An Exploratory Study on Interfacing the Simulation Training Exercise Platform with Operational Simulators

October 2018
Topics: Cybersecurity, Computer Security, Military Simulation, Modeling and Simulation
Dr. Edward Y. Hua, The MITRE Corporation
R. Douglas Flournoy, The MITRE Corporation
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We introduce the Simulation Training Exercise Platform (STEP), a technology developed by the Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute. As a cyber simulator that can be interfaced with a mature operational simulator, one of its core capabilities is to trace the effect-impact relationship between the cyber and operational domains in the simulation environment. STEP has gained traction within the DoD, where it is being applied in several DoD-sponsored cyber exercises. 

A long-standing problem in the Modeling & Simulation (M&S) community is the lack of ability to trace and study how effects from one domain would propagate to result in an impact in the other domain. Failure to do so makes it difficult to diagnose the root cause of an adverse impact in the simulation space. In addition, DoD simulations have not kept up with the current reality of more blended missions on the battlefield, which could leave decision makers ill-prepared for real-life crises.

Sponsors, such as the Army Research Lab (ARL) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), have expressed strong interest in adopting STEP in their respective simulation environments. However, there are some technical hurdles that need to be addressed before STEP could find acceptance among a diverse group of sponsors. These include properly evaluating the effectiveness, versatility, and scalability of STEP.

The applicability of STEP to the Army and FAA sponsors requires a well-defined transition path based on studying their respective operational simulators and contextualizing STEP within these two domains.

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