Recent events in the AFRICOM Area of Operations have once again demonstrated the critical importance of satisfying decision maker information requirements in the most timely and accurate fashion possible. Our team is supporting an Army effort to develop a tool that will utilize a modified version of the Missions and Means Framework (MMF) to automatically map information requirements to available information sources capable of delivering the required information. This paper focuses on the process used to decompose high level information requirements (e.g,, Commander’s Critical Information Requirements (CCIRs)) into Specific Information Requirements (SIRs) that can be compared to the information content produced by specific information sources.
The analysis of warfare frequently suffers from an absence of logical structure for a] specifying explicitly the military mission and b] quantitatively evaluating the mission utility of alternative products and services. In 2003, the Missions and Means Framework (MMF) was developed to redress these shortcomings. The MMF supports multiple combatants, levels of war and, in fact, is a formal embodiment of the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP). A major effect of incomplete analytic discipline in military systems analyses is that they frequently fall into the category of ill-posed problems in which they are under-specified, under-determined, or under-constrained. Critical context is often missing. This is frequently the result of incomplete materiel requirements analyses which have unclear linkages to higher levels of warfare, system-of-systems linkages, tactics, techniques and procedures, and the effect of opposition forces. In many instances the capabilities of materiel are assumed to be immutable. This is a result of not assessing how platform components morph over time due to damage, logistics, or repair. Though ill-posed issues can be found many places in military analysis, probably the greatest challenge comes in the disciplines of C4ISR supported by ontologies in which formal naming and definition of the types, properties, and interrelationships of the entities are fundamental to characterizing mission success. Though the MMF was not conceived as an ontology, over the past decade some workers, particularly in the field of communication, have labelled the MMF as such. This connection will be described and discussed.