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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AWARDS CONTRACT TO STOTTLER HENKE TO DEVELOP
A SOCRATIC TUTOR FOR BATTLEFIELD COMMAND REASONING SKILLS 

Intelligent training software will identify each student’s strengths and weaknesses,
encourage reflection, stimulate thought processes, and enhance reasoning capabilities
  

SAN MATEO, CA, Oct. 8, 2001 –– Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. today announced the award of a two-year $750,000 contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop an intelligent, Socratic tutoring system to teach battlefield command reasoning skills.   This system will apply and extend intelligent tutoring system technologies and cognitive psychology methods to emulate the coaching interactions carried out by expert instructors.

Under extreme stress, time pressure, and uncertainty, battlefield commanders must assess complex, ambiguous tactical situations, prioritize goals, and pursue these goals by issuing orders, reports, and requests. These reasoning skills cannot be taught simply as methods and procedures to be followed. Becoming an expert requires extensive practice of command reasoning skills in a variety of situations, as well as coaching and feedback from instructors.

However, expert instructors who can provide this type of coaching are scarce, so few commanders are able to benefit from this type of training. To make this type of training more widely available, Stottler Henke will develop the Command Mentoring Intelligent Tutoring System (ComMentor) that will emulate the Socratic teaching methods used by expert instructors. Specifically, ComMentor will present tactical scenarios to students and prompt them to enter orders and reports via graphical user interfaces, free-form text, and tactical maps. In general, there is no single correct answer to a scenario, so ComMentor will evaluate each student’s solution and reasoning skills by comparing their solutions with many expert solutions and their rationale. ComMentor will use these assessments, along with expert solutions and their rationale, to select and execute appropriate instructional interactions, such as questions, feedback, hints, and facts, that enhance the student’s high-level thinking habits.

“Teaching battlefield command reasoning is extremely difficult because it requires sophisticated reasoning about a large number of simultaneous goals, potential plans, variables, and constraints,” says Dr. Eric Domeshek, the project manager and software architect of the system. “By capturing and reasoning about the rationale behind expert solutions, ComMentor will be capable of sophisticated and highly effective Socratic dialogs with the student,” continues Dr. Domeshek.

Founded in 1988, Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. applies artificial intelligence and other advanced software technologies to solve problems that defy solution using traditional approaches. The company delivers intelligent software solutions for education and training, planning and scheduling, knowledge management and discovery, decision support, and software development. Stottler Henke’s clients include manufacturers, retailers, educational media companies and government agencies.   Web: https://www.stottlerhenke.com/