The Virtual Observer/Controller (O/C) --- Intelligent Coaching in Dismounted Warrior Simulations

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Sonalysts, Inc.
215 Parkway North, P.O. Box 280, Waterford, CT, 06385
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
H. George Banta
Principal Investigator
(860) 326-3844
Business Contact:
Denise Grudier
Contracting Officer
(860) 326-3652
Research Institution:
Neil Heffernan
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA, 01609
(508) 831-5669
Nonprofit college or university
Sonalysts, Inc., along with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Advanced Interactive Systems (AIS), proposes to investigate the feasibility of developing an approach for modifying an existing intelligent tutoring technology and a simulationenvironment so that an intelligent tutor can be paired with a user engaged in a simulated dismounted infantry training exercise. The goal of this approach is to provide soldiers with a virtual observer controller that performs real-time coaching andfeedback functions similar to those provided by an actual observer controller or unit leaders. A front-end analysis will be conducted to determine which collective tasks will be coached. Measures of performance and effectiveness for these collectivetasks will be determined by a review of current doctrinal manuals and interviews with subject-matter experts. The currently used measures of performance will also be examined. The intelligent tutor must be able to recognize multiple means ofaccomplishing the mission, when the mission has been accomplished to standard, and when and how to intercede and provide feedback to the soldiers without becoming distracting to them. The end product of this feasibility analysis will be a Concept ofOperations and identification of the preliminary requirements for a Phase II prototype. The Army's investment into dismounted soldier simulation training systems is substantial. By integrating intelligent tutoring capabilities into those simulationtraining systems, Sonalysts provides substantial benefit. The tutoring capability effectively multiplies the effectiveness of existing human training staff allowing increased student throughput without increasing the recurring cost of the trainingpipeline. Providing a demonstrably improved level of training without requiring more training personnel will create a significant economic payback. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there has been an increasing recognition that some ofthe military's training is suitable for law enforcement and first responder communities. This is particularly true in dismounted infantry training where the SVS simulation system proposed here is already in use. The same benefits that accrue to the DoDcommunity by adding intelligent tutoring to simulation training also accrue in the civilian sector.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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