Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New software helps teams deal with information overload

04.06.2003


Penn State researchers have developed new software that can help decision-making teams in combat situations or homeland security handle information overload by inferring teams’ information needs and delivering relevant data from computer-generated reports.


The agent software called CAST (Collaborative Agents for Simulating Teamwork) highlights relevant data. This helps improve a team’s decision-making process as well as enhances members’ collaboration.

"This version of CAST provides support for teams by anticipating what information team members will need, finding commonalities in the available information and determining how that information should be processed," said John Yen, professor of information sciences and technology. "Decision making is made easier because the software offers only relevant data."

CAST was originally developed by a team of researchers at Texas A&M where Yen was a key figure. Now a faculty member in Penn State’s School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), Yen heads the Research Laboratory for Team-based Agents at the University while continuing to collaborate with Richard Volz and Michael Miller, from Texas A&M, on the software.



Initially, CAST was developed to facilitate or train human teams in the best ways to collaborate on and perform certain tasks. The research has been funded through a Department of Defense MURI (Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative) grant to Texas A&M, Wright State University and Penn State .

With this research, the research team is taking smart software into a new direction involving what he calls "shared mental models" to support team activities or train teams. These can include shared team goals, shared assumptions about the problem, and shared knowledge about the team structure and process.

"The inspiration came from psychologists studying the behavior of human teams who were required to process incoming information under the pressure of time constraints," Yen said.

Without being directed, members of higher-performing teams were able to provide each other with needed information. This enabled more timely and better decisions, he added.

CAST does this, too. "The more time-critical the environment in which a team operates, the more effectively it needs to process information," Yen said. "A computer program that acts as a team member may be more efficient in processing information than a human teammate."

The Penn State researcher and his collaborators see CAST as a promising technology for supporting military officers who receive from ground sensors and satellites as many as 600,000 reports every hour. Without the right information, the wrong decision can be made in the battle space, Yen said.

The software, which can be customized, also can help officers adapt more quickly to changing battlefield conditions.

CAST also could be used to track potential terrorist threats or infectious diseases - any domain where information needs to be exchanged quickly or commonalities found among different cases, Yen said.

Yen had been scheduled to present this research as a keynote speaker at the second International Conference on Active Media Technology in the People’s Republic of China, May 29-31. The conference was canceled due to SARS. The paper, "On Modeling and Simulating Agent Teamwork in CAST," appears in the conference’s proceedings released by World Scientific Publishing Company.


###
The authors from Penn State are Yen; Xiacong Fan, a post doctoral scholar; and IST doctoral students Shuang Sun, Ray Wang and Cong Chen. Kaivan Kamali is a doctoral student in Computer Science and Engineering. Volz and Miller, Texas A&M, also were co-authors

Margaret Hopkins | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets
22.03.2019 | Universität des Saarlandes

nachricht Touchscreens go 3D with buttons that pulsate and vibrate under your fingertips
14.03.2019 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>