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Developing an HLA Tutorial: Philosophy and Best Practices

ABSTRACT: A standard, like HLA, needs to be exact, complete and unambiguous. This may not be optimal for a beginner wanting to learn HLA. An up-to-date HLA Tutorial document has now been developed. This paper summarizes some of the philosophy of the tutorial. Several best practices on how to use the standard are also covered in the tutorial.
One of the philosophies of the tutorial is to describe how services from different service groups are used to solve common tasks instead of strictly describing the structure of the HLA standard. Another philosophy is to
emphasize how concepts from the HLA Interface Specification and the HLA Object Model Template are used together.


The best practices covered include low-level aspects like optimal memory allocation, handling of HLA service exceptions as well as life-cycle management of shared objects. Selected architectural aspects are also covered, like the use of a federate architecture that separates HLA concerns from domain simulation concerns, federate testing strategies and a basic Federation Agreement sample.


The tutorial, together with C++ and Java sample code, is freely available to industry, academia and anyone interested in learning HLA.

Authors: Björn Möller, Steve Eriksson, Åsa Wihlborg.
Publication: Proceedings of 2012 Fall Simulation Interoperability Workshop, 12F-SIW-047, Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization, September 2012

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Security in NATO Collective Mission Training – Problem Analysis and Solutions

ABSTRACT: We never fight alone, so we should train together! With missions being joint and combined, we also need to train that way. Given limited budgets and available resources, distributed simulation is rapidly
becoming a necessity for collective mission training. However, due to the characteristics of mission simulations the protection of classified information (e.g. scenarios, weapon and sensor capabilities or doctrines) becomes a serious security challenge. As part of the NATO RTO program a new modelling and simulation working group has been formed in 2010, MSG-080, to look at this topic. Members include Sweden, UK, Estonia, the Netherlands, Norway and the USA.


This paper describes in detail the security challenges which we face and analyses the technical characteristics of simulators in relation to the information that needs to be protected. Based on these findings the effectiveness of different identified security solutions to the security challenges at hand can be further explored. Security solutions which are considered include data diodes, cross domain solutions (labelling and release mechanisms) and Multi-Level Security. The challenge is to prevent information leakage without compromising the primary training objectives. By approaching the stated security challenges in an integral manner we aim to find solutions which can provide adequate performance and which are also acceptable for accreditation authorities.

Authors: Björn Möller, Stella Croom-Johnson, Tim Hartog, Wim Huiskamp, Cor Verkoelen, Glyn Jones, Matthew Bennett
Publication: Proceedings of 2012 Spring Simulation Interoperability Workshop, 12S-SIW-032, Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization, March 2012.

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Practical Experiences from Four HLA Evolved Federations

ABSTRACT: HLA Evolved was formally published in 2010 but early federations based on this standard have been developed since 2008. This paper summarizes experiences from four federations during the period 2009 – 2011 with focus on maturity and on the use of new HLA Evolved features. The federations are as follows:

Viking 11 is the world’s premier joint civil-military-police exercise involving more than 2500 persons from 31 nations distributed across nine sites. The purpose is to acquire hands-on practical skills and knowledge of civilmilitary-police coordination and cooperation before deployment in multifunctional and multinational UN mandated peace operation. The exercise was successfully carried out in April 2011 using an HLA Evolved
infrastructure with participants running federates in different countries, proving the maturity of HLA Evolved.


NATO MSG-068 had the purpose to create a reference federation architecture for the NATO Education and Training Network with participants from, the US, UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Sweden. Participating systems include JCATS, JTLS, ICC, VBS2, WAGRAM, ORQUE, KORA and more. The HLA Evolved infrastructure proved to be stable during the experiment. HLA Evolved FOM Modules were used to mix standardized FOM data, like RPR with NATO extensions.

SISO Smackdown is a university outreach program, with participation from NASA and universities worldwide. Based on a lunar mission scenario it allows universities to extend the common information model to fit their part of the scenario. This extensibility is based on the HLA Evolved modular FOMs. Since this project uses RTIs from two different vendors it also illustrates how federations can benefit from the HLA Evolved Dynamic LinkCompatible APIs.

BAE Systems Command and Control Demo Federation. This is a proof of concept for fault tolerance and load balancing. It uses fail-over federates based on the new HLA Evolved functionality. Another feature is the use of
HLA Evolved Smart Update Rate Reduction for dynamic control of tactical data update rates on mobile devices.
The conclusion is that HLA Evolved is mature and that most of the new features have already been successfully used.

Authors: Björn Möller, Filip Klasson, Björn Löfstrand, Per-Philip Sollin.
Publication: Proceedings of 2012 Spring Simulation Interoperability Workshop, 12S-SIW-057, Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization, March 2012.

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