Three technologies form the heart of any network-centric command, control, communication, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) system: distributed processing, reconfigurable networking, and distributed resource management. Distributed processing, enabled by automated federation, mobile code, intelligent process allocation, dynamic multiprocessing groups, check pointing, and other capabilities creates a virtual peer-to-peer computing network across the force. Reconfigurable networking, consisting of content-based information exchange, dynamic ad-hoc routing, information operations (perception management) and other component technologies forms the interconnect fabric for fault tolerant inter processor and node communication. Distributed resource management, which provides the means for distributed cooperative sensor management, foe sensor utilization, opportunistic collection, symbiotic inductive/deductive reasoning and other applications provides the canonical algorithms for network-centric enterprises and warfare.
This paper introduces these three core technologies and briefly discusses a sampling of their component technologies and their individual contributions to network-centric enterprises and warfare. Based on the implied requirements, two new algorithms are defined and characterized which provide critical building blocks for network centricity: distributed asynchronous auctioning and predictive dynamic source routing. The first provides a reliable, efficient, effective approach for near-optimal assignment problems; the algorithm has been demonstrated to be a viable implementation for ad-hoc command and control, object/sensor pairing, and weapon/target assignment. The second is founded on traditional dynamic source routing (from mobile ad-hoc networking), but leverages the results of ad-hoc command and control (from the contributed auctioning algorithm) into significant increases in connection reliability through forward prediction. Emphasis is placed on the advantages gained from the closed-loop interaction of the multiple technologies in the network-centric application environment.