Final report for project DCMF, 2008-2010


  • Vahid Mojtahed
  • Martin Eklöf
  • Hirad Asadi
  • Jelena Zdravkovic
  • Eric-Oluf Svee

Publish date: 2010-12-14

Report number: FOI-R--3059--SE

Pages: 62

Written in: Swedish


  • Conceptual Modelling
  • Knowledge Management
  • DCMF
  • DCMF Process
  • DCMF product
  • Knowledge Component
  • BOM
  • OWL
  • Semantics
  • Reuse
  • Interoperability


DCMF (Defence Conceptual Modelling Framework) is a FOI project, financed by the Swedish Armed Forces, which has its foundation in the US military´s efforts on distributed simulation which were begun in the mid-1990s. The attempt was called CMMS or Conceptual Models of Mission Space. DCMF is also the name of a Swedish framework for the development and use of conceptual models, which itself has the potential to support the development of simulation models. The process to develop a knowledge base, prior to the development of a simulation model, is a time-consuming and costly process. Moreover, the knowledge that a model represents is often not properly saved for future reuse. Even if the model is accurately stored it is difficult to reuse it in other context. This is primarily because knowledge of how a model was created is not documented to the extent necessary. In other words, for potential reuse of a model, relevant facts about knowledge acquisition are missing and hence so is their traceability to a knowledge source. The DCMF framework includes a process whose main objective is to address how knowledge can be acquired for just such a particular purpose, as well as how it can be structured, modelled and formatted according to predefined criteria. It also addresses how knowledge can be used, or reused, given diverse applications. The process consists of four main phases: Knowledge Acquisition (KA), Knowledge Representation (KR), Knowledge Modelling (KM) and Knowledge Use (KU). The DCMF process´s four phases have not been explored to the same extent. While simply understanding and identifying the first steps is acceptable, this is not the case in the later stages, primarily KU. The mission of DCMF project in 2008-2010 has been to focus work on these later stages, specifically to study how a repository that can support the storage, retrieval, composition and visualisation of DCMF-products (e.g. conceptual models) should be designed. The objective of the project for 2010 has been to develop a working prototype that can demonstrate a DCMF repository, focused toward composing smaller knowledge components into a larger conceptual model. As a basis for prototype development work, a scenario was created that builds on current events in Afghanistan, where Swedish ISAF forces are stationed. The scenario is based on an event that occurred in November, 2009, when a patrol was attacked with an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). A number of soldiers were injured and an Afghan interpreter was killed during the event. DCMF-products (knowledge components) based on the scenario were created and were used as examples in the prototype. The process that assembles knowledge components into conceptual models, taking into account both syntactic and semantic aspects, was illustrated then by the prototype. In addition to work to develop the prototype, the project was also tasked to actively participate in a NATO team (NMSG-058) whose main task was to find a workable definition for the concept of "conceptual modelling for military modelling and simulation (M&S)", and in addition, recommend a process for the creation of just such models. The result of the taskforce is supposed to be packaged as a set of guidelines and will be delivered to SISO as a basis for a standardisation effort. In summary, conceptual modelling in the context of military M&S is considered to be able to contribute to: * A cost-effective development process - By standardising methods for the collection and representation of knowledge, as well as creating a common infrastructure for its storage, knowledge reuse can be realised on a larger scale, i.e. the same knowledge can be used in several development contexts. * High-quality knowledge - The DCMF method assumes that authorised sources will be used to acquire knowledge, i.e. just anyone who has ideas about an activity may not be used. Furthermore, using methods for strict formalisation of knowledge in the form of models, quality assurance and reuse can be facilitated. * Support in the early stages - Using conceptual modelling in the early phases of the development cycle (for example, for constructing a simulation model) creates a common understanding of the problems to be addressed that can be communicated to all stakeholders for a project. The conceptual model, an artefact that is crucial for the specifications that are developed for this system, reflects the question that should be studied. The report ends with a section discussing the future development of DCMF. In this section the DCMF as a concept will be analyzed from a number of different perspectives and a number of recommendations and future visions for DCMF will be offered.