Advanced scheduling and decision support software will identify problems and risks and propose mitigation and recovery strategies to improve the multi-billion dollar naval warfare system procurement process
SAN MATEO, CA, April 16, 2008 — Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. today announced the award of a two-year $600,000 contract with the U.S. Navy to develop a web-based acquisition planning tool with intelligent decision support. The Acquisition Decision Expert Planning Tool (ADEPT) system incorporates Stottler Henke’s proprietary Aurora™ scheduling engine and knowledge representation, case, and rule processing technologies to embed and apply expertise that helps system engineers integrate new warfare systems onto U.S. naval vessels efficiently.
Modernizing warships is an extremely complicated undertaking that must be planned years in advance. Systems engineers must ensure that compatible versions of constantly evolving systems and software are designed, tested, approved, integrated, and procured for deployment during the limited windows when ships, usually at sea, are available for complex upgrades. Slips affecting one system’s development, as well as late changes in funding, ship availability schedules, and fleet priorities, can ripple through to affect other system upgrades. Systems engineers responsible for overall systems integration must monitor the status of individual systems programs, track system inter-relationships, and cope with risks and problems as they materialize.
Stottler Henke is developing for the Navy an integrated, multi-user system that detects schedule risks and problems and suggests strategies for mitigating and resolving them. The ADEPT software will analyze system development and deployment schedule data and inter-system dependencies to help systems engineers explore variant schedules quickly while taking into account various subsets of the naval fleet and overall warfare system as they see fit. ADEPT will incorporate its proven Aurora scheduling engine with automated reasoning tools that embed expertise to provide intelligent decision support to systems engineers. Using the DataMontage™ data visualization system for time-oriented data, the system will highlight schedule and/or budget issues, and it will support sensitivity analysis by showing the effects of varying levels of schedule slippage or budget changes. After problems are identified, the software will also suggest possible resolution strategies. The software will generate supporting reports, and it will help manage communications among the systems engineers and managers of the relevant systems programs.
“Efficiently managing technology upgrades to complex systems-of-systems is a challenging problem, affecting the military and industry,” says Dick Stottler, president of Stottler Henke. “ADEPT will help organizations insert new technologies into mission-critical systems more effectively while considering changing budget, schedule, and technology assumptions,” continues Stottler.
Aurora is a sophisticated scheduling system that combines a variety of scheduling techniques, intelligent conflict resolution, and decision support to generate highly efficient schedules for complex scheduling problems. The software’s customizable scheduling algorithms take into account resource requirements, complex constraints, and pertinent domain knowledge. The Boeing Company uses Aurora to manage certain aspects of the process of building the Boeing 787 Dreamliner™ commercial airliner, and NASA uses Aurora at Kennedy Space Center to schedule International Space Station payload and vehicle processing activities.
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. In 2006, Stottler Henke was the subject of a NASA “Hallmarks of Success” video profile for its work developing and later commercializing advanced planning and training software systems. Stottler Henke received a 2004 “Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning” award for innovative technology. For the past four consecutive years, Stottler Henke was named one of the “top 100” companies making a significant impact on the military training industry by Military Training Technology magazine, and in 2005 received a Blue Ribbon recognizing it as a company that leads the industry in innovation.
April 16, 2008