TEMPL™: Test & Evaluation Metadata PLaza

The TEMPL™ technology is component-based and supports the USAF’s use of test and evaluation (T&E) metadata and metadata definitions for developing future test activities.  The technology allows users to extract metadata from legacy data and to develop metadata for test activities.

KBSI, in an initiative funded by the Air Force, is designing, developing, and demonstrating a methodology, a metadata model, and a suite of tools that unify the storage, transfer, and retrieval of test and evaluation (T&E) metadata across multiple systems, ranges, test articles, and test missions.

This initiative applies state of the art information system engineering in improving the Air Force’s use of current T&E metadata and their definition of metadata for future test activities.  Leveraging our experience in the application of ontologies and semantic web technologies, KBSI is developing methods and technologies that facilitate both the extraction of metadata from legacy data and the formulation of metadata for ongoing and proposed test missions.  At the heart of our approach to metadata support for both legacy and future T&E data extraction and formulation is the development of the T&E Metadata Reference Model (T&E Ref Mod), a UML 2.0-based metadata model for describing T&E data.  The T&E Ref Mod will be built around existing metadata standards/models and new metadata constructs.  KBSI is also developing a prototype component-based Test & Evaluation Metadata PLaza (TEMPL™) that will support the extraction, representation, transfer, translation, verification, validation, completeness checking, retrieval, and visualization of both structured and unstructured T&E data according to the data’s relationship with the relevant metadata.

The TEMPL™ technology components developed in this initiative also have potential for integration into commercial instrumentation support systems.  As part of our work in this initiative, KBSI will demonstrate and document the methodological changes required by instrumentation engineers in the use of TEMPL™ technologies with commercial instrumentation systems.

The solutions developed in the TEMPL™ initiative will significantly improve the effectiveness of T&E for both systems and system-of-systems.  Our comprehensive T&E Ref Mod and the related validation, metadata abstraction, and visualization generation tools will result in significant reductions in the time and effort needed to comprehensively define T&E metadata and will realize important gains in the quality of T&E data and information.  In addition, the reference mod and proposed web-based visualization portal will enable net-centricity for both legacy and future T&E data.

Phase II Development

In Phase II of the TEMPL™ technology initiative, KBSI is designing and developing a methodology, a metadata model, and suite of tools that will unify the storage, transfer, and retrieval of T&E data and metadata across multiple systems, ranges, test articles, and test missions.  This work will apply state of the art information systems engineering, including the use of metadata repositories, ontologies, and semantic web technologies to support the metadata extraction of legacy data and metadata formularizations for ongoing and future test missions.

webbanner_decisionsupportAt the end of Phase I, KBSI demonstrated the initial T&E Ref Mod and the proof of concept TEMPL™ technology portal, showing the effectiveness of the TEMPL methodology, the benefits of collating legacy data and metadata, and the benefits of performing verification, validation, and completeness (VV&C) checks on metadata.

The Phase II effort will significantly extend and build off of the Phase I results by developing a robust T&E Ref Mod, a T&E Metadata Toolset, and T&E Metadata Method.  The T&E Ref Mod is an ontology-based reference model that is detailed to allow for mapping to site-specific metadata sets and, consequently, is valid throughout DoD T&E centers and test squadrons.  The T&E Metadata Method supports the specification of T&E metadata from multiple sources and data types (structured, unstructured, etc.).  The method includes a means for mapping metadata to test processes and to the T&E Ref Mod, as well as a means for using these mappings to support structured and unstructured search and retrieval, to provide verification, validation, and completeness checking, and to support information life cycle management for T&E data.

The final component will be the component-based Test & Evaluation Metadata PLaza (TEMPL™) that allows T&E systems test and instrumentation engineers to provide complete metadata specifications that can be verified, validated, checked for completeness, stored, retrieved, and analyzed.