MASCOT: Manycast Architecture for Service-Oriented Tactical Operations

Figure: Manycast Service Engine framework for providing tactical recommendations.

One of the important challenges in modern net-centric warfare is the efficient utilization of tactical field resources. In order to direct task specifications to the "best" tactical field resources based on the COC's service request criterion, as well as constraints typically encountered on the battlefield, including geographical, resource availability, and communication constraints. We propose a Manycast Service Engine (MSE), wherein the COC communicates with many types of field resources chosen from a group of field resources. The "best" choice of resources may depend on their availability, relative location to target, security capability, current task load, cost, and trust. Many tactical operations require significantly more resources than are available at a single location. Distributed field resources can provide a mechanism for the cooperative sharing of a vast array of geographically distributed resources that are interconnected by a communication network. Key challenges for effectively utilizing such resources include - how best to select and locate desired resources in the field using the network and how to transfer information reliably to and from these resources.

In broadcast communication, data is sent from one node (the sender) to all the other nodes in the network, and in multicast communication, data is sent from the sender to a well-defined subset of nodes in the network. In manycast communication, only the number of intended recipients is specified, not the actual destinations itself. A subtle difference between manycast and multicast is that, in manycast, the actual destinations are to be determined instead of being provided as in the case of multicast. As such, manycasting is well suited for the purpose of directing tactical task specifications to field resources.

Phase 1 Project Report (PDF)

Principle Investigators:
Dr. Vinod Vokkarane and Dr. Ramprasad Balasubramanian

Neal Charbonneau

Research Publications:

  1. N. Charbonneau, V.M. Vokkarane, R. Balasubramanian, and D. Silvia,MASCOT: Manycast Architecture for Service-Oriented Tactical Applications,"Proceedings, IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST '09), Waltham, MA, May 11-12, 2009.