Information-centric architectures

Situation awareness with systems-of-systems

Situation awareness, i.e. being aware of the environmental situation by collecting and interpreting information, is a prerequisite for many organisations to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions. In many domains, such as air traffic control, chemical plant surveillance, combating emergency situations, and controlling maritime safety and security, ICT-based support is thereby indispensable for gathering and processing all the relevant data.

A system for supporting situation awareness has to deal with large amounts of information, coming from many different sources, with different formats and semantics, and with various levels of reliability and trust. Semantic reasoning is necessary to provide aggregation of the various pieces of data, including historical data, into meaningful information and state-of-the-art visual representations are needed to help the human users in their interpretation. Moreover, a typical situation awareness application will consist of a collection of autonomous systems and subsystems, without a clearly identifiable centralised control. As a ‘system-of-systems’, it can evolve dynamically and adapt to new sources.

Information‐centric architectures have been developed for systems-of-systems in maritime situation awareness applications. In this approach, information-flow reasoning incorporates the environmental information flows, plus meta-information about their reliability and trust, as well as configuration and dependability information about the system, which all mutually interact.

Information-centric architectures

Method details

Method description

  1. Identify tasks and views of system operators and users
  2. Capture required information sources, processing, and reasoning
  3. Analyse resulting information flows and their behaviours in time
  4. Determine information flow mechanics for core and meta‐data using channels, transport and storage mechanisms, and feedback
  5. Create a mapping between functionality and flow mechanics

Research project


Industrial partner:

  • Thales Nederland


Business manager:

Frans Beenker


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