Enhancing the Tactical Data Link Decision Support System

  • Christos Sioutis
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 42)


Coordinating a complex array of deployed assets is a difficult task. Defence employs Tactical Data Link (TDL)s to maintain situation awareness and convey the intent of command and control information. Connectivity is achieved using digital radio communication systems that conform to present military TDL standard waveforms. Managing a TDL is inherently complex and typically requires operators (called TDL Network Managers (TDLNMs)) to actively manage these networks. These TDLNMs are trained military personnel and, due to the transient nature of their careers, most are posted within a few years and are often replaced with less experienced operators. Given this fluctuating level of experience, a Decision Support System (DSS) is being considered to assist the operators in maintaining a network. This chapter describes the conceptual design of an agent-based DSS, that could be used to support an operator, who is responsible for monitoring and optimizing a TDL. This includes tasks such as monitoring, troubleshooting and modifying various aspects of the TDL in order to maintain the required levels of connectivity and performance. One of the key tools used to support this role is a computer-based Network Management System (NMS). The proposed DSS could be developed using an Agent Architecture Framework (AAF) and integrated with the DSS based on Distributed Object Computing (DOC) technology. This approach minimizes the risk of integration between the NMS and the DSS, whilst allowing flexibility for future integration requirements. Cognitive Work Analysis (CWA) techniques could also be employed to capture and encode the expertise required for the DSS to operate effectively.


Agent Cognitive work analysis Decision support system  Distributed object computing Network manager Tactical data link Software oriented architecture 



The author would like to acknowledge the contribution of William Scott (performed through collaboration with the University of South Australia) in support of the research described in this chapter. In particular, the customized decision ladder and generic task template.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Defence Science and Technology OrganisationEdinburghAustralia

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