New Award: Data Integration and Predictive Analysis System (IPAS)

Effective disease-management activities need accurate prediction of disease occurrences.  The timely prediction of disease outbreaks facilitates the effective coordination and mobilization of medical, human, and pharmaceutical resources.  Prior knowledge of potential disease occurrences enables proactive development of medical interventions, medical prophylaxis to disease hazards, and containment of disease vectors.  This is true for both civilian public health coordination and for the military.  Infectious diseases are a significant threat to the armed forces and prior knowledge of disease threats will enable the military to not only plan effective mitigation and containment strategies, but also plan the military engagement timing based on these factors.  Traditional epidemiology has focused on compartmental models (susceptibility, exposed, infected, recovered (SEIR) based approaches for forecasting disease progression) [Hethcote 2000; Tebbens et. al., 2005; Mayer, 2013].  There is a need to develop occurrence prediction capabilities for novel, emerging, and re-emerging diseases.Continue reading

Sustainment Technologies for Aircraft Depot Maintenance (S-Physics)

KBSI is developing a roadmap for depot information integration and situation based planning, scheduling, and control system support.  KBSI is taking a scientific approach, studying the MRO environment, its fundamental nature, the underlying physics of MRO operations and processes-planning, scheduling, execution, control—the issues of dealing with aging workloads, and the processes that perform the repair.

The driving principle at the core of the Sustainment Technologies for Aircraft Depot Maintenance (S-Physics) initiative, now in Phase III, is that planning and scheduling in a depot maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) environment is a unique activity.  Manufacturing systems make explicit the need for prior planning:  i.e., the coordination of resources prior to the initiation of the work.  Manufacturing systems assume that the lead-time to perform the coordination of resources (whether it be an acquisition activity, worker training, etc.) can be described and used in determining the appropriate schedules used by shops and management for setting baselines, tracking work, and setting budgets.  In the MRO environment, however, these systems prove inadequate.  The information managed by such systems is insufficient, and maintained at the wrong level of granularity does not incorporate knowledge of the true state of repair (with respect to work or resources) as well as provides faulty baselines based on infeasible plans and therefore schedules and provides skewed estimates of the resource requirements necessary to complete a given workload.

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Verification & Validation of Metadata for Test & Evaluation (VIVALDI)

In the VIVALDI initiative, KBSI is developing a method and supporting toolkit that provides test and instrumentation engineers and stakeholders with the ability to define rules and support verification, validation, de-confliction, and optimization (VVDO) of metadata and systems design.

Standards for test and evaluation (T&E) metadata—standards that bridge vendors and test elements—facilitate interoperability among instrumentation systems.  While there are several mature standards for representing test and evaluation (T&E) metadata, these standards are limited to only capturing the syntax of the respective metadata.  Minimal support, if any, is provided for verification, validation, de-confliction, and optimization (VVDO) of the descriptions developed using the standards.  To perform even simple VVDO of instrumentation systems, users must rely on proprietary or custom software, and procuring these solutions drastically cuts into the potential savings from metadata standards.

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Information DiscovEry Assistant that Learns (IDEAL)

The IDEAL initiative is developing an innovative information analysis enabling capability that allows users to collaboratively perform example based searches of information to support specific analysis goals.  The IDEAL technology leverages KBSI’s powerful ontology-based search solution, JACKALFISH®.

The volume of available information, both human and computer generated, and advances in document management and analysis technologies that provide greater access to data are making it difficult for intelligence analysts and other users to identify and utilize the key information in the data flood.  Improvements in semantic modeling, natural language processing, and groupware technology are providing opportunities for addressing these challenges.

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Blood Reserve Availability Assessment, Tracking, & Management System (BRAMS™)

The BRAMS™ technology allows users to enter data for blood product and transfusion events via a Web-based interface, and to apply data mining and analytics in detecting blood supply problems, analyzing system behavior, evaluating alternate solutions, and optimizing the blood supply chain.

The BRAMS™ technology provides data integrity and access control mechanisms to ensure that the data entered into the system is valid, clean, and not duplicated in other data sources.  In addition to extending JMAR data coverage and, consequently, the accuracy and reliability of JMAR data, the BRAMS™ technology enables users to perform data mining and knowledge based analyses of blood reserve data that will help the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) and JMAR transition from reactive agencies to forward-looking, proactive agencies.

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Intelligent Scenario Management Framework (ISMF)

The ISMF technology includes a robust method and set of support tools for automating the generation and management of training scenarios tailored to training goals and student performance.  Student performance is identified using Bayesian models and evaluation scripts, the visualization and annotation of simulation trace data, and data analysis and data mining techniques.

In the NAVAIR-sponsored Intelligent Scenario Management Framework (ISMF) small-business innovation research (SBIR) initiative, KBSI developed a robust method and a set of support tools for automating the generation and management of training scenarios in response to training goals and student performance.  Specifically, student deficiencies are identified through the use of Bayesian models and evaluation scripts, the visualization and annotation of simulation trace data, and through data analysis and data mining techniques.

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Material Identification & Procurement System (MIDAPS™)

One of the most significant, on-going problems facing shipbuilders today, in both new construction and ship repair is the inability to efficiently identify, procure, and deliver to the job site the material necessary to complete the job.  Exacerbating this difficulty is the tendency for job materials lists to be developed over an extended period of time rather than all at once at the outset of building or repair operations.  Most of the major equipment list and materials are identified prior to the contract signing as part of the estimate, while the balance of material requirements are identified as work progresses, providing little or no lead time for engineering, purchasing, or other departments to effectively perform their functions.  This kind of halting procurement scheduling further compresses an already tight production schedule, placing additional stress on material management coordination and supporting information systems.  The results are inflated cycle times, less than optimal throughput, and devastating cost overruns.

KBSI’s Material Identification and Procurement System (MIDAPS™) automates the planning, procurement and management of materials for manufacturing and maintenance and repair operations (MRO).  Implemented at Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co., Inc., the MIDAPS™ technology addressed Bender’s need for organizing and coordinating the material procurement process.  At Bender, material information is developed, maintained, and tracked by a large number of departments, each with a different interest in the material.  Estimating is concerned with initial major material identification.  Engineering needs design information.  Procurement requires vendor and cost information.  Planning requires availability dates, and production requires that the physical material be in the right place at the right time and with the right accompanying information.  To complicate matters further, changes to materials and their attributes (cost, suppliers, availability, need by dates, design information, etc.) occur frequently, but are only recorded in the subsystem that deals with the particular attribute change.  Histories are difficult to maintain, and even more difficult to track.

The MIDAPS™ technology tackles these issues by addressing the high level of interdependency between multiple materials management activities and information systems—activities and systems that must account for constant change.  The MIDAPS™ technology provides an information-integrated approach to the synchronizing of construction activities with materials management using a rapidly re-configurable, centralized relational database management system.  The system stores data related to jobs, materials, and shipyard departments in this centralized database, allowing users across the shipyard to view real-time data concerning the status of materials in production and procurement.  Users can also perform other material management activities like procuring materials, creating material estimates, and automatically generating requests for quotes (RFQs).  The MIDAPS™ Analysis Agent, a set of problem detection algorithms, analyzes data for individual jobs and alerts users of potentially significant material procurement issues.  The algorithms scan the data and uncover materials that are past due, were ordered too late to satisfy the schedule, or were ordered too early and may cause inventory problems.

The MIDAPS™ technology gives Bender an efficient, integrated, and synchronized material system that addresses Bender’s need for responsive and effective material management.  While the MIDAPS™ technology was developed to meet the requirements of the shipbuilding industry, it also includes a number of customization features that make it easily adaptable to any generic MRO environment, providing material identification, procurement, material statusing and decision support for the complete life cycle of materials.  The results at Bender included job cost savings, a reduction in cycle times, an increase in profitability, and an increased throughput capacity—results that can benefit any manufacturing or MRO environment.