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Web2.0 and Warfighter Training


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Simulation-based training has always wrestled with issues in user interfaces, collaboration, networking, standardization, and interoperability. These problems have often been more advanced than those faced in the business IT and C4I communities. As a result we have developed a culture in which we develop our own software, hardware, and networking solutions. However, recent advances in fields like computer gaming and business IT have shown that commercial technologies can become the basis for simulation systems. Over the last two years consumer IT applications have emerged that may have useful application in distributed simulation. Social networks, wikis, blogs, web page tagging, photo and video sharing, and tools for personal 3D game development have all attracted significant attention in the commercial world by bringing distributed processing technologies to the mass consumer.

Web 2.0 companies are creating tools which answer important problems around distributed, interoperable, interactive, user centered experiences. This paper identifies many of these applications, defines useful categories for understanding them, and illustrates valuable applications in simulation and training. Just as computer games brought powerful commercial technologies to military training, Web 2.0 applications have similar potential which is not yet generally recognized. The goal of this paper is to begin a dialog on the useful application of these technologies within the interactive simulation community.

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Web2.0 and Warfighter Training

  1. 1. Web 2.0 and Warfighter Training Roger Smith Chief Technology Officer US Army PEO STRI Approved for Public Release. Security and OPSEC Review Completed: No Issues. European Simulation Interoperability Workshop 16-18 June 2008, Edinburgh, Scotland
  2. 2. Defining Web 2.0 <ul><li>“ Web 2.0 is participatory, collaborative, inclusive, creator & user-centric, unsettled, and very information-intensive.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dearstyne, Information Management Journal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ weapons of mass collaboration” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don Tapscott, Wikinomics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ harnessing collective intelligence” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tim O’Reilly, Radar Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ participatory web” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bart Decrem on Wikipedia </li></ul></ul><ul><li>My Synthesis: “Web tools that allow multiple authors to contribute to a shared body of knowledge or information” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Expanding Techbase Simulation Interop Stds Terrain Data Facility Comp HW AAR IA Secur GUI Network Web 2.0 Pod Cast Flickr Digg You Tube Wiki Blogs Social Net Twitter
  4. 4. The Pain of New Technology
  5. 5. The Pain Without It
  6. 6. Latest in Communication Technology
  7. 8. My Web 2.0
  8. 10. “The Network is the Computer” John Gage, Sun Microsystems, 1983-ish
  9. 11. Web 2.0 Tool Perspective Geo-centric Ego-centric Idea-centric Interest-centric Activity-centric Information-centric Delivery-centric Skill-centric Organization-centric Second Life, Active Worlds, Entropia, Facebook, MySpace Millions of Blogs, Digg, StumbleUpon Twitter Wikipedia, Intellipedia YouTube, Flickr, Slideshow Open Source, Linux Guilds in WoW, Everquest World Individual Group
  10. 12. Web 2.0 in the Training Lifecycle Plan Prepare Execute Analyze Archive <ul><li>Blogs: </li></ul><ul><li>Plan & Discuss </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: </li></ul><ul><li>Workgroups </li></ul><ul><li>Google Docs: Edit & Publish </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life: </li></ul><ul><li>Proto & layout </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki: </li></ul><ul><li>Build Scenario </li></ul><ul><li>Digg: </li></ul><ul><li>Old Scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Machinima: Create Tutorials </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: </li></ul><ul><li>Realtime Collabor </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr: </li></ul><ul><li>Pub Maps & 3D </li></ul><ul><li>Americas Army: </li></ul><ul><li>Combat Environ </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: </li></ul><ul><li>Realtime Status </li></ul><ul><li>Podcast: </li></ul><ul><li>Debrief </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki: Build & Share Results </li></ul><ul><li>Digg: Tag Info </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube: </li></ul><ul><li>Real and Virtual Video </li></ul><ul><li>Google Docs </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki: Archive </li></ul><ul><li>Digg: Tagged </li></ul>Training Event Lifecycle Information Reuse
  11. 13. …not everyone lives in a castle “ But even here 80% of soldiers have access to a laptop computer and network” - SFC Richard Colon, US SOCOM, Iraq
  12. 14. Conclusion … Looking Forward <ul><li>There are a number of advantages to deploying military simulations in the same way that IT applications are deployed. We have explored a few of them here, to include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced equipment ownership costs and obsolescence, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-demand user access to the best applications, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial architectures to access advances in IT practices, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Centralized control of server applications, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Currency of client applications, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interfaces between commercial and military infrastructure components. </li></ul></ul>