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Battle management language. A grammar for specifying reports

: Hieb, M.R.; Schade, U.

Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization -SISO-:
Spring Simulation Interoperability Workshop, Spring SIW 2007 : March 25 - 30, 2007, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Red Hook, NY: Curran, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-60423-923-2
ISBN: 1-60423-923-9
Spring Simulation Interoperability Workshop (SIW) <2007, Norfolk/Va.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer FKIE

Battle Management Language (BML) is being developed as an open standard that unambiguously specifies Command and Control (C2) transactions. BML is both a methodology and a language specification, based on doctrine and consistent with Coalition C2 standards. We argue that the communication of future C2 transactions needs to be based on a formal grammar to support Net-Centric Operations. Such a grammar provides the lexicon for a BML as well as a set of production rules defining how the lexicon elements can be concatenated to BML expressions. The grammar applies both to orders (C2 transactions communicating tasking) and reports (C2 transactions communicating situations). This grammar is intended to contribute to the Coalition Battle Management Language Specification being developed within the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization.
In this paper, we take an existing BML grammar for Orders and develop a related, but distinct grammar for reports. There are many differences between orders and reports. First, we differentiate between status reports, event reports, and task reports. Status reports include reports giving actual positions, the current status of a unit and its material. Event reports are about incidents that are not orchestrated, e.g., sandstorms. Task reports describe operations. A second difference is that with task reports in contrast to orders - the sender of the report does not always know the unit or person executing the task being reported. Therefore grammar rules must exist to allow the description of the executer by more general terms, e.g., by unit type or person type (“two snipers”). A third difference is that reports, especially those about the enemy, must allow the expression of uncertainty (“Enemy may be preparing an ambush”).
This paper describes an initial set of the grammar’s rules for reports, taking into account the differences between orders and reports. It illustrates the use of BML in general and especially the use of the report rules by giving an example of BML communication in a scenario of asymmetric warfare. In this scenario, a patrol is ambushed by snipers. The communication is between lower echelon units. In particular, it involves the patrol, its battalion headquarters, a relief force, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for reconnaissance, engineers for recovery, and medical support. This example illustrates how shared word semantics provided by the Joint Consultation, Command and Control Information Exchange Data Model (JC3IEDM) and the grammar give meaning and illocutionary force to the BML transactions.