Virtual Interoperable Commander and Virtual Interoperable Simulator



Commanders always face complex situations above all in those theaters where the ability to take critical decisions in short time and consider human factors and multi-cultural aspects are crucial elements for the success of the operation.

VIC (Virtual Interoperable Commander) and VIS (Virtual Interoperable Simulator) are two simulation solutions developed in cooperation between CAL-TEK, University of Genoa and University of Calabria specifically suited for Commander and Staff Education and Training in multi-coalition and multi-cultural scenarios where human factors are relevant.

VIC and VIS allow the Commander and his staff to face a number of specific training scenarios defined in terms of MEL/MIL (Main Event List/Main Incident List) and evaluate multiple Course of Actions (COAs) and take decisions to solve complex problems observing military effects and effects on the population involved.




Training scenarios are based on multiple MEL/MIL that are recreated within 3D Virtual Worlds including different types of towns, villages and terrains. VIC training scenarios allow full immersive experience where the commander and his staff have the possibility to interact with the virtual environment observing the effects of their actions. VIC includes specific analytical models that are used to recreate realistic scenarios. To cite a few: the Multi-Coalition model, the real-time Helicopter motion model over 6 degree of freedom, the real-time military vehicles motion model, the population model, etc. In addition, VIC also includes a number of dedicated animation that are used to recreate realistic human models both for the civilians and for the military.









The scenario evolution is driven by VIS. The commander is presented with a specific MEL/MIL and a list of possible Courses of Actions (COAs). VIS allows the Commander to organize the Decision Making Process in 6 major steps:

  • Reception of Mission
  • Mission Analysis
  • COAs Analysis
  • COAs Comparison
  • COAs Approval
  • Order Production





VIC and VIS drive the Commander and the Staff training providing the possibility to experience the entire decision making process according to

  • a situational awareness coming from an analytical strategy (provided by his staff); such situational awareness can be quantitative, exhaustive and optimized;
  • a situational awareness coming from an intuitive behavior that can generate qualitative and not-exhaustive but satisfying  evaluations based on past experiences.

Through VIC and VIS the Commander and his Staff follow a decision making process that evolves according to three steps: (i) plan, (ii) execute, (iii) assess. It is worth mentioning that the assessment execution may bring back to the plan of actions (e.g. in order to plan additional actions with the aim of reducing military effects, mitigate secondary effects on the population and reduce risks generated by the COA chosen).







Hyerarchy Approach to Decision Making

VIC and VIS drive the Commander and Staff decisions based on a Knowledge Production Cognitive Hierarchy Process that includes:

  • receiving initial data and descriptions about the current scenario;
  • developing information through filtering, fusing, formatting, organizing, collecting, categorizing and/or arranging data;
  • developing knowledge evaluating information meaning, placing information in context and applying cognition;
  • situation understanding that allows the commander to anticipate future events and be  better prepared to make sound and timely decisions;
  • taking decision and therefore concluding the planning phase, executing the decision and monitoring the effects.






VIC and VIS force the Commander and his Staff to consider all the aspects that come through the PMSEII spectrum (Political, Military, Social, Economic, Infrastructure & Information) including also cultural aspects. This is in line with the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) and also stresses the need for militaries to have a correct perception of local population. In other words, each event, decision, rule of engagement and action may strongly influence the perception of militaries in local population. To this end VIS implements a layer of Intelligent Agents and Computer Generated Forcesv (IA-CGF) to let the Commander and his Staff gaining experience with cross cultural awareness and therefore understand that the human environment goes through the awareness of cultural differences.


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