LC0aR1 Sharing War Stories

Sharing War Stories
With Reflective, Commonsense Knowledge Bases

Coupling commonsense knowledge with reflective software architecture promises a new level of interaction between computers and people, and a new ease of distilling and sharing personal experiences that capture lessons learned. We propose to develop a prototype of such a facility for ARI and the Army and design it in a way that makes it feasible to incorporate it within AKO (Army Knowledge Online).

This increased ease and simplicity of sharing knowledge within the Army community will help Soldiers be more effective war fighters, more knowledgeable and reflective in and out of combat, and ultimately, more satisfied with Army life.
Commonsense knowledge within a reflective software architecture will:
1. be readily understood and remembered, and convey knowledge with most immediacy and memorability through stories based on experiences, either personal or as related by others. Such instructional tools are usually called “war stories,” at all levels of training and instruction, and are more easily apprehended by Soldiers because they fall into the Soldiers’ Learning Zone (LZ) from their current Level of Development (LD);
2. provide a powerful support for flexible, adaptive creative thinking in reacting to situations and analyzing options through analogies — based on such war stories as well as other sources;
3. distil, reuse, and distribute the experience of military personnel, both active and retired, as a resource of enormously enhanced value for education and training, in institutional, operational, and home station settings;
4. make it possible to share After Action Reports as an untapped source of educational war stories and analogies for future action, using computer-embodied understanding to render them accessible for training.

Development of Reflective, Commonsense Knowledge bases (RCKs) presents a new approach to using professional, real world experiential resources to educate Soldiers with practical, experience-based analogies for coping with situations they are encountering for the first time. This project will create the architecture for such a facility by developing an automated system to analyze a database of short familiar stories (AEsop’s Fables) with computer-based interpretation, following established theories. Then the range of the interpreter will be extended to deal first with a selection of war stories and then with a selection of After Action Reports. The conclusion of this project will evaluate how effective the prototype facility is and what other steps need be taken to make it more robust and generally useful.

Robert W. Lawler, PhD
Knowledge-Analysis In Depth, Inc.
January 28, 2007

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