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System for Information and Meta-information Portrayal of Lessons-learned (SIMPL)

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 08T002
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Suite 1400 Woburn, MA -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: System for Information and Meta-information Portrayal of Lessons-learned (SIMPL)
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9550-10-C-0042
Award Amount: $750,000.00


Availability of massive amounts of information afforded by net-centric operations poses a challenge for identifying information relevant for effective decision-making. Complex domains, such as Operational Assessment, require the ability to access and analyze relevant information to support mission objectives. However, access to large amounts of information can cause overload and thereby hinder identification of relevant information, information processing, and decision-making. The "meta-information" concept (Pfautz et al., 2006) was developed to address this challenge by identifying and communicating information characteristics that make information actionable. Primarily, meta-information should reduce uncertainty in information to support information processing and decision-making. In Phase I, Aptima determined that identification, representation, and visualization of meta-information must capture the complexity of information (Requisite Variety, Ashby, 1958) while increasing visual momentum (Woods, 1995) to support decision-making in complex and dynamic environments. To address this challenge, Aptima designed System for Information and Meta-information Portrayal of Lessons-learned (SIMPL). SIMPL visualizations of information and meta-information are guided by operational needs and a theoretical framework based on requisite variety and visual momentum. In Phase II, these visualizations will be refined and a functional prototype evaluated in operationally relevant experiments and field studies. SIMPL will be developed for integration in the AOC Weapons Systems. BENEFIT: SIMPL will benefit decision-making both by the Operational Assessment (OA) Team and the Commander in assessing mission effectiveness. SIMPL is designed to present visualizations of information resulting from Assessment Information Requests (AIRs) to support effective decision-making for Operational Assessment of Air Tasking Orders (ATOs). The design of SIMPL was guided by requirements from the operational community and basic principles of cognition and perception as well as information theory. SIMPL addresses the need for multiple representations of information that capture its complexity (requisite variety) while at the same time minimizing the cost of navigation (visual momentum) for optimal SA and effective decision-making in OA. Grounded in solid information, perceptual, and cognitive theory, SIMPL will address a critical need of the OA team. In addition, we anticipate that it will also have commercial viability in the Intelligence Collection and Analysis Domain (across DoD agencies), the Department of Homeland Security, as well as broader application within Operations Centers (e.g., Air and Space, Maritime, Tactical, etc.).

Principal Investigator:

Cullen Jackson
Cognitive Scientist

Business Contact:

Margaret J. Clancy
Chief Financial Officer
Small Business Information at Submission:

Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Suite 1400 Woburn, MA 01801

EIN/Tax ID: 043281859
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Wright State University
Office of Research & Sponsored
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, OH 45435
Contact: Marianne Shreck
Contact Phone: 9377754459