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Scenario-based Training Content Discovery, and Adaptive Recommendation



OBJECTIVE: Create a user-friendly training content management system for scenario-based training, supporting discovery of scenarios or scenario elements on the basis of learning objectives. Help unit personnel build an adaptive training roadmap. 

DESCRIPTION: The future of Army collective simulation/scenario-based training will be a cloud-based integrated environment, which will support the breadth of a unit’s training needs. The environment will provide an exercise design capability and an exercise repository. The design capability will enable a user to design a new scenario, use an existing scenario, modify an existing scenario, and store new/modified scenarios. To support this, exercises in the repository must be discoverable based on the unit’s current training needs. The purpose of this topic is to support the development of a web-service to support discoverability and recommendation. The results should (1) provide an editable underlying structure for organizing exercises according to multiple dimensions (e.g., learning objectives, terrain, unit size and type, ratings, etc.), (2) provide a dashboard of recommended tasks (e.g., CATS—Combined Arms Training Strategies), and (3) provide a user-friendly method for associating new/modified exercises with the underlying structure. The work should include methods for establishing the organizational scheme (underlying structure) with users, and that is ultimately successful and appropriate for users/training content. The dashboard will support unit personnel in (1) creating an adaptive training roadmap, (2) recommending content that will allow the unit to progress along that roadmap, and (3) adapting exercise recommendations dynamically, based on both unit readiness and user input. The dashboard must be user friendly and support an understanding of the reasons for system recommendations. Users should be able to accept or reject recommendations, and the system should use these choices to adapt future recommendations. The web-service or services developed should be agnostic as to simulation or virtual environment and training objectives. They should also provide open APIs allowing exchange of data from other systems (e.g., the Army Training Management System). The work should also demonstrate usability by the intended user audiences, and methods by which recommendations are adapted over time. 

PHASE I: Phase I is a feasibility study (6-month effort) to develop an initial concept design and key elements required for the capabilities described in the Topic Description. This includes, but is not limited to (1) a concept for the underlying structure and the interface for user editing, (2) approaches for involving users in developing the content dimensions needed in the underlying structure, (3) a conceptual design/storyboards for the user dashboard, (4) conceptual methods of recommendation and recommendation adaptation, and (5) user interfaces for associating new/modified scenarios with the underlying structural taxonomy/dimensions. During Phase I, any demonstration content should be based on CATS HHC, INF BN (IBCT) 07416R000. 

PHASE II: Phase II is a 2-year R&D effort that will culminate in a working prototype based on Infantry CATS. While actual scenario-based training exercises do not need to be created in a repository, dummy files with descriptions of scenarios should be created to support the demonstration. In addition to demonstrating the capabilities described in the Topic Description and designed in Phase I, human-interfaces must conform to common usability heuristics (, and a usability study be conducted with participants from the potential user audience (or similar). Ideally user input will be collected iteratively. A final demonstration should show the prototype’s technical ability to meet the specifics of the topic description, by demonstrating its capability to generate and adapt training roadmaps for 5 different types of Infantry units, using simulated user interaction data based on hypothetical training results and varying user acceptance of system recommendations. At least some of the training results should be read in “automatically” from one or more simulated training systems, thus demonstrating API data exchange. In addition, a user study should be conducted demonstrating that with no more than an hour’s training, users (at least 5) can interact with the system to generate the same or similar results as the technical demonstration, based on a conceptual description of the simulated input data used for the technical demonstration. 

PHASE III: Phase III derives from and extends efforts performed during the previous phases, and covers technology transition and commercialization. During Phase III the prototype will be transitioned to a fielding-ready system. The specific Phase III military applications will be to apply the developments to various virtual/simulation training environments which involve scenario repositories. Candidate Army environments include Close Combat Tactical Trainer, Games for Training, and the Synthetic Training Environment (STE). It is STE that this topic was particularly aimed at. The vision for the STE is to be a single multi-echelon collective training environment as described in the Topic Description. The STE will require the type of training management capability to be developed under this topic. Phase III should integrate the designed prototype with ongoing efforts to develop the STE, design the appropriate hand-shakes with other STE web-services or other Amy systems, and comply with information security requirements. With respect to commercial application, the developed services should be applicable to any learning repository for which users need to make a training plan, and update that plan as time progresses. While the military application is about training for teams, the developed services can also be applied to individual learning, and may be of benefit for university, vocational and ElHi teachers and/or training managers. 


1: TRADOC Force Operating Capability (FOC): Soldier and Team Performance Overmatch

2:  Warfighter Outcomes: Enhance Realistic Training, Improve Solder, Leader, and Team Performance.

3:  Human Dimension Strategy Lines of Effort: Cognitive Dominance, Realistic Training


5:  ARL-HRED-ATO: Training Effectiveness

KEYWORDS: Simulation, Content Management, Human Dimension 


Paula Durlach 

(407) 384-3983 

Mr. Robert Forbis 

(407) 384-3884 

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