Hypothesis Management in Support of Inferential Reasoning
GEORGE MASON UNIV FAIRFAX VA DEPT OF SYSTEMS ENGINEERING AND OPERATIONS RESEARCH
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A key component of Maritime Domain Awareness MDA, situational awareness supports tactical decision making through fusion of intelligence, geography, environment, and the geopolitical situation. Advanced decision support systems will provide the decision maker with a number of hypotheses from which the evolving situation may be inferred, limited by the computational capacity of todays computer hardware. In this context, a hypothesis can be thought of as a statement of anticipated action in which an actor will conduct an action against a target with a location, time and methodology of his choosing. Hypothesis Management is the control of exponential growth in fusion hypotheses created by incoming data reports, without which the computational capability of hardware is quickly overwhelmed. This paper explores our research on Hypothesis Management techniques in support of inferential reasoning. More specifically, we focus on managing the creation, modification, administration, storage and movement of hypotheses to ensure that only attributes and entities relative to the current context are presented for inferential reasoning. Our approach supports recognition of observed trends and is capable of creating original hypothesis through innovative transformations of existing hypotheses, providing the decision maker with asymmetrical scenario possibilities gleaned from observed attribute data and stored hypothesis histories.