EECS Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Hewlett Packard Auditorium, 306 Soda Hall
4:00-5:00 p.m.

Dr. Kirstie K. Bellman

Principal Director, Aerospace Integration Science Center, The Aerospace Corporation


Modeling and Analyzing The Performance and Impact of New Technologies, Practices, and Policies in Complex Hetergeneous Systems




The Aerospace Integration Science Center (AISC) currently emphasizes two areas: Virtual Worlds that permit detailed monitoring and analysis of human-to-human, human-to-tool, and tool-to-tool interactions, and more explicitly visible and interpretable system integration methods that incorporate better mathematical foundations. Three AISC approaches will be described briefly in this talk: The Wrappings approach, with its emphasis on self-reflective processes, helps to integrate diverse resources. Tools to rapidly build domain-specific Architectural Description Languages are used to design and analyze systems of humans and artifacts, and to assign and manage "roles" and interfaces among individual enterprises. The Virtual Worlds efforts experiment with and evaluate "concepts of operation" and become "integration places" for people, processes, and tools under explicit sets of constraints and contexts.

After a quick overview of AISC themes, this talk will emphasize some new work in developing integration frameworks and methods for analyzing the impact of new technologies, practices, and policies on complex heterogeneous systems. The talk will describe some ongoing work in developing and modeling information architectures supporting military operations, and developing parameterized crisis intervention "stories" (scenarios with additional explicit information on goals, motivations, contexts, and functions). Recently, we have started to develop a new approach to evaluation metrics, called ``story-based'' metrics, which are measurements of effectiveness (not only measurements of performance) that are tailored to a particular purpose of the system, and that have a functional dependence on certain parameterized aspects of the story. We are also exploring methods for modeling and responding to dynamically changing requirements. We hope these techniques will not only benefit our ability to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of a new technology, but in fact allow us to assess any type of component of a complex system.

Special Note: In either the question and answer period or in individual conversations, Dr. Bellman will gladly discuss critical technical research needed for Homeland Defense, and welcomes ideas that you may have on her growing list of topics. She has been using this list to bridge between interested researchers and receptive program managers of government programs.


Dr. Kirstie L. Bellman returned to the Aerospace Corporation after four years at DARPA to start up a new bi-coastal research and development center in 1997, called the Aerospace Integration Science Center (AISC). The center serves as a research and development capability for a number of DoD and government agencies. The focus of AISC is on the development of advanced system and model integration methods, new analytic techniques, and evaluation tools for assessing the impacts of new technologies. Upon completion of her term at DARPA as a Program Manager for the Domain-Specific Software Architectures (DSSA) program, Prototech (rapid prototyping technology), projects in the Formal Foundations program, the large Computer-Aided Education and Training Initiative (CAETI), and several TRP programs, she received an award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for excellence in her programs. During her years at DARPA, she worked with Dr. Anita Jones, then DDR&E at the Pentagon, with the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House, with a wide range of other government agencies, and NATO. Recently she was made an AAAS Fellow for her work in Virtual Worlds and Complex Systems. Dr. Bellman has over thirty-five years of academic, industrial, and consulting experience in both laboratory research and the development of models and information architectures for large military and government programs. Her published research spans a wide range of topics in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Computer Science. She can be contacted by email at