Chapter V. Basic Research
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)


2. Computer and Information Sciences

a. Strategy

The computer and information sciences address fundamental issues in understanding, formalizing, acquiring, representing, manipulating, and using information. The advanced systems, including the software engineering environments and new computational architectures, facilitated by this research will often be interactive, adaptive, sometimes distributed and/or autonomous and frequently characterized as intelligent. Based on the recommendations from an investment strategy meeting among senior scientists from ARO, ARL, RDECs, TRADOC, DUSA-OR, CAA, COE, and academia, research in the following areas was determined to be important to the Army:

(1) Theoretical computer science
(2) Formal methods for software engineering
(3) Software prototyping, development, and evolution
(4) Knowledge base/database systems
(5) Natural language processing
(6) Intelligent systems

b. Major Research Areas

Theoretical Computer Science

Formal Methods for Software Engineering

Software Prototyping, Development, and Evolution

Knowledge Base/Data Base Sciences

Natural Language Processing

c. Other Research Areas

Computer-based systems that process information and transfer data and analysis among various Army commanders and units are essential for military success. The computer science and software issues that arise in this context often require input from a number of subdisciplines of computer science, as well as from other disciplines. Multi-sensor fusion, multi-image fusion, image understanding, language processing, distributed interactive simulation, multi-variable and multi-resolution methods for terrain modeling, scalable parallel algorithms and algorithms for processing large-scale data are but a few of these areas. In these areas, computer and information sciences research is organized in a cross-cutting fashion to provide the expertise needed to accomplish the Army goal (rather than remain within traditional disciplinary boundaries).

d. Benefits of Research

The contribution of the computer and information sciences to a well-equipped strategic force capable of decisive victory in conflicts in the Information Age is important in the following areas:

The Army is able to build interactive modeling and animation systems such as JACK (see Figure V-7) because of progress in these areas.

Figure V-7. JACK, an interactive computer-based modeling and animation system for studying human capabilities/limitations. JACK enables effective complex-system and interface design, and simulation for performance assessment/training.