The Interoperability Score

Keywords The Interoperability Score
Standards groups

Since the foundation of the i-Score methodology is an operational thread, it is
reasonable to begin with an activity model. IDEF0 or UML activity diagrams are ideal because they require no modification in order to implement the i-Score methodology. The DoDAF OV-5, the functional flow block diagram, the N2 diagram, or IDEF3 diagrams can also be used with slight modification in
order to capture the system supporting each activity in the operational thread.

An example IDEF0 activity model (DoDAF 2004) is shown in Figure 1.
Each activity in the operational thread should be supported by at most one system (mechanism). Systems (both general and specific) can be technological (e.g., PDAs, cell phones, trucks, or wrenches), biological (e.g., human, bacteria, or virus), organizational (e.g., branch office, company, or working group), or environmental (e.g., weather, sun spot activity, or gravitational effects). After modelling the operational thread, let T be the ordered set of all systems supporting the thread. The ordered set of supporting systems for the thread in Figure 1 is T = {1, 2,2,3,4,2} where Strategic ISR is system #1, Tactical ISR is system #2, Command Authority is system #3, and Shooter is system #4

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As the U.S. military seeks to advance its ability to perform network-centric operations, clearly an important factor is improving interoperability of systems of all types. Since only a rare system operates alone, improving the interoperability of networks of systems becomes our research goal. Many nonhomogeneous
networks of technological, human, and organizational systems are
employed in all types of military operations. Within DoD, these systems and their operational uses are often described by
Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) architectures and include system, technical and operational
views. With architecture as a foundation, a methodology for measuring interoperability, called an “Interoperability Score,” is
introduced. The methodology first defines a baseline measurement of interoperability for a non-homogeneous network of systems as they are used within an operational scenario or “thread.” The methodology then defines the theoretical optimum interoperability score and proposes some heuristics which can be used to improve overall network interoperability.

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