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Agent oriented modelling of tactical decision making


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A key requirement in military simulation is to have executable models of tactical decision-making. Such models are used to simulate the behaviour of human entities such as submarine commanders, fighter pilots and infantry, with a view to producing realistic predictions about tactical outcomes. Tactics specify the means of achieving mission objectives, and should capture both reactive and deliberative behaviour. The lack of a methodology and supporting tools for designing computer-based models of tactics makes them difficult to create, maintain and reuse, and this is now a significant problem in military simulation domains. To address this, we have developed TDF (Tactics Development Framework), a tactics modelling methodology and tool based on the BDI (Beliefs, Desires, Intentions) paradigm, that supports agent-oriented structural modelling of tactics and related artefacts including missions, storylines, goals and plans. The methodology was initially assessed by analysts in the undersea warfare domain, and was subsequently evaluated using a simple scenario in the autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles domain. The latter evaluation involved a comparison with UML designs, indicating that our methodology provides significant benefits to those building and maintaining models of tactical decision-making. Copyright © 2015, International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems ( All rights reserved.
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The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
The Journal of Systems and Software
journal homepage:
A framework for modelling tactical decision-making in autonomous
Rick Evertsza, John Thangarajaha,
, Nitin Yadava, Thanh Lyb
aSchool of Computer Science & IT, RMIT University, Australia
bDefence Science and Technology Organisation, Australia
article info
Article history:
Received 30 January 2015
Revised 25 August 2015
Accepted 27 August 2015
Available online 7 September 2015
Keywo rds:
Tactics modelling
Behaviour modelling
Multi-agent systems
There is an increasing need for autonomous systems that exhibit effective decision-making in unpredictable
environments. However, the design of autonomous decision-making systems presents considerable chal-
lenges, particularly when they have to achieve their goals within a dynamic context. Tactics designed to
handle unexpected environmental change, or attack by an adversary, must balance the need for reactivity
with that of remaining focused on the system’s overall goal. The lack of a design methodology and support-
ing tools for representing tactics makes them difficult to understand, maintain and reuse. This is a significant
problem in the design of tactical decision-making systems. We describe a methodology and accompanying
tool, TDF (Tactics Development Framework), based on the BDI (Beliefs, Desires, Intentions) paradigm. TDF
supports structural modelling of missions, goals, scenarios, input/output, messaging and procedures, and
generates skeleton code that reflects the overall design. TDF has been evaluated through comparison with
UML, indicating that it provides significant benefits to those building autonomous, tactical decision-making
© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Fuelled by recent technological advances, there has been an in-
creased interest in autonomous systems, whether for space ex-
ploration (Council, 2012), UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)
(Huntsberger and Woodward, 2011), or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Ve-
hicles) (Dopping-Hepenstall, 2013). Full autonomy offers many ad-
vantages, including allowing a system to venture into environments
where teleoperated systems would perform poorly due to high com-
munications latency, for example, deep space.
Despite the recent technological focus on autonomy, in areas such
as mining, agriculture and military applications, the general software
engineering community may not be aware of the recent progress the
field has experienced. Although the Google self-driving car has per-
haps been the most high profile autonomy project, many others are
underway. Autonomy is now a major focus of the oil and gas industry,
where it promises to allow the exploration of previously inaccessible
areas and reduce human exposure to danger (NFA Autonomy Working
Group, 2012). Fully autonomous robots are now being used by special
forces for live fire training (Evertsz et al., 2014). The UK-led ASTRAEA
Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 399259535.
E-mail addresses: (R. Evertsz),,john., (J. Thangarajah),
au (N. Yadav), (T. Ly).
programme has been running for nine years and is working towards
the goal of routine flights of unmanned aircraft systems in all classes
of airspace (Mills, 2011).
Different applications require, or are best met by, different levels
of autonomy. For example, because of the high power requirements
and poor levels of transmission (e.g. radio waves) in the underwa-
ter environment, UUVs cannot be remotely controlled unless they are
close by. Thus the focus of UUV research and development has been
on fully autonomous systems. In other domains, if human oversight is
necessary, a semi-autonomous approach, where the system submits
to the command authority of a human, is preferable.
The objective of this research is to develop and evaluate a method-
ology that supports the demands of designing autonomous tacti-
cal decision-making systems. Our research is focused on supporting
the design of autonomous systems that operate in dynamic domains
requiring the application of sophisticated, tactical decision-making,
such as that exhibited by human experts, e.g. submariners or fighter
pilots. Effective performance in such domains requires capabilities
such as the balancing of reactivity with proactivity. The autonomous
system must not only be goal directed, but must also be able to switch
focus when the environment changes in an important way, or when it
discovers that one of the assumptions underlying its current tactical
approach is invalid. It may also need to coordinate its activities with
peers who are working towards the same goal. It has been argued
that these capabilities, namely autonomy, reactivity, proactivity and
0164-1212/© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238 223
social ability, are characteristic of agent-based systems (Wooldridge,
2008), and that they are not well supported by most programming
paradigms. With this in mind, we have adopted an AOSE (Agent Ori-
ented Software Engineering) approach to the design of autonomous
decision-making systems.
AOSE is concerned with how to specify, design, implement, vali-
date and maintain agent-based systems. There are now many AOSE
methodologies; Akbar (Akbari, 2010) lists 75, some dating back to
the early 1990s. Of these, a number are still in regular use, including
ANEMONA (Botti and Giret, 2008), ASPECS (Cossentino et al., 2010),
Gaia (Wooldridge et al., 2000), INGENIAS (Pavón and Gómez-Sanz,
2003)O-MaSE(DeLoach and Garcia-Ojeda, 2010), PASSI (Cossentino,
2005), Prometheus (Padgham and Winikoff, 2004), ROADMAP (Juan
et al., 2002) and Tropos (Bresciani et al., 2004). Although there are
important differences between these methodologies (DeLoach et al.,
2009), their common agent-based focus means that there is a large
area of overlap, for example, they all facilitate the decomposition of
the system into functionally distinct components. Although existing
AOSE methodologies can support tactics modelling to some degree,
the mapping is not straightforward. Our investigation of the require-
ments for modelling tactical decision-making revealed a number of
areas for improvement. These relate to high-level tasking (termed mis-
sions); what the autonomous system can achieve (goals); and how it
can achieve its goals (represented as plan diagrams).
During our analysis of the requirements of tactics modelling, it
became apparent that previous AOSE methodologies do not provide
a sufficiently rich representation of goal control structures. Tropos
(Bresciani et al., 2004) provides a wider range of goal types that
are well suited to goal-oriented requirements analysis, such as soft
goals, but these do not address the goal-oriented control structures
required to express tactics at a high level of abstraction. Ideally, a
goal-based representation of tactical decision-making should encode
reactive/deliberative goal considerations, such as the conditions un-
der which a goal should be suspended or resumed. These goal condi-
tions and inter-goal relationships are important to tactical decision-
making. Goal-related attributes are usually implicit, hidden deep in
the system’s implementation. Our objective is to make these hidden
dependencies explicit at the design level so that the designs are a
more accurate reflection of the desired system behaviour, thereby
promoting user comprehension and the potential for design reuse
and sharing.
To better address the need for autonomous, tactical decision-
making, we have taken the Prometheus methodology as a starting
point and have developed TDF (Tactics Development Framework) by
adding missions, goal extensions, plan diagrams and tactics design
patterns. To this end, the Prometheus BDI agent design methodology
has been extended with explicit support for modelling tactics. Among
the more popular BDI agent design methodologies (Federico et al.,
2004), Prometheus was a natural choice given that PDT (Prometheus
Design Tool) generates JACK (Winikoff, 2005) code directly, a re-
quirement of our user community which has been working with
JACK for many years. A wide range of extensions/simplifications of
Prometheus were considered during the development of TDF. The ini-
tial set of extensions/simplifications was informed by the 15 year ex-
perience we have had in using Prometheus for agent-based modelling
and in using BDI languages such as dMARS (d’Inverno et al., 1998)and
JACK (Winikoff, 2005) to model decision-making in domains such as
autonomous robots, infantry tactics and air combat. This was refined
over the course of the current USW (Undersea Warfare) project, based
on requirements and feedback from our USW user community, who
were also familiar with JACK and Prometheus.
Under the direction given by our user community of USW an-
alysts, a key objective in developing TDF was to offer a method of
specifying tactics in a manner that supports reuse and sharing. These
tactics design patterns specify what the tactic does, how it does it
and what it needs to achieve its objective. In software engineering,
design patterns foster reuse by providing an abstraction that de-
scribes effective solutions to common problems. Similarly, effective
tactics, if expressed appropriately, offer the potential for reuse and
application to a range of similar problems. For example, the infantry
pincer tactic, in which both flanks of the enemy are attacked simulta-
neously, can also be applied to air combat. The abstraction of a tactic
into a design pattern offers the potential for sharing and reuse, rather
than compelling the analyst to reimplement a tactic from scratch.
Such behavioural design patterns are not currently offered by AOSE
A mission expresses what the autonomous system needs to
achieve as well as other ancillary information such as potential risks
(see Section 4.1.1). The mission design artefact was added in response
to the requirements of our user community of USW analysts, who run
multiple USW tactical scenarios to investigate study questions such
as “Will Sonar X improve tactical outcomes for this set of missions?”.
The tactics that they develop and implement only make sense in the
context of one or more missions that are used to investigate the mod-
elling question. Thus, it is important that these missions be specified
at the beginning of the tactics design process.
Plan diagrams are a high-level, diagrammatic procedural repre-
sentations of tactics that provide the added benefit of enabling SMEs
(Subject Matter Experts) to critique the model early on. Although the
Prometheus methodology includes process specifications, which are
similar to plan diagrams, the tool (PDT) does not. Furthermore, the
Prometheus process specification notation is fairly minimal, and so it
was necessary to extend it to include goals, goal conditions, wait-for
conditions, failure nodes, and asynchronous merges (termed joins).
This work makes several contributions: (i) the state of the art in
AOSE methodologies is extended to facilitate the modelling of tactical
decision-making systems by adding missions, a wider range of goal
structures, plan diagrams and tactics design patterns (Section 4); (ii)
the extended methodology is implemented in a new application, the
TDF tool, that builds on PDT (Padgham et al., 2008)(Section 5); and
(iii) a preliminary evaluation is presented comprising an assessment
by USW analysts, and a UAV pilot study indicating that TDF provides
significant benefits to those engaged in building autonomous, tactical
decision-making systems (Section 6). Although our work is based on
the Prometheus methodology, we believe that these enhancements
could be applied to other AOSE methodologies, for example, O-MaSE
and Tropos. These methodologies have a number of similarities to
Prometheus (DeLoach et al., 2009), and could be extended, for exam-
ple, to augment their concept of goal to include TDF’s goal conditions
and goal control structures.
2. Background
This section provides a brief overview of the requirements for au-
tonomous tactical decision-making systems, followed by an introduc-
tion to the BDI (Beliefs, Desires, Intentions) paradigm and AOSE.
2.1. Tactics
At their most basic, tactics are the means of achieving a goal. Mi-
chon (Michon, 1985) presents a hierarchical control model for driver
behaviour. The model comprises (i) a strategic level in which an over-
all plan is developed, (ii) a tactical level that reacts to the current sit-
uation using manoeuvres, and (iii) a control level that handles low-
level actions such as accelerating and braking. In Michon’s model,
tactics handle short-term goals and responses to the immediate re-
quirements of the situation. This view of strategy and tactics mir-
rors that generally employed by the military; strategy relates to high-
level planning and the general approach to a problem, whereas tactics
specify the means of achieving more short-term goals.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines tactics as:
224 R. Evertsz et al./ The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238
The art or science of deploying military or naval forces in order of
battle and of performing warlike evolutions and manoeuvres.
Thus, tactics are adversarial in nature. However, we have adopted
a less restrictive definition that focuses on their flexibility:
A tactic is a specification of responsive, goal-directed behaviour.
From this perspective, tactical decision-making seeks to achieve
an objective in a situation where the system may have to respond
to unexpected change. The notion of responsiveness is what defines
a tactic as something more specific, yet more flexible, than a gen-
eral behaviour specification. For example, a behaviour specification
of how to follow a flight plan to a destination would not be regarded
as a tactic. However, a specification of how to navigate to a destina-
tion, in a way that can avoid unexpected adverse weather, is indeed
tactical. An effective tactical decision-making system must do more
than simply blindly execute a procedure; it must be able to respond
in a timely manner to events that interfere with the achievement of
its goals.
2.2. Autonomous systems
Autonomous operation is an important requirement for un-
manned vehicles, such as UAVs, UUVs and spacecraft. Taking UAVs
as an example, although some functions operate autonomously, e.g.
following a predetermined flight profile, ground crew perform all
high-level decision-making. Fully autonomous UAVs have yet to be
operationally deployed. Nevertheless, increasing the level of auton-
omy has been an active research area for some time, for exam-
ple, the NASA Remote Agent Architecture for autonomous spacecraft
(Muscettola et al., 1998), autonomous UAV’s for airborne science mis-
sions (Wege ner et al ., 200 4), and NASA’s space technology roadmap
(Council, 2012).
It is important to distinguish between automation and autonomy.
In an automatic system, actions are independent of context – the
system responds to its sensor input in a fixed manner and does not
engage in more flexible behaviour, such as seeking further environ-
mental input to delineate the best course of action. In contrast, an au-
tonomous system is designed to acquire knowledge about the context
and use it to make more situation-dependent and effective decisions
(Doyle, 2003). Having said that the distinction between automation
and autonomy is not hard and fast. Indeed, various levels of auton-
omy can be discerned within the class of autonomous systems itself,
for example, the Autonomy Control Levels outlined in Office of the
Secretary of Defense (2001).
Under certain circumstances, even a simple UAV reconnaissance
scenario may require sophisticated decision-making capabilities. To
illustrate, consider a photoreconnaissance mission in which a UAV is
tasked to fly across hostile territory and photograph an installation.
In the simplest case, all it has to do is fly to the location, photograph
the target, and return to base. However, unexpected events may re-
quire that it reconsider its current plan on how to achieve the mission
objective, or may even mean that the objective must be abandoned.
Possible events and relevant variables include:
Unexpectedly low fuel level: Will there be enough fuel left to return
to base after the target has been photographed? Is mid-air refu-
elling an option? Is photographing the target so important that it
is permissible to run out of fuel and crash once the images have
been transmitted to base?
Icing (water freezing on the airframe): Icing is an ever present
threat that has been responsible for the loss of many aircraft and
lives over the years. Is there a danger of icing? Can the mission be
completed by flying around the icing threat? Could the changes
in aircraft dynamics be explained by icing? If so, enable de-icing
measures. Are they proving effective?
Ideally, the UAV’s decision-making capability should be compa-
rable to that of a human pilot, and this is mandatory if it will be
operating in civilian airspace; see, for example, the development of
standards for UAV certification by the UK Civil Aviation Authority
(Haddon and Whittaker, 2003), and more recently AMC UAS.1309
(JARUS, 2011).
Effective decision-making in an environment where unexpected
events can arise requires certain minimal capabilities.
The autonomous system should be goal directed, i.e. its activity is
focused on the achievement of its goals.
It should balance goal-directed behaviour with an ability to ex-
ploit opportunities or react to dangerous situations. This involves
a continual process of environmental monitoring to maintain sit-
uation awareness (Endsley, 1988).
It should be able to drop goals that are no longer achievable and
take action to circumvent a situation that is blocking the achieve-
ment of one of its goals.
These capabilities are not well served by typical programming lan-
guages. Although languages such as Ada are well suited to program-
ming aircraft avionics, for example on the Boeing 777, they are not a
good fit for autonomous tactical decision-making.
2.3. The BDI paradigm
Based upon work in philosophy on intentional systems and practi-
cal reasoning (Dennett, 1987; Bratman, 1987), the BDI programming
paradigm was developed to support the above-mentioned mix be-
tween proactive and reactive behaviour. The first implementation of
the approach, PRS (Georgeff and Ingrand, 1989), focused on real-time
fault diagnosis for Space Shuttle missions. The BDI model of agents
has been used for high-level decision-making on UAVs, e.g. (Karim
et al., 2004), and on QinetiQ’s BAC 1–11 UAV surrogate1.
A BDI agent is an autonomous computational entity that, unlike a
typical object in the object oriented paradigm, is constantly executing
asense, decide, act loop. Whereas an object’s behaviour is invoked by
external messages, a BDI agent is more internally driven, persistently
sensing its environment, deciding what to do next and then perform-
ing an action if appropriate. A BDI agent continually reassesses its
course of action in response to incoming sensory information.
BDI architectures vary in detail, but all share the core attributes
illustrated in Fig. 1. A key element is that these systems have a pre-
defined set of plans (Plan Library) that is used to respond to exter-
nal events from the environment as well as internal events. Internal
events are the proactive goals generated within the system.
In the schematic architecture in Fig. 1, sensory information from
the environment is mapped to events that accumulate in a queue. The
BDI Engine takes the next event from the Event Queue and selects
all relevant plans from the plan library that could be used to han-
dle the event. The contextual information within each plan is then
used to determine the plans that are applicable in the current context
and one of these plans is selected to be executed. The chosen plan
instance is added to the agent’s intentions. In each cycle, the agent
chooses one step of an intention (i.e. instantiated plan) to progress,
which may produce an action that is passed to an actuator that ef-
fects a change in the environment.
Although there are no comparative studies of BDI applied to au-
tonomous systems, a function point analysis over six projects en-
compassing 10 person-years of development found that, for the com-
plex applications being developed, the benefits of BDI were highly
1 qinetiq/297140.article (last ac-
cessed 20 July 2015)
R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238 225
Event Queue
BDI Engine
Plan Library
Intention Stack
Fig. 1. BDI Architecture.
In a wide range of complex business applications, we show that the
use of Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) technology incorporated within
an enterprise-level architecture can improve overall developer pro-
ductivity by an average 350%. (Benfield et al., 2006)
2.4. Agent oriented software engineering
The development of TDF was motivated by a community of users
who have been using paper-based workflow diagrams and UML to de-
sign tactics models for undersea warfare. As the library of models has
grown in size, this approach has not scaled well. A key requirement
in this domain is for SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) to be able to view
behaviour models at a design level which can then be systematically
propagated into the implementation. The lack of an appropriate de-
sign methodology (and tools) to capture the tactics makes this task
almost impossible for large systems.
UML (Unified Modeling Language) is the de facto standard no-
tation for software modelling. UML focuses on syntactic rules for
defining models, leaving semantics informally defined and open to
interpretation. Because of the similarities between agents and ob-
jects, early approaches to AOSE are built upon OO (Object Oriented)
methodologies, e.g. the AAII Methodology (Kinny et al., 1996)and
Agent UML (Bauer et al., 2001). AOSE methodologies and tools con-
tinue to be used and enhanced, and although there is considerable
overlap, each focuses on different aspects of the problem. For exam-
ple, Tropos is a BDI-based methodology that focuses on early require-
ments analysis. O-MaSE uses UML notation to express agent-based
design concepts and adds the notion of multi-agent organisations. A
comparative review of O-MaSE, Tropos and Prometheus can be found
in DeLoach et al. (2009).
Prometheus forms the basis of TDF, and is a BDI methodology
based upon over 15 years of development in partnership with com-
mercial designers of agent-based systems and tools. It encourages a
top-down approach to the design of multi-agent systems that com-
prises three main stages: System Specification, Architectural Design
and Detailed Design. System Specification defines the relationship
between the system and its environment in terms of the overall sys-
tem goals, typical scenarios that can occur, and inputs and outputs.
Architectural Design fleshes out the internal structure of the system,
including the data stores, roles to be filled by agents and the commu-
nications protocols between them. Detailed Design specifies the in-
ternals of the agents in terms of their capabilities and the plans they
can use to achieve their goals and respond to the environment.
3. Research method
Before outlining the TDF methodology, we provide some back-
ground to the research method used to develop and evaluate TDF.
In developing our software engineering approach to modelling tac-
tical decision-making, our main research methods were Conceptual
Analysis and Concept Implementation; according to Glass et al. (2002),
these are the dominant approaches adopted by software engineer-
ing researchers. The development of our methodology comprised Re-
quirements Elicitation and Analysis (Section 3.1), Conceptual Analy-
sis (Section 3.2), Concept Implementation (Section 5), and Evaluation
(Section 6).
3.1. Requirements elicitation and analysis
The original requirements for TDF came from a group of USW an-
alysts who were interested in improving how they model subma-
rine commander tactical decision-making, with a view to generating
quantitative predictions of how proposed capability will impact fu-
ture submarine performance and operational effectiveness in USW
scenarios. Requirements elicitation revealed the following key prob-
lems to address (in descending order of importance):
R1 – Highlight reactive/deliberative decision-making. In designing
and implementing USW tactics, the most problematic aspect for
analysts is how to represent the response to unexpected changes
in the tactical situation.
R2 – Facilitate reuse of tactics across different scenarios.
R3 – Aid tactics validation. Validation should be supported by pro-
viding a means for SMEs to understand and critique the models.
R4 – Capture scenario-specific constraints. The selection of the most
appropriate tactic depends on the situation, and these situational
constraints need to be represented explicitly so that matching tac-
tics can be developed and/or found.
R5 – Generate skeleton JACK code. Over a period of 10 years, the USW
analysts had amassed a substantial library of JACK-based tactics,
and an infrastructure that integrated JACK into their USW simula-
tion platform.
3.2. Conceptual analysis
This stage began with the collection and analysis of definitions
of the term tactic in various domains, including military and man-
agement science. The distinction between tactics and strategy was
clarified, with the latter taken to denote a higher-level category that
groups related tactics in terms of their general approach to achieving
the goal. For example, stealth is a strategy, whereas in USW, restrict-
ing oneself to passive sonar or transiting to a separate thermal layer
are particular tactics for maintaining stealth. Our resulting concep-
tualisation of tactics was discussed in Section 2.1.Thekeyfeatureof
tactics is that they are not only primarily goal-directed but are also
responsive to changes in the tactical situation; this observation led
us to focus on agent-based modelling and AOSE methodologies in
A systematic review of the literature on hybrid reac-
tive/deliberative reasoning (requirement R1) was undertaken,
with a view to determining how changes in course of action have
been represented in previous design methodologies. The review
revealed that, although there has been a lot of work on algorithms
and architectures for balancing reactive/deliberative modes of rea-
soning, design methodologies have not explicitly incorporated this
226 R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238
aspect. Consequently, we focused on developing a novel method of
representing reactive/deliberative tactical decision-making, and in
the interests of model validation, looked at how to make the notation
accessible to SMEs, by casting it at the goal level and in diagrammatic
The requirements for tactics reuse (requirement R2) were ini-
tially addressed by reviewing the literature on design patterns, as
well as cognitive modelling, to determine the degree of support for
reuse in AOSE methodologies and behaviour modelling. We also con-
sidered which aspects of object-oriented design patterns could be
repurposed to support tactics reuse. In the realm of software en-
gineering, design patterns were first proposed for object-oriented
programming (Gamma et al., 1995) to foster software reuse. Subse-
quently, the notion of design pattern was successfully applied at the
agent architecture level, for example, in the early days of the devel-
opment of the Java mobile agent platform, Aglets (Lange and Mitsuru,
199 8). This successful mapping is not surprising, because at the sys-
tem level, an agent can be viewed as an object, i.e. an encapsulation
with internal state and a set of interaction methods, cf. (Aridor and
Lange, 1998).
However, the internal functioning of agents that embody sophisti-
cated military tactics is very different to that of typical objects. It has
been argued that tactics require flexible, goal-oriented execution that
can include concurrent tasks (Taylor and Wray, 2004), necessitating
the development of a different class of design pattern. Hence, in this
work we directed our effort towards developing design patterns that
encapsulate goals, tasks and contextual information.
With regard to validation (requirement R3), and based on previ-
ous successes in having pilots validate diagrammatic, BDI-based air
combat tactics (Murray et al., 1995), we opted to develop an easy-
to-understand, diagrammatic representation of tactics. To determine
the extent to which validation has been supported in previous be-
haviour models, we surveyed existing modelling methodologies and
tools, as well as diagrammatic procedural behaviour programming
languages such as PRS (Georgeff and Lansky, 1985), dMARS (d’Inverno
et al., 1998), and JACK (Winikoff, 2005). We have been working with
these procedural, diagrammatic BDI languages for over 20 years, and
our experience is that SMEs readily understand and can critique be-
haviour models implemented in this form, and indeed, this has some
support in the literature, e.g. Wallis et al. (2002),Murray et al. (1995).
However, although this procedural view of tactical behaviour facili-
tates validation of the steps performed during the execution of a tac-
tic, it does not provide a high-level view of important dimensions
of the tactic, including its goal-based decomposition, goal dynam-
ics, scenario-specific constraints (requirement R4), and the types of
mission that the tactic relates to. A further review of the literature
confirmed that, on the whole, previous AOSE methodologies do not
provide a means of capturing scenario-specific constraints (require-
ment R4) in the early, high-level stages of the design process. Rather,
this contextual information gets added later on, and at a procedural,
rather than declarative level. For example, in Prometheus this infor-
mation is represented in the context conditions of plans, during the
final Detailed Design stage (Padgham and Winikoff, 2004, p. 113).In
Ali et al. (2009), an extension to Tropos is proposed that combines
contextual information with early, goal-based requirements in order
to model software variability.
Following the above reviews and analyses of current practice
and its shortcomings, we developed the TDF methodology, using
Prometheus as a starting point, because of the requirement that the
TDF tool generate JACK code (requirement R5). To heighten the gen-
eral applicability of our methodology, we surveyed common prac-
tice in tactics modelling. Areas examined included forest firefight-
ing, UAVs, USW, air combat, infantry, attack helicopters teamed with
UAVs, and tank battles. In general, tactics have been directly imple-
mented either in a platform-specific language or a more platform-
independent, AI-based (Artificial Intelligence) language such as Soar
(Laird et al., 1994), dMARS or JACK. In the past, UML has been pro-
posed for agent-based modelling (Bauer and Odell, 2005), and indeed
all of the groups surveyed, who engaged in design-based modelling
of tactics, used UML. Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN)
(OMG, Business Process Modeling Notation, 2006) is also a candi-
date for agent-based modelling of procedural behaviour (Endert et al.,
2007), and so we considered its use in TDF. Although UML activity di-
agrams and BPMN are suitable for modelling the procedural aspects
of tactics, interruptibility must be expressed explicitly and it is rel-
atively cumbersome to do so. This reflects the fact that activity di-
agrams and BPMN were designed for processes where interruption
is the exception rather than the rule. This difficulty could perhaps
be ameliorated by augmenting BPMN with a declarative, constraint-
based, change handling mechanism, such as that discussed in van
Der Aalst et al. (2009). In contrast to UML and BPMN, BDI languages
are intended to mix reactivity with proactivity, and so are well suited
to tactics modelling where responsiveness is the key to effectiveness.
Nevertheless, to improve the accessibility of the TDF notation, we
adopted the iconography of UML activity diagrams.
4. Tactics development framework
This section outlines the whole design process but focuses on
the TDF extensions of the Prometheus methodology. TDF extends
Prometheus with missions, a richer goal structure, plan diagrams and
tactics design patterns (in TDF, referred to as tactics).
In keeping with the Prometheus methodology, TDF partitions tac-
tics modelling into 3 main stages:
System specification: Identification of system-level artefacts,
namely missions, goals, scenarios, percepts, actions, data, actors
and roles.
Architectural design: Specification of the internals of the system,
namely the different agent types (by grouping roles), the interac-
tions between the agents (via protocols), and messages.
Detailed design: Definition of the internals of the agents, namely
tactics, plan diagrams, internal events and capabilities.
Fig. 2 illustrates the Prometheus methodology augmented with
TDF extensions required to better represent tactical decision-making
(shown in italics). The diagram updates and augments the original
Prometheus methodology diagram (Fig. 1) found in Padgham and
Winikoff (2005). It horizontally partitions the design process into the
three Prometheus stages: System Specification, Architectural Design
and Detailed Design. The first of the three columns highlights design
artefacts that relate to system dynamics, namely scenarios, goals, pro-
tocols and plan diagrams. The TDF tool provides various editable dia-
grammatic overviews of the design (second column). As the designer
moves from system specification through to detailed design, various
structured forms accumulate (third column), for example, missions
are defined during system specification, whereas plan diagrams wait
until detailed design.
The directed arcs define the propagation of information across the
design and the opportunity for crosschecking. For example, actions
defined during system specification are propagated through to de-
tailed design, where they are available for inclusion in plan diagrams.
Crosschecking ensures, for example, that a plan cannot include a per-
cept that is not also defined as being handled by the agent the plan
belongs to (in the System Overview). Crosschecking and propagation
ensure that the overall design remains internally consistent.
The following overview of TDF is illustrated with the help of an ISR
(Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) vignette involving a UAV
tasked with locating and photographing a suspected enemy convoy.
The UAV has no offensive capability but can employ countermeasures
to evade an attack.
R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238 227
missions, goals,
actions, data,
actors, roles
As above plus:
As above plus:
tactics, plan
Specification Detailed
Dynamics Diagrammatic
Goals Mission
Fig. 2. TDF augmented Prometheus methodology.
4.1. System specification
The System Specification defines the overall interface to the en-
vironment, typical interactions and a high-level, goal-oriented view
of the system’s capabilities. System Specification typically begins
with the definition of the missions that the system is being de-
signed to handle. The mission is central to the TDF design process.
Each mission defines a macro interaction between the system and
its environment. Missions are a central driver in the tactics design
Definition of the missions is followed by identification of the ex-
ternal human/software entities (actors) that will interact with the
system, and how the interactions will unfold (scenarios). This is then
fleshed out by specifying the system inputs (percepts) and outputs
(actions), data used, goals and roles. Each of these design artefacts
can be defined in whatever order best suits the designer’s preferred
Although the methodology refers to artefacts such as actors, sce-
narios, percepts and actions, these are not instances; rather, they are
types/classes, in the general sense that each is a term that denotes
a set of instances. For example, a position percept would refer to
the set of all percepts of type position, rather than a particular
position datumthatisreceivedatruntime.
4.1.1. Mi s sio n
Missions form an important part of the TDF design process. To
some extent, the mission design artefact specifies system require-
ments. However, it is in one sense narrower, and in another broader
228 R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238
than traditional requirements. It is more narrow to the extent that
it specifies one possible interaction between the system and its envi-
ronment. It is broader to the extent that it embodies particular design
attributes (e.g. Operational Constraints, Risks) that define the general
properties of the mission. Note that a TDF design typically contains a
collection of missions, i.e. a specification of the missions that its tac-
tics can handle. The mission artefact does not substitute for require-
ments, for example, goal-oriented requirements are represented in
TDF using goal structures, rather than missions.
Each mission defines one expected interaction between the sys-
tem and its environment, but its usage differs from the scenario con-
cept (see Section 4.1.6) in that it always relates to a top-level, macro-
objective of the system, whereas scenarios can denote any arbitrary
interaction. The structure of a mission is as follows and includes ex-
ample values for the attributes:
Name: Each mission has a unique identifier, e.g. Photographic
Objective: Every mission has a primary objective that defines mis-
sion success, e.g. Photograph Target.
Secondary objectives: Some missions may have secondary goals,
to be achieved if an opportunity presents itself and it will not
endanger the achievement of the primary objective. For exam-
ple, Photograph Potential Enemy Camps. Although sec-
ondary objectives could be included in the Mission Statement, our
users tell us that a significant number of the missions they model
include some form of secondary objective. Therefore, this prop-
erty was added to prompt the modeller to think about the sec-
ondary objectives of the mission to be modelled.
Mission statement: A description of the mission type, for example:
“you are tasked with locating and photographing a convoy. The lo-
cation of the convoy is roughly known, but you will need to search
the area to locate it.”
Operational constraints: A state of the world to be maintained for
the duration of the mission, for example: “Do not enter any no-fly
Risks: These help prompt the design of tactics to handle unex-
pected but dangerous situations, for example: “the convoy is af-
filiated to a hostile group, so there is a possibility that you will be
Opportunities: Aspects of the situation that could be exploited, for
example: “the convoy is expected to be moving fast on dirt roads.
A dust cloud could indicate its location.”
Scenarios: A scenario is a sequence of episodes that can occur
during the mission. Example scenarios for this mission might
include: Navigate to Area of Operation, Search
for Target, Classify Target, Avoid Incoming
Missile, Photograph Target.
Data: General mission-related data, for example: map, no-fly
4.1.2. Actors
Although the term actor can be taken to imply wilful intent, there
is no need for this to be the case. Essentially, from the system’s
perspective, actors are entities that generate percepts, whether wil-
fully or otherwise. They can also be affected by system actions. From
a modelling perspective, actors are opaque entities. In contrast to
agents (Section 4.2), actors are external to the system and their inter-
nal structure is not modelled – they are effectively black boxes that
produce behaviour and respond to system actions. Actors are used
to represent the UAV’s sensory and effector subsystems (see Sensor,
Countermeasures and Navigation Subsystems in Fig. 3).
4.1.3. Percepts and actions
The system interacts with the actors in its environment by way
of inputs (percepts) and outputs (actions). As the design is fleshed
Handle Incoming Missile
launch flares
enable infrared
altitude change
Fig. 3. Design artefacts: scenario, actors, percepts and actions.
R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238 229
Handle Incoming
[no countermeasures
Launch Flares Enable Infrared
Fig. 4. Goal structure to handle incoming missile.
out, questions will arise regarding the information required from the
environment, and how the system must act on the environment to
achieve its goals. This will lead to the addition of further percepts
(e.g. incoming missile)andactions(e.g.launch flares), as
illustrated in Fig. 3.
4.1.4. Goals
The system is designed to meet its mission objectives, and those
objectives lead to the derivation of sub-goals that have to be achieved.
These goal/sub-goal relationships are expressed as a goal structure
that defines the hierarchy using and ,or and concurrent con-
nectives (see Fig. 4). Because tactics are inherently goal oriented, the
goal structures form the scaffolding around which the tactics are ulti-
mately built, and offer a high-level description of a tactic’s functional
to right and the graph implicitly comprises and nodes, i.e. all goals
must be achieved in left-to-right order. Tactics typically involve a se-
quence of goals that have to be achieved one after another, thus, a
left-to-right conjunction makes the best default interpretation of a
goal structure.
TDF extends this with control structures that better capture inter-
goal relationships that are important to tactical decision-making.
These goal-related attributes are usually implicit, hidden deep in
the autonomous system’s implementation. The objective in TDF is
to make these hidden dependencies explicit at the design level so
that the designs are a more accurate reflection of the desired system
behaviour, thereby promoting user comprehension and the potential
for design reuse and sharing. TDF provides the following goal control
Conditional:A conditional goal is used to denote a goal that should
only be adopted if certain conditions are true. If the conditions
are not met, the arc is skipped. (see [no countermeasures
remaining] example, Fig. 4). Effective tactical decision-making
is very context-dependent, but contextual information is usually
embedded inside the procedures (plans) that implement the tac-
tic. Conditional goals allow such implicit contextual information
to be expressed at the goal level during the early stages of the de-
sign process.
Concurrent: Sibling sub-goals that are to be adopted con-
currently and independently. The parent goal will only
succeed once the concurrent goals have been successfully
achieved. See Fig. 4,Launch Flares and Enable Infrared
Unordered: In TDF, sub-goals that are not concurrent are implic-
itly attempted from left to right. This default ordering can be
circumvented by specifying that particular goals can be attempted
in any order.
Anonymous node: Used to partition the goal structure into sub-
trees that have a different logical relationship to one another.
For example, in Fig. 4 the anonymous node (empty circle) par-
titions the goal structure into a disjunctive (first Evasive
Manoeuvres goal and anonymous node) and a conjunctive (Use
Countermeasures and the second Evasive Manoeuvres
goal) sub-tree. Its diagrammatic role is the same as that of paren-
theses in composite, textual logical expressions.
Asynchronous: Operationally, an asynchronous goal’s parent does
not wait for it to succeed. This is useful in cases where a sequence
of tasks needs to be performed asynchronously, without waiting
for them to complete successfully.
Maintenance: Expressed as a guard on a goal that spans all child
goals. If the guard becomes untrue, the system will attempt to
make it true again. This behaviour is an important component of
tactics that must deal with a world that changes unexpectedly.
Note that this construct reflects the reactive behaviour of mainte-
nance goals but not the proactive behaviour, as described in Duff
et al. (2014).
Preserve: Expressed with a guard labelled “while”, the sub-goal is
To illustrate some of these goal control structures, consider the
objective of evading an incoming missile (Fig. 4). This example shows
an application of conditional and concurrent goals, and the combina-
tion of and and or sub-trees via an anonymous node. If there are
no countermeasures remaining, the Evasive Manoeuvres goal
is tried (a conditional goal). Otherwise, countermeasures are used,
which involves launching flares and using infrared countermeasures
(concurrent goals) to interfere with the missile’s ability to maintain
a lock on the UAV. As soon as countermeasures have been deployed,
the second branch emanating from the empty circle (an anonymous
node) is tried, i.e. evasive manoeuvres begin.
Without the inclusion of a conditional goal, it would not be appar-
ent that the UAV immediately adopts the Evasive Manoeuvres
goal if there are no countermeasures available. Without the
concurrent inter-goal relation, one could erroneously surmise that
the UAV launches flares and then enables its infrared countermea-
sures. In fact, when there is an incoming missile, it is vital that these
two actions are performed as soon as possible, i.e. concurrently.
4.1.5. Roles
As the goal structures are developed, it soon becomes appar-
ent that they perform particular functions within the overall sys-
tem. Each function can be expressed as a role.Perceptsandac-
tions required by the goals in a role are grouped within that
role. Roles ultimately encapsulate agent functionality and are used
to guide the decomposition of the system into agents. Fig. 5
shows the Situation Awareness role that is responsible for
the Maintain Situation Awareness goal. The role involves
actions such as enable radar and percepts such as missile
4.1.6. Scenarios
Scenarios are used to map out key sequences of task-related activ-
ity in the system (akin to use cases). A given scenario will comprise a
sequence whose members include goals, actions, percepts and sub-
scenarios. As each scenario is mapped out, new goals, actions and
percepts will crop up, leading to the development of variations as
well as completely new scenarios. This iterative process completes
when the designer feels that there are enough scenarios to indicate
the overall behaviour of the system. It is better to develop a few im-
portant scenarios rather than try to cover all cases, which can lead to a
230 R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238
Situation Awareness
designate contact
to track
Situation Awareness
Fig. 5. Situation Awareness role.
cluttered design. In any event, variations can be documented in the
design. Ideally, all of the percepts, actions and goals should be in-
volved in at least one scenario (see Fig. 3 for a diagrammatic repre-
sentation of the Handle Incoming Missile scenario’s relation-
ship to actors, percepts and actions).
4.2. Architectural design
In the Architectural Design stage, the main tasks are to define
agent types (in terms of roles) and the inter-agent communication
that needs to occur (protocols and messages). The allocation of func-
tionality (roles) to agents can be based on a number of factors, includ-
ing preferring high cohesion and low coupling. Cohesion refers to the
extent to which the components are related, either by function or in
terms of time. Coupling is the degree to which components depend
upon one another for data.
4.3. Detailed design
The main purpose of the Detailed Design stage is to specify the
different ways that the system can achieve the functionality defined
in the System Specification stage. One of the powerful features of BDI
is its support for the representation of multiple ways of responding
to a percept or satisfying a goal. Each method typically applies in a
different context and is represented as a separate procedure (plan).
The System Specification defines what the system does, but not
how; the latter is the purpose of the Detailed Design. In TDF, the how
is specified using a diagrammatic plan representation that is based on
UML activity diagrams. TDF plan diagrams are a level of abstraction
above the implementation, and should be viewed as diagrammatic
pseudo-code rather than an executable implementation. A TDF plan
diagram specifies the general steps of a plan without getting bogged
down in implementation detail.
4.3.1. Capabilities
In the Detailed Design, capabilities are defined that encapsulate
the tactics, goals, plans, messages, percepts, actions and data re-
quired to perform a particular function within the system. Capabil-
ities are reusable pieces of functionality that can be assigned to dif-
ferent agents in the system, and are analogous to Abstract Classes in
object oriented programming. They may correspond to roles, com-
bine a number of roles, or implement part of a role. A capability can
also be decomposed into a hierarchy of sub-capabilities, allowing the
reuse of more fine grained functions within the Detailed Design. Fig. 6
shows the goal/plan tree of the MissileEscaping capability. The
goal/plan tree shows what goals the capability can achieve and the
various ways (plans) that it can achieve those goals. The incoming
missile detected message triggers the MissileDetected
plan, and the Handle Incoming Missile goal, in turn, triggers
the IncomingMissile plan, and so on. The HowLongToArrive
plan computes the missile ETA and updates the data store (top
right, Fig. 6).
4.3.2. Agents
Agents are autonomous, computational entities, and are assigned
the capabilities needed to perform their function. Although they have
the same structure as capabilities (i.e. they contain tactics, goals,
plans, etc.), unlike capabilities they can be instantiated in the running
system to perform computation.
4.3.3. Plan diagrams
There is a long tradition of using diagrams to represent proce-
dures, whether as flow charts (Gilbreth and Gilbreth, 1921), Petri Nets
(Petri, 1966), recursive transition networks (e.g. PRS (Georgeff and
Lansky, 1985)), UML activity diagrams (Heaton, 2005), BPMN (OMG,
Business Process Modeling Notation, 2006) or countless variations.
Because UML is widely used for diagrammatic software specification,
we adopted it as the basis for the representation of plan diagrams in
TDF, modifying where necessary to reflect BDI semantics and PDT no-
tational convention. Another motivation for the adoption of UML dia-
grammatic notation was the earlier related work on unifying existing
AOSE notations through the use of UML iconography (Padgham et al.,
2009). The overriding goal is to foster tactics designs that are easy
to understand and modify. The plan diagram representation encour-
ages this by reducing some of the complexity that can be expressed
in UML activity diagrams, excluding elements that are not relevant to
BDI models, e.g. parameter passing via input/output pins, and excep-
tion handler nodes.
Despite the similarities in notation between plan diagrams and
UML activity diagrams, the underlying semantics have very little in
common due to the fundamental differences between the BDI and
objected oriented paradigms. For example, in BDI, each node either
succeeds or fails. If it fails, the invocation of the plan fails and the
execution engine will try an alternative way of achieving the goal if
one is available. Another important difference is that a plan may be
suspended if a higher priority task has to be performed; a plan may
also be abandoned if certain conditions no longer hold true.
Fig. 7 lists the node icons used in TDF plan diagrams. The node
types are:
Initial: Plan diagrams have a unique initial node, preceded by ei-
ther a goal, percept or message that acts as a trigger for the plan.
Optionally, the initial node can have a guard that specifies the con-
text in which the plan is applicable.
Action: Performed on the agent’s environment.
Activity: Denotes a sequence of computational steps.
Data: Data access and update.
Decision/Merge: A decision node represents a conditional choice
between options. A merge node transitions to its outgoing arc as
soon as one of its incoming arcs completes.
Failure: Terminates the plan with failure.
Fork/Join: A fork node denotes concurrent threads. A join node
synchronises its incoming threads.
Goal: A goal to be achieved.
Asynchronous goal: A goal to achieve without waiting for it to suc-
Message: A message sent to another agent.
Note: For documentation.
R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238 231
incoming missile detected
Handle Incoming Missile
Calculate ETA Deploy Countermeasures Evade Missile
deploy countermeasures
Turn Change Altitude
turn away from flares
ChangeAltitude(Command) AccelerateRapidly(Command)
change altitude rapidly accelerate rapidly
Fig. 6. MissileEscaping capability.
Asynchronous Goal
Fig. 7. Plan diagram node icons.
Percept: Precedes initial node. Denotes a reactive plan.
Success: Terminates the plan successfully.
Wait: Waits for a condition to become true.
The plan diagram in Fig. 8 incorporates a percept, initial node, ac-
tion, fork, three asynchronous goals, join, a goal and a success node.
The plan is triggered by a low oil pressure percept, and imme-
diately reduces the load on the engine. It then sets up three asyn-
chronous goals to monitor related engine indicators; these goals are
pursued in their own separate threads, and the plan does not wait for
them to succeed. Finally, it adopts the goal to reconsider the viability
of the current mission in the context of the engine problem.
Note that, because of the underlying BDI model, each plan step
is interruptible to the extent that the execution of other (higher pri-
ority) plans can be interleaved with this one. So, for example, if an
incoming missile is detected and there is a higher priority plan for
dealing with that event, this plan will effectively be suspended until
engine load
oil temperature
cylinder head
oil pressure
viability of current
oil pressure
Fig. 8. Plan diagram to handle potential engine problem.
4.3.4. Tactics design patterns
A key objective for TDF is to offer a high-level representation that
supports reuse and sharing by providing the developer with an ex-
tensible library of tactics design patterns. Tactics design patterns,
termed tactics in TDF, encode general-purpose tactical solutions that
can be customised for more specialised applications. A number of ap-
proaches to the provision of re-usable design templates have been
232 R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238
investigated, particularly in the field of Knowledge-Based Systems.
Generic Tasks (Chandrasekaran, 1986) are a means of representing
high-level problem solving in a way that captures the strategy using
a vocabulary that is relevant to the task. In a similar vein, Problem-
Solving Methods (PSMs) (McDermott, 1988) have been proposed as a
way of expressing domain-independent, reusable strategies for solv-
ing certain classes of problem. A PSM comprises a definition of what it
achieves, how to achieve it and what it needs to perform its function.
These are termed respectively its competence,operational specification
and requirements/assumptions. In our approach, the what is expressed
as the objective and outcomes,thehow as the goal structure and plans,
and the needs as the information required.
This section outlines the properties of tactics design patterns. In
developing TDF, an effort was made to use property names that are
meaningful to analysts and SMEs; for example objective rather than
top-level goal,andgoal structure rather than goal graph.
Objective: The objective is the top-level goal that the tactic is de-
signed to achieve. An objective is usually named either with ref-
erence to what it does or what it achieves, for example, land
(what it does) or landed (what it achieves). An example tacti-
cal objective in the UAV domain is Escape from Incoming
Trigger: A percept that triggers the use of the tactic, e.g. low oil
pressure. This is used to model a reactive tactic, i.e. one that is
triggered by an environmental event rather than a goal.
Problem description: A description of the types of problem the
tactic applies to. For example “an incoming missile has been de-
Solution description: A description of how the tactic achieves its
objective. For example, “this tactic uses countermeasures to dis-
tract the missile and then evades by turning, climbing/descending
and accelerating”.
Context: A tactic is only applicable in a particular context, i.e. if its
precondition is true. A precondition is a boolean test of the state
of the world, e.g. “have sufficient countermeasures remaining”.
Outcomes: A description of how the world has changed after the
tactic has achieved its goal, e.g. “have fewer countermeasures”.
Restriction: A situation that must be maintained for the duration
of the tactic’s execution, e.g. “do not enter no-fly zones”.
Information required: Information that the tactic requires to per-
form its function. These include the products of perception
(percepts), e.g. missile detected, missile bearing,
missile range.
Information updated: Agent beliefs (data) updated by the tac-
tic, e.g. location, speed, altitude, number of
countermeasures remaining.
Goal structure: A reference to the top-level goals underlying the
tactic, e.g. Handle Incoming Missile.
Plans: A collection of references to plan diagrams, specifying pro-
cedural methods of achieving the goals in the goal structure.
For example: EvadeMissile, DeployCountermeasures,
Source: References to source material used to create the tactic, e.g.
“Drafted from Doctrine Manual UAV-2-10”.
In TDF, plans are grouped in terms of the tactics design patterns
they contribute to and are represented at an abstract level indepen-
dent of the particular implementation language. This encourages the
designer to think in terms of high-level tactics and promotes proce-
dural abstraction. Thinking in terms of tactics, rather than low-level
procedures, also facilitates merging, reuse and maintenance of tac-
tics sets. A tactics design pattern makes the important attributes ex-
plicit. For example, if a tactic requires that the UAV remain above a
certain cruise altitude, this is defined as an explicit restriction. When
considering merging this tactic with one that involves dropping un-
der low cloud, it is obvious that there is a potential conflict. In our
experience, this type of conflict is usually not apparent at the imple-
mentation level; for example, a descend action might be embedded
deep down in the plan/goal graph and might not be noticed when
inspecting at the top-level plans.
5. The TDF tool
The TDF plugin extends PDT with graphical tool support for the
TDF methodology. The main purpose of the tool is to empower ana-
lysts with a mechanism to capture behaviour specifications such as
5.1. Prometheus design tool (PDT)
PDT is an Eclipse-based plugin used for designing BDI soft-
ware systems. The PDT plugin supports all three Prometheus design
phases, namely, System Specification, Architectural Design, and De-
tailed Design. PDT utilises the multi-editor architecture of Eclipse to
provide multiple tabbed editors, such as Analysis Overview, Scenario
Overview, Goal Overview, etc., in a single plugin. All of these editors,
except for Capability Overview, Agent Overview and Plan Diagram,
are accessed by clicking their respective tabs (present at the bottom
of the content pane). The outline panel provides a tree view of the
design hierarchy consisting of both static elements (common to all
design instances), such as Goal and Analysis Overview, and dynamic
elements (that depend on the particular design instance) such as ca-
pabilities and agents. Generally, a non-trivial design will contain mul-
tiple capabilities, agents and plans, and therefore the editors associ-
ated with these entities, that is, Capability Overview, Agent Overview,
and Plan Diagram, respectively, get activated by clicking the relevant
entities in the Detailed Design portion of the outline panel. Finally,
added to relevant diagrams.
5.2. TDF tool
Core elements of the PDT plugin are shown in Fig. 9.TheTDFplu-
gin provides the following extensions to the PDT tool:
– missions;
additional goal types and control structures;
plan diagrams; and
5.2.1. Tactics and missions
The Tactics Overview editor (Fig. 10) allows the design of new tac-
tics by relating them to goals and capabilities. The graphical depiction
of tactics in the plugin is through a red, head-shaped icon. To main-
tain consistency with PDT we retain the icons for entities that are
shared between PDT and TDF such as capabilities, goals, etc. The Mis-
sion Overview editor (Fig. 11) is used for linking missions with tactics
and scenarios.
5.2.2. Additional goal types
The TDF plugin supports the modelling of additional goal types
and control structures beyond standard PDT’s achievement goals and
and/or control structures. For their graphical representation, the
TDF plugin provides variations of PDT’s oval look for goals to show
different goal types. In the goal overview palette (see Fig. 12), main-
tenance goals are depicted by the character “M” inside the oval, asyn-
chronous goals have a dashed line, and anonymous goals are circular.
Maintenance goals are associated with maintenance conditions
that are shown within square brackets. In terms of graphical rep-
resentation, ordered goals are linked with solid lines whereas un-
ordered goals are linked with dashed lines. The goal type, that is, AND,
OR,CON, is shown just below the parent goal.
R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238 233
Fig. 9. TDF Eclipse plugin.
Fig. 10. Tactics overview in TDF plugin.
5.2.3. Plan diagrams
In PDT the internals of a plan are specified using informal text.
Plan procedures are described as pseudocode but this is optional for
designers. The TDF tool presents a more structured approach for spec-
ifying the internals of the plan in the form of detailed plan diagrams
as described in Section 4.3.3.
Since a plan can be shared across different agents, plans exist at
the same level as agents in the detailed design. Clicking a plan icon
in the outline panel opens the plan diagram editor. By dragging and
dropping various entities from the palette one can define the steps of
the procedure, including:
the plan’s triggering goal;
entry and exit points, including success and failure outcomes, for
internal logic of the plan body;
data dependencies of the plan;
plan effects, such as actions and messages.
Fig. 13 shows an example of a plan from the UAV domain. As out-
lined earlier, the TDF methodology provides a conceptual framework
to capture procedural knowledge such as plans in a principled way.
The TDF plugin supports the accompanying methodology by provid-
ing an effective visualisation of the procedural and contextual know
how associated with plans.
5.3. Features of the tool
The TDF plugin has desirable features such as type safety, auto-
matic propagation, batch image export,andcode generation.Thesefea-
tures play a significant role in ensuring that design artefacts created
by the TDF tool are sound, and that the design maps to executable
1. Type safety: To add an entity to a diagram, a user may either se-
lect an existing entity from a list or create a new one. For exam-
ple, when a user adds a maintenance goal to a diagram, she is
234 R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238
Fig. 11. Mission overview in TDF plugin.
Fig. 12. Goal overview in TDF plugin.
Fig. 13. Plan diagram in TDF plugin.
presented with a dialog box showing a list of all maintenance
goals. She can then select an existing maintenance goal from the
list, or create a new goal (by typing a unique name). This approach
not only provides filtered entity-specific lists but also avoids typ-
ing errors.
2. Automatic propagation: Entities that span across multiple editors
are automatically propagated. For example, when a new goal is
added to the Analysis Overview, it is automatically propagated to
the Goal Overview editor.
3. Code generation: The plugin comes with an extension capa-
ble of generating skeleton code for JACK (Winikoff, 2005)and
GORITE (Rönnquist, 2008). The code generation feature pro-
vides a predefined structuring, in the form of JAVA packages,
to the system. This facilitates and enforces good software en-
gineering practices. In addition, the code generation is built
to allow an iterative design and coding approach. The gener-
ated files are marked with areas that are affected by automatic
code generation. Any changes outside of these marked areas are
R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238 235
preserved when generating code after updating an existing TDF
4. Batch image export: The plugin allows batch exporting of images
of all the editors. These images can then be used to either create
reports or share with other team members.
Overall, providing the TDF tool as an Eclipse plugin integrates the
design and development of tactics within a unified environment. One
of the future directions for the tool is to extend the code generation
abilities to cover agent-oriented programming languages other than
JACK and GORITE. This will encourage different communities to adopt
the TDF methodology for designing tactical decision-making systems.
In parallel, we are also working on developing an automatic report
generator that will combine the export image functionality with ad-
ditional information that can be processed from properties defined
for various entities.
6. Evaluation
To evaluate TDF, we selected UML as a baseline for compari-
son because it is regularly employed by our user community to de-
sign tactics, and our experience in various tactical domains suggests
that UML is a natural choice for those with a standard software
engineering background who are faced with building a tactical
decision-making system. The objective of the evaluation is to test the
prediction that, relative to UML, TDF improves the level of compre-
hension of a tactical decision-making system’s design. The underly-
ing assumption is that a tactics design that is easier to understand
will facilitate reuse and sharing between developers.
6.1. Initial assessment by domain experts
An initial assessment of TDF was undertaken by a group of ana-
lysts who have been modelling USW tactics for many years, using a
combination of UML and informal diagrams. The USW domain is very
interesting from a tactical decision-making perspective – the subma-
rine commander spends much time developing an understanding of
the tactical situation. This has to be done stealthily, mostly relying on
passive sonar to avoid detection by an adversary. Consequently, tacti-
cal decisions may be based upon limited and uncertain information.
Because the USW analysts’ tactics library is classified, we were not
given access to any information about it. However, they gave a pos-
itive assessment of TDF, indicating that an experimental evaluation
would be worthwhile. Their feedback was that TDF will be beneficial
in the context of their Monte Carlo constructive tactical simulations,
because these generate a very large number of outcomes, making val-
idation by visual inspection of the implementation impractical. The
USW analysts believe that TDF’s high-level design view of tactics fa-
cilitates analysis of the aggregated result of the many thousands of
simulations they routinely run. Although the feedback they can give
us is tightly constrained by the prevalence of classified information in
the data set, the TDF project has been extended twice by our stake-
holder, and this is a strong indication that TDF is working well for
them. These are real military users, working on real, classified tacti-
cal problems.
6.2. A participant-based TDF/UML comparison study
The method, results and analysis for this study are as follows:
6.2.1. Method
A photoreconnaissance scenario was used to evaluate how well
the designs were understood by the participants.
The participants comprised 10 computer science students, all very
familiar with UML. They were not compensated for their involvement
in the evaluation.
Experimental design
The participants were randomly assigned to the two experimen-
tal conditions (TDF and UML) in equal numbers using a between-
subjects design.
In order to minimise the need to learn the mechanics of the TDF
and UML tools, the tactics designs were presented as a collection of
static diagrams. All sessions were run by the same experimenter. Be-
cause the TDF group were unfamiliar with TDF, they were given a 15
min overview of the notation. Both groups were encouraged to ask
questions about any notation they were unsure off. All subjects were
allowed unlimited time to peruse the tactics and could ask ques-
tions related to syntax but not the behavioural implications of the
The participants completed a 15-item multiple choice ques-
tionnaire (see Appendix) immediately after studying the tactics.
The questionnaire tested the subjects’ understanding of the UAV’s
behaviour in specific situations addressed by the tactics design.
The subjects could consult the design at any time while completing
the questionnaire. Time taken to complete the questionnaire was
6.2.2. Results
As predicted (H1:μ1>μ2), the mean number of questions an-
swered correctly was higher for the TDF group: TDFμ1=82.4%,
UMLμ2=66.4%. A one-tailed, independent t-test rejects the null hy-
pothesis, H0:μ1=μ2,p<0.025.
There was no significant difference in the time taken to complete
the questionnaire between the two groups: μ1=13.4, μ2=13.6
6.2.3. Analysis
The experimental evaluation indicates that TDF’s approach to
tactics representation is more readily understood than equivalent
UML versions. The effect is surprisingly large, given that the designs
were deliberately simplified so as not to disadvantage UML. The BDI
paradigm allows for a simpler representation of interruptible be-
haviour, because an executing plan can be interrupted at any time
by another, higher priority one. In contrast, potential interruptions
must be explicitly represented in UML activity diagrams. If there are
more than a few such interruptions, the activity diagram can quickly
become very complex. This TDF/BDI advantage was ameliorated by
keeping the potential interruptions to just two, and this only occurred
in one activity diagram.
We suspect that the experimental effect would have been
even larger if the design had included a more sophisticated reac-
tive/deliberative mix of behaviour, such as that represented in TDF
by maintenance goals. A maintenance goal comprises a mainte-
nance condition that specifies a particular state of the world that
the agent must maintain, for example, ensuring that there is enough
fuel to return to base. If the maintenance condition becomes un-
true, then a goal is adopted to bring the world back into com-
pliance, for example, by refuelling. Maintenance goals can be suc-
cinctly expressed in TDF, but are not straightforward to specify in
UML because it does not provide a specific goal maintenance design
7. Discussion
TDF supports the design of autonomous, tactical decision-making
systems that operate in dynamic domains. Such systems must be
able to balance goal-directed behaviour with an ability to respond to
important environmental change. It has been argued that AOSE maps
well to such problems; however with regard to tactical decision-
making, previous approaches to AOSE fall short in terms of high-level
236 R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238
tasking (missions), goal structures and specifying how to achieve
The original motivation for the development of TDF came from
a team of analysts who have been using UML to model USW tactics
over a period of many years. This approach did not scale to larger tac-
tics libraries, and sharing and reuse across analysts was problematic.
Indeed, our experience of modelling military tactics over the last 20
years suggests that model reuse causes difficulties, particularly when
sharing across team members. It is not unusual for a developer to pre-
fer to implement a new tactical model from scratch, rather than try
to understand and reuse another’s model.
TDF extends Prometheus with missions, a wider range of goals
structures, plan diagrams and tactics design patterns. These exten-
sions are intended to make autonomous decision-making designs
easier to understand and share. Ease of comprehension was evaluated
in the context of a UAV photoreconnaissance scenario. The results of
the evaluation indicate that TDF designs are easier to understand than
corresponding UML versions. This effect was significant, despite the
fact that the designs were deliberately simplified to reduce the in-
herent advantage that TDF has with regard to activities that can be
interrupted by environmental events.
We believe that TDF will also be useful in applications that
rely upon behaviour models in the form of “virtual actors” that
must be embedded in simulation environments incorporating human
trainees, as well as computer games and so-called serious games (ap-
plications other than entertainment, e.g. training). With humans in-
volved, there is increased scope for variation which means that the
behaviour models must provide broad coverage to handle less fre-
quent use cases. This makes attention to tactics at a design level all
the more important. There are plenty of such applications, for exam-
ple, disaster management or search-and-rescue. Tactics design pat-
terns will help with reuse, for example, if models of a doctor and
a nurse have already been built, their design patterns can form the
starting point for specifying a paramedic virtual actor. To this end,
we have recently integrated the TDF tool with VBS (Virtual Bat-
tlespace), the leading military 3D, photo-realistic virtual environ-
ment. As is common with virtual environments that focus on visual
realism, VBS’s inbuilt models of human behaviour are fairly rudimen-
tary, and its scripting language is not well suited to the task of im-
plementing dynamic and flexible tactics. Our TDF/SIM infrastructure
uses TDF’s JACK code generation capability to interface to VBS, and al-
lows the design and implementation of dynamic tactics that drive the
behavioural entities in VBS. Further details can be found in Evertsz
et al. (2015).
A major contribution of this research has been the investiga-
tion of the requirements for modelling tactical decision-making,
and what is lacking in existing AOSE methodologies. Tactics have
to mix reactive and proactive modes of computation, and an ef-
fective design methodology should provide a means of highlight-
ing this aspect in the early stages of the system’s specification. TDF
achieves this through its provision of conditional goals, that allow re-
active/proactive behaviour to be expressed at the goal level rather
than at the procedural level; the latter occurring during the later de-
tailed design, rather than system specification. TDF’s application of
the concept of design pattern to tactics is another novel contribution
to the field that promises to foster the creation of large, reusable and
platform-independent tactics libraries. This is a pressing need in the
field of autonomous decision-making systems, and in the more gen-
eral area of behaviour modelling. TDF’s mission concept provides an
important context for the design and development of tactics, as well
as a potential means of categorising the tactics library in terms of the
missions that can be handled. Finally, the provision of plan diagrams
allows procedural aspects to be expressed at a high level of abstrac-
tion, one that has the potential to be understood and critiqued by
7.1. The way forward
There is considerable scope for extending the TDF methodology
and tool to handle a wider range of modelling requirements. Areas
for further work include:
Formalisation of descriptors:Currently, TDF is mainly a descrip-
tive design tool, although it can also generate skeleton JACK and
GORITE code. In the future, a number of TDF properties could be
formalised. For example, the Outcomes property of tactics design
patterns could be changed from a natural language description to
a formal, logical expression that defines how the world changes
during and after the execution of the tactic. This would provide an
opportunity for automated detection of conflicts, for example, a
tactic with the outcome of surfacing would conflict with a mission
that has the restriction that the submarine remain submerged at
all times. However, caution should be exercised when moving in
the direction of formalisation. Our experience with users suggests
that, for many developers, the inclusion of such formal elements
in the design is a burden. There is a delicate trade-off between
using natural language descriptions of property values vs. formal
expressions. This could be overcome by allowing the expression of
both formal and informal property values. The user could use for-
mal expressions if automated design analysis is required, falling
back on natural language descriptions if automated analysis is not
required or if formalisation would significantly slow down the de-
sign process.
Team modelling:Because TDF was originally developed to model
individual submarine commander tactics, it does not explicitly
model team structures. Nevertheless, teams can be modelled
through the use of the role and message design artefacts. We are
planning to extend TDF to handle team-based modelling of ex-
plicit team structures.
Completeness checking:In BDI systems, the goal structure is im-
plicitly represented by plans. The mapping of goals to plans in
TDF could be automatically checked to ensure that the goal struc-
tures are reflected by the set of plan diagrams, highlighting goals
that have no procedural embodiment as plans. This could be im-
plemented via some form of abstract interpretation (Cousot and
Cousot, 1977) of the plan graphs to derive the implicit goal struc-
ture. Related work on the automated verification of plan diagrams
against scenarios and goal structures (Abushark et al., 2015) could
be applied here.
Tactics ontology:Tactics reuse would be enhanced by providing an
editable ontology for tactics. Reasoners in modern ontology ed-
itors allow set membership to be automatically determined via
class properties. With an appropriate ontology, tactics design pat-
terns could be automatically classified based on their properties.
For example, automatically identifying tactics that involve “lethal
Environment modelling:Following Prometheus, TDF models the
environment in terms of actors, percepts and actions. However,
this could be extended to encompass more recent AOSE-based
research on artefacts, which treats environmental entities as first
class abstractions, to be modelled in similar detail to agents, e.g.
Belardinelli et al. (2013). Furthermore, the development of an on-
tology for the environment would facilitate the design of tactics
at a level that abstracts away the low-level details of the environ-
ment, facilitating integration with different platforms.
Broader code generation targets:Currently, the TDF tool generates
JACK and GORITE codes, which through the use of appropriate
plugins, can interface to sensor and actuator APIs, as well as sim-
ulation platform APIs (e.g. the VBS integration referred to earlier).
The automated link from design to implementation is an impor-
tant one, and extending TDF’s code generation capabilities will
R. Evertsz et al. /The Journal of Systems and Software 110 (2015) 222–238 237
broaden its applicability, allowing it to be used, for example, for
safety-critical applications that must conform to RTCA/DO-178A
(currently, the most stringent software certification requirements
for airborne systems).
Knowledge elicitation:Most tactical decision-making systems are
designed to emulate the reasoning of human experts, for ex-
ample, pilots or infantry commanders. This entails a period of
knowledge elicitation with SMEs before the required tactics can
be designed. We are currently extending the TDF methodol-
ogy to encompass knowledge elicitation in a way that provides
traceability from elicitation, through requirements, to design and
This work was supported by the Defence Science and Technology
Organisation, and the Defence Science Institute.
Multiple choice questionnaire
1. If the mission specifies the route, will the UAV determine the
no fly zones?
Yes, No, Only if the Use Mission Route goal succeeds, Unde-
2. What happens if the UAV is not told that it has reached the next
Returns to base if fuel is low, Keeps flying in the same direc-
tion, Requests position update, Undefined
3. The UAV would choose a Creeping Line search pattern when:
Target is far away, Never, Target is travelling in a straight line,
Target direction is known, Undefined
4. Why would the UAV suddenly start to climb?
Avoid turbulence, Convoy found, Incoming missile, Undefined
5. Incomingmissile.WhatdoestheUAVdoiftherearenocoun-
termeasures remaining?
Launch flares, Enable infrared countermeasures, Evasive ma-
noeuvres, Handles incoming missile, Uses countermeasures,
6. If there is low cloud and a missile is detected, the UAV:
Climbs, Descends, Neither, Undefined
7. WhencantheUAVenteraNoFlyZone?
When attacked from the No Fly Zone, When low on fuel, Never,
8. If attacked from above, the UAV turns before it descends:
True, False, Sometimes
9. If attacked from the ground, the UAV completes evasive ma-
noeuvres when the following actions have been completed:
Turn, Climb, Accelerate, Any of these, All three, Undefined
10. When there is an incoming missile, which is done first?
– Launch flares, Enable infrared countermeasures, Simultane-
ous, Undefined
11. While following the route, what does the UAV do if low on fuel?
Descends, Climbs, Stops following route, Returns to base, Un-
12. If descending below low cloud, what happens if the UAV is be-
low 500m?
Levels off, Fails to descend below low cloud, Descends until
below low cloud, Undefined
13. If the UAV does not determine a route, which route does it fol-
Mission route, Navigates in general direction of target, Does
not follow route, Undefined
14. What is the outcome of photo reconnaissance?
UAV returns to base, Photograph taken, UAV has less fuel, Un-
15. If an incoming missile is detected, does the UAV abandon the
mission objective?
Yes, No, Only until the missile has been evaded, Undefined
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Rick Evertsz is currently at RMIT University, and has over 20 year experience in agent-
oriented analysis, design and development in areas including real-time optimisation
of air traffic flow, networkfault diagnosis, and military behaviour modelling. He is also
interested in cognitive modelling and the development of cognitive architectures.
John Thangarajah is an Associate Professor in Artificial Intelligence at RMIT Univer-
sity, Australia. His main research interests are in Agent Oriented Software Develop-
ment, Agent Reasoning, Intelligent Conversation Systems, Agent Testing, and Intelli-
gent Games.
Nitin Yadav received his PhD in Computer Science from RMIT University in 2014.
His current research interests include: behaviour composition, temporal logics, model
checking, agent-oriented programming languages, and BDI-style logics.
Thanh Ly is with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation’s Joint and Opera-
tions Analysis Division. His research interests include agent-based modelling, tactical
simulation, and evolutionary computing.
... For this concept paper, we decided to highlight a Tactics Elicitation Methodology (TEM) [9] and the associated Tactics Development Framework (TDF) [10] tool that were developed by Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University to meet these challenging agent design requirements. This methodology and tool suite are based on 20 years of knowledge elicitation and construction of agent based systems [9]- [12]. The TDF is a modeling tool to help capture and document artifacts for agent systems in a structured way. ...
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The US Army envisions heterogeneous teams of advanced machines and humans that will collaborate together to achieve a common mission goal. It is essential for commanders to quickly and effectively respond to dynamic mission environments with agile re-tasking and computerized aids for plan definition/redefinition, and to perform some tasks with bounded autonomy. Workload constraints limit an individual’s ability to concurrently control many platforms, so some mission segments many need to be autonomous or to be quickly selected via a tactics playbook. Denied environments also dictate the need for machine participants in some mission segments to be autonomous (or semi-autonomous). A Multi-Agent System (MAS) provides a natural paradigm for describing a system of agents that work together in such environments. An agent can be a human or machine, but is generally a machine. Creating MAS systems and requirements has proved to be a formidable task due to mission complexities, the necessity to deal with unforeseen circumstances, and the general difficulty of defining autonomous behaviors. We define a process called Multi-Agent Systems Collaborative Teaming (MASCOT) Definition Process that starts with a Subject Matter Experts (SME), produces a set of agent specifications, and derives system requirements in sufficient detail to define a MAS that can be modeled in a test-bed, used for facilitation of a safety analysis, and produced into an actual system. The MASCOT process also enables concurrent development of an effects based ontology. We demonstrate the MASCOT process on an example case study to show the efficacy of our process.
... Due to the lack of dedicated methodologies, UML is most often used to conceptualise the agent model. Recently, the Tactics Development Framework (TDF) (Evertsz et al., 2014(Evertsz et al., , 2015 was introduced as a methodology for eliciting tactical knowledge from military experts and embedding it in agent-based simulations, and was shown to be better than UML. It was then adapted to modelling the behaviour of the civilian population in Australian bushfires (Adam et al., 2015). ...
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Modelling and simulation have long been dominated by equation-based approaches, until the recent advent of agent-based approaches. To curb the resulting complexity of models, Axelrod promoted the KISS principle: ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’. But the community is divided and a new principle appeared: KIDS, ‘Keep It Descriptive, Stupid’. Richer models were thus developed for a variety of phenomena, while agent cognition still tends to be modelled with simple reactive particle-like agents. This is not always appropriate, in particular in the social sciences trying to account for the complexity of human behaviour. One solution is to model humans as belief, desire and intention (BDI) agents, an expressive paradigm using concepts from folk psychology, making it easier for modellers and users to understand the simulation. This paper provides a methodological guide to the use of BDI agents in social simulations, and an overview of existing methodologies and tools for using them.
... The TDF methodology [10] extends the well-known Prometheus agent-oriented design methodology [14] with the notion of tactics: specific means of achieving a mission, including both reactive and deliberative behaviour. TDF and the associated tool is very useful to help non computer-scientists designing their own models, or at least allow them to participate in the design and give feedback at an early stage. ...
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This paper is concerned with the development of an agent-based model of population behaviour during a bushfire, to form the basis of a simulator that will be used as a decision-support tool for emergency managers. To ensure the validity of the simulation results, it is essential that the model, and the underlying agent architecture, are as realistic as possible. After providing some context about recent bushfires in Victoria, Australia, we justify the need for a BDI (belief, desire, intention) agent architecture. Although some tools exist to support the integration of such agents in simulations, they are infrequently used. We therefore show how an existing methodology for modelling military tactics can be adapted to this context. The contribution of this paper is two-fold: providing an agent-based model of population behaviour during bushfires; and presenting a methodology that can be used by other model designers in the field of crisis management.
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The Tactics Development Framework (TDF) is a tactics modelling application that extends the Prometheus Design Tool with tactics design patterns, plan diagrams, a mission concept, and richer goal hierarchies. Copyright © 2014, International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems ( All rights reserved.
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Agent systems are used for a wide range of applications, and techniques to detect and avoid defects in such systems are valuable. In particular, it is desirable to detect issues as early as possible in the software development lifecycle. We describe a technique for checking the plan structures of a BDI agent design against the requirements models, specified in terms of scenarios and goals. This approach is applicable at design time, not requiring source code. A lightweight evaluation demonstrates that a range of defects can be found using this technique. Copyright © 2015, International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems ( All rights reserved.
Human behavior forms the nucleus of military effectiveness. Humans operating in the complex military system must possess the knowledge, skills, abilities, aptitudes, and temperament to perform their roles effectively in a reliable and predictable manner, and effective military management requires understanding of how these qualities can be best provided and assessed. Scientific research in this area is critical to understanding leadership, training and other personnel issues, social interactions and organizational structures within the military. The U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI) asked the National Research Council to provide an agenda for basic behavioral and social research focused on applications in both the short and long-term. The committee responded by recommending six areas of research on the basis of their relevance, potential impact, and timeliness for military needs: intercultural competence; teams in complex environments; technology-based training; nonverbal behavior; emotion; and behavioral neurophysiology. The committee suggests doubling the current budget for basic research for the behavioral and social sciences across U.S. military research agencies. The additional funds can support approximately 40 new projects per year across the committee's recommended research areas. Human Behavior in Military Contexts includes committee reports and papers that demonstrate areas of stimulating, ongoing research in the behavioral and social sciences that can enrich the military's ability to recruit, train, and enhance the performance of its personnel, both organizationally and in its many roles in other cultures. © 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
We present the Prometheus methodology for designing agents and multiagent systems. The methodology is intended to be practical; in particular, it aims to be complete and detailed, and to be usable by industrial software developers and undergraduate students. We present the methodology using a case study, describe existing tools that support both design and implementation, and report on experiences with using Prometheus, including our experiences in teaching Prometheus to an undergraduate class over the past few years. These experiences provide evidence that Prometheus is usable by its intended target audience.
The CAA has recognised the need to develop civil standards for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Accordingly the CAA Directorate of Airspace Policy has published the document ‘CAP 722 – Unmanned Air Vehicle Operation in UK Airspace – Guidance’, (which can be accessed via the CAA website — ). The document itemises the top-level military and civil regulations which impact upon the operation of UAVs in the UK. One of the items listed within the document is ‘Civil Certification’ of UAVs. This particular aspect is the responsibility of the Design and Production Standards Division, (D&PSD), of the CAA Safety Regulation Group. The purpose of this paper is to present and explain the current position of D&PSD regarding the appropriate design standards to be applied for the civil certification of the airworthiness of UAVs. This paper presents the CAA position that UAVs should be granted permission to fly by qualifying for certificates of airworthiness, by demonstration of compliance with defined airworthiness standards comparable to, and derived from, those applied to manned aircraft. The paper also presents a method for determining, to a first approximation, the level of airworthiness standards which should be applied to any particular design of UAV by reference to the existing codes of airworthiness requirements for manned aircraft.
In the past, research on agent-oriented software engineering had been widely lacking touch with the world of industrial software development. Recently, a cooperation has been established between the Foundation of Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA) and the Object Management Group (OMG) aiming to increase acceptance of agent technology in industry by relating to de facto standards (object-oriented software development) and supporting the development environment throuDoRHk44Duu4DuDuwDu As a first resuDW of this cooperation, we proposed AGENT UML [Bau er, 1999; Odell 2000], an extension of the Unified Modeling langung (UML), a de facto standard for object-oriented analysis and design. In this paper, we describe the heart of AGENT UML, i.e., mechanisms to model protocols for muWfkFUDo interaction.Particuio UML extensions described in this paper incluD protocol diagrams, agent roles, mus,DHUvk4Do lifelines, extended UML message semantics, nested and interleaved protocols, and protocol templates.
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Programme Objectives • Enable the routine use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in all classes of airspace without the need for restrictive or special conditions of operation. • Develop and demonstrate key technologies and operating procedures required to open up the airspace. • Support the development of the regulatory framework for this new class of operation.