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Measuring Systems Interoperability: Challenges and Opportunities
CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA SOFTWARE ENGINEERING INST
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Interoperability is the ability of systems, units, or forces to provide services to and accept services from other systems, units, or forces and to use the services exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together. In an April 1998 report to Congress, the Secretary of Defense noted that joint operations have been hindered by the inability of forces to share critical information at the rate and at the locations demanded by modern warfare. Serious interoperability deficiencies have been perpetuated across all the services and have been identified in all recent, allied, joint, and combined operations and exercises. Interoperability is a broad and complex subject. Developing and applying precise measurements in an area as multidimensional and complex as interoperability is difficult. However, measuring, assessing, and reporting interoperability in a visible way is essential to setting the right priorities. Despite laudable case-by-case efforts, there is today no method for tracking interoperability on a comprehensive or systematic basis. This technical note presents best practices for measuring systems interoperability and assisting military planners in the acquisition, development, and implementation of command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence C4I systems that are interoperable. The Levels of Information Systems Interoperability LISI Model, although immature, provides a structured and systematic approach for assessing and measuring interoperability throughout the systems life cycle. In addition to exploring the many complex issues surrounding the state of interoperability for military applications, next steps for promoting a deeper understanding of interoperability and recommended measures that will promote systems interoperability are presented.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE