Executable architecture, interoperability, army simulations, simulation architecture


This thesis explored the history of military simulations and linked it to the current challenges of interoperability. The research illustrated the challenge of interoperability in integrating different networks, databases, standards, and interfaces and how it results in U.S. Army organizations constantly spending time and money to create and implement irreproducible Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) integrating architectures to accomplish comparable tasks. Although the U.S. Army has made advancements in interoperability, it has struggled with this challenge since the early 1990s. These improvements have been inadequate due to evolving and growing needs of the user coupled with the technical complexities of interoperating legacy systems with emergent systems arising from advances in technology. To better understand the impact of the continued evolution of simulations, this paper mapped Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs with Tolk's Levels of Conceptual Interoperability Model (LCIM). This mapping illustrated a common relationship in both the Hierarchy of Needs and the LCIM model depicting that each level increases with complexity and the proceeding lower level must first be achieved prior to reaching the next. Understanding the continuum of complexity of interoperability, as requirements or needs, helped to determine why the previous funding and technical efforts have been inadequate in mitigating the interoperability challenges within U.S. Army simulations. As the U.S. Army's simulation programs continue to evolve while the military and contractor personnel turnover rate remains near constant, a method of capturing and passing on the tacit knowledge from one personnel staffing life cycle to the next must be developed in order to economically and quickly reproduce complex simulation events. This thesis explored a potential solution to this challenge, the Executable Architecture Systems Engineering (EASE) research project managed by the U.S. Army’s Simulation and Training Technology Center in the Army Research Laboratory within the Research, Development and Engineering Command. However, there are two main drawbacks to EASE; it iv is still in the prototype stage and has not been fully tested and evaluated as a simulation tool within the community of practice. In order to determine if EASE has the potential to reduce the micro as well as macro interoperability, an EASE experiment was conducted as part of this thesis. The following three alternative hypothesis were developed, tested, and accepted as a result of the research for this thesis: Ha1 = Expert stakeholders believe the EASE prototype does have potential as a U.S. Army technical solution to help mitigate the M&S interoperability challenge. Ha2 = Expert stakeholders believe the EASE prototype does have potential as a U.S. Army managerial solution to help mitigate the M&S interoperability challenge. Ha3 = Expert stakeholders believe the EASE prototype does have potential as a U.S. Army knowledge management solution to help mitigate the M&S interoperability challenge. To conduct this experiment, eleven participants representing ten different organizations across the three M&S Domains were selected to test EASE using a modified Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) approach developed by Davis. Indexes were created from the participants’ responses to include both the quality of participants and research questions. The Cronbach Alpha Test for reliability was used to test the reliability of the adapted TAM. The Wilcoxon Signed Ranked test provided the statistical analysis that formed the basis of the research; that determined the EASE project has the potential to help mitigate the interoperability challenges in the U.S. Army's M&S domains.


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Graduation Date





Proctor, Michael


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

Degree Program

Modeling and Simulation








Release Date

December 2014

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic

Included in

Engineering Commons