Intelligence Analysis Room

SPA

Project Description

CISL is designing a multi modal, multi-user, collaborative decision aid for intelligence analysis. The problem we're addressing is that of all the intelligence analysis tools  that have been developed, few have been reliably adopted long term. Our solution is to develop software that supports how intelligence analysts are trained to find, process, and analyze information.

The digital brainstorming tool is a digital tool that is based on the pen and paper version of the structured analytic technique used by intelligence analysts, as described by Beebe and Pherson1

Digital Brainstorming Tool

 

The instance of the Scenario Planning Advisor (SPA) tool developed between CISL and IBM has been modified to assist the sensemaking process in intelligence analysis, allowing users to search for new information and consult their own cognitive schema. The SPA tool includes cause-effect relationship models that are developed from insights from domain experts knowledge, and  is captured in mind maps. These mind maps allow users to explore and select risk drivers to generate future scenarios. 

SPA

 

 

CISL is currently working to support the integration of the digital brainstorming tool and the SPA tool.

A prototype of integrating a brainstorming session with the SPA tool
A prototype of integrating a brainstorming session (left) with the SPA tool (right)

 

 


Contact: Shannon Briggs, PhD candidate in Communication and Media, Graduate Research Assistant for CISL briggs3@rpi.edu

 

Reference: 

1. Beebe, Sarah Miller, and Randolph H. Pherson. Cases in intelligence analysis: Structured analytic techniques in action. CQ Press, 2014.

Approach

Digital Brainstorming Tool: 

The digital brainstorming tool is a digital tool that is based on the pen and paper version of the structured analytic technique used by intelligence analysts, as described by Beebe and Pherson1. The digital tool is displayed via five projectors onto a 360-degree panoramic screen in the Cognitive and Immersive Room. The digital brainstorming tool allows viewers to generate digital sticky notes, and users can interact with the system through gesture technology using Kinect® cameras to capture body frame and gestures, and through verbal commands to the Watson system using lapel mics. This system allows user to interact with the digital tool in a manner that mimics the analog interactions that are found in the structured analytic tool, and provides a more immersive experience. The digital brainstorming tool has two major components, the global view and the personal view. The global view is projected onto the panoramic screens in the immersive environment, allowing users to discuss with each other and interact with the system; the personal view is accessed through any personal device that is equipped with a web browser.

Three users interacting with the global view during a July 2019 user study.
Three users interacting with the global view during a July 2019 user study.
The personal view of the digital brainstorming tool as seen on a tablet.
The personal view of the digital brainstorming tool as seen on a tablet.

Scenario Planning Advisor (SPA):

SPA is a tool developed by IBM and modified in conjunction with the CISL labs for development in an intelligence analysis use case. The SPA tool was initially developed for use for economic and business analysts, and was designed to offer foresight of, and insight into, emerging business risks. The instance of the SPA tool developed between CISL and IBM has been modified to assist the sensemaking process in intelligence analysis, allowing users to search for new information and consult their own cognitive schema. The SPA tool includes cause-effect relationship models that are developed from insights from domain experts knowledge, and  is captured in mind maps. These mind maps allow users to explore and select risk drivers to generate future scenarios.  Users are able to browse through current news stories using the storylines view, and identify risk drivers of interest. SPA generates emerging scenarios from these risk drivers, and gives recommendations of probable and possible risks and impacts. Users are also able to see these scenarios represented as graphs. SPA is currently enabled in CISL on the 360 degree screen, and gesture and voice technology is enabled to allow users a more immersive experience. Users can select and scroll through news stories and scenarios with the Kinect® gesture technology, and can give fine-tuned verbal commands to the system to help users glean deeper insights from the SPA. 

To learn more about the SPA tool being developed by IBM Research see here.

 

 


Reference: 

1. Beebe, Sarah Miller, and Randolph H. Pherson. Cases in intelligence analysis: Structured analytic techniques in action. CQ Press, 2014.

Faculty

Hui Su
Director, CISL
Human Computer Interaction, Cognitive User Experience, Visual Analytics, Cloud Computing, Neural Networks

Research Staff

david allen
Research Associate
Computational Arts, Visualization, Natural Interfaces, Live Performance
Michael P. Perrone
AI Partnerships Program Director
Gaurav Dass
Research Specialist
Computer Vision, Deep Learning, NLP
Jaimie Drozdal
Research Specialist
User studies, Human-computer interactions, Second language learning, Group dynamics

Students

Lilit Balagyozyan
B.S. Design, Innovation, & Society and Mechanical Engineering
Design
Shannon Briggs
PhD Candidate in Communication and Media
Matthew Peveler
Technical Lead Developer | Ph.D. Candidate, Computer Science
The usage of theory of mind reasoning and planning in cognitive and immersive systems