Hybrid Framework for Information Visualization Enablers (HI-FIVE)

HI-FIVE is a novel model-based, “no-programming required” approach to information visualization. The tool provides an extendible framework for rapidly developing, configuring, and managing data displays, enabling you to better understand “system of systems” data.

An important challenge for any enterprise, particularly one as large as the Department of Defense, is making the most of your data: how to achieve true enterprise information integration in a manner that enables access to data from multiple, often divergent domains. In meeting this challenge, the DoD is integrating new and legacy systems into federated “systems of systems.” Such an approach necessitates that data from these multiple domains also be integrated—i.e., actionable across all domains—and that it be flexible enough to be used in many, unanticipated ways.

In this Missile Defense Agency (MDA) funded effort, KBSI designed a novel, model-based, “no-programming required” approach to information visualization that leverages the DoD-standard IDEF family of methods, web-services, and the Data Display Markup Language (DDML), a powerful data display format. The Hybrid Framework for Information Visualization Enablers (HI-FIVE) project delivered an extendible framework for rapidly developing, configuring, and managing data displays, enabling the understanding of “system of systems” data.

webbanner_infodatamodelingThe technology uses a unifying ontology of the relevant concepts from the target domains and a model-driven methodology that allows users to develop custom data ontology displays from scratch. Take, for example, an operations planning scenario in which a commander is coordinating and monitoring ongoing mission activities. HI-FIVE allows the commander to visualize a wide variety of mission critical data: federated data from multiple domains like intelligence data, logistics support, mission support, battle readiness reports, etc. This allows the commander to view the battlespace, assess the location and dispersion of enemy threats, monitor the advancement of friendly capabilities, obtain the status of logistical support, watch for unusual enemy activity, forecast enemy courses of action, plot strategy to thwart enemy intentions, and deploy the necessary assets to the necessary locations in a timely manner. HI-FIVE also allows commanders to visualize the battlespace and devise flexible battle plans before engaging the enemy, helping them control of the types and length of engagements and optimize asset deployment logistics.

Generated data displays can be saved as templates for reuse, and users can also add new sources of data and intelligence and new data transformation and display components, tailoring each display for different platforms (PCs, tablets, handheld, etc.). HI-FIVE’s graphic-based orientation makes it simple for users without any engineering experience to quickly generate user customizable representations of data from a wide range of sources.

The HI-FIVE technology has had impressive results, including providing system of systems data management to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and data analysis visualizations for the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) data repositories. The technology is also extendible (add enabling technologies such a data mining, data fusion, and real-time object tracking) and adaptable to various scenarios (training, search and rescue, emergency response). These features make the system compatible with a number of different uses, both commercial and military.