity and reality of virtual environments or scenarios, and the interaction between humans and environments. In addition to being used as a training tool, the BVT can be used as a test bed for evaluating the performance of tools developed for automatic human threat detection. The BVT can also be used to generate data for rare activities and scenarios which otherwise would be impossible or hard to acquire in the real world.

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Measuring trainee intent using low-cost, high-impact cognitive models

Year: 2011

Authors: Sylvain Bruni, Nathan Schurr, Brian Riordan, Jeanine Ayers, Shaun Sucillon

Abstract:

In order to achieve an increasingly dynamic and nuanced commander's intent, warfighters must understand when and where to apply their skills most effectively. Current training methods, though very effective at producing skilled warfighters, focus primarily on lower level skills and outcome-based performance. However, there is a need to assess the warfighter at the level of intent and how the warfighter factors that into their process of skill selection and skill execution. Cognitive models appear as a promising solution to understanding warfighter processes and intent. Yet, traditional cognitive models designed to replicate human cognitive processes are cumbersome to develop and maintain, requiring large amounts of data.

An innovative capability was designed to address these challenges by leveraging advances in training technology that increase data availability to capture warfighter actions and behaviors during training while applying recent research findings focused on understanding intent from actions (Baker, Saxe & Tenenbaum 2007). This capability integrates a modeling method to infer intent from actions, by employing Markov Decision Processes and Bayesian inverse planning.

This paper will describe initial testing and evaluation of this technology with novice remotely-piloted aircraft operators and show the model's ability to infer intent and predict operator actions with a satisfying level of reliability. Initially implemented in a basic research setting, this modeling method is currently being transitioned to simulation and training environments with gradually increasing level of fidelity, beginning with an operationallyrelevant, game-based training environment. This paper will describe the transition plan and discuss how this modeling approach constitutes an example of a new generation of practical, lightweight, and extremely useful cognitive models.

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