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Planning and Decision Aids for Small Unit Operations

SUO-PDA  Principal Investigator:  David E Wilkins

Mailing address:
AI Center
SRI International
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3493

AIC Program:  Representation and Reasoning

Project home page at

   Project Description

Our task is to develop a planning and decision aid (PDA) for the DARPA Small Unit Operations (SUO) program, to show the feasibility of using advanced planning technologies in SUO. The SUO concept envisions small units of warfighters, separated and dispersed throughout a large battlespace, equipped with personal equipment providing robust geolocation, computing, and communications capabilities to allow units to effectively operate. The PDA supports the generation of machine-understandable plans, and the monitoring of their execution, using events as they are realistically reported in the battlespace. Our representations modeled an SUO scenario with enough fidelity to provide value (as judged by our SMEs). Our PDA used a machine-understandable plan to generate appropriate alerts for the time and location constraints in the plan, as well as for some more global constraints such as fratricide risk. Alerts were generated in a timely manner without overwhelming the user with too many alerts. Our execution monitoring technology was able to easily monitor the volume of realistic data on the SUO network, while not being specific to the plans used in our scenarios. We demonstrated multiple PDAs operating over multiple echelons, namely, battalion, company and platoon.


Name Title E-mail
Lee, Tom J Senior Research Engineer

Procedural Reasoning System
SRI's Procedural Reasoning System (PRS-CL) was developed for representing and using an expert's procedural knowledge for accomplishing goals and tasks.

SIPE-2: System for Interactive Planning and Execution
SIPE-2 efficiently reasons about actions to generate a novel sequence of actions that responds precisely to the situation at hand. Supports interactive mixed-initiative planning with powerful GUI; Allows giving of advice to the planner; Plans hierarchically at different levels of abstraction.

  • Wilkins, D. E., Lee, T. and Berry, P. Interactive Execution Monitoring of Agent Teams. Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, vol. 18, pp. 217-261, March 2003.  [PDF, Details]

  • Berry, P. M. and Wilkins, D. E. and Lee, T. J. Execution Monitoring in Agent Teams, in Proceedings of 2nd Annual Symposium on Autonomous Intelligent Networks and Systems (AINS), , Menlo Park, California, 2003.  [Details]

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