Towards Multi-Level Security for NATO Collective Mission Training – a White Paper

ABSTRACT: Distributed simulation is rapidly becoming a necessity for collective mission training. With missions being joint and combined, we will never fight alone. Thus we need to train together, within and between
nations. However, in any such scenario it is likely that some or all of the information may be classified at some level and need protection, be it scenarios, weapon and sensor capabilities or doctrines. In order for simulations to be interactive, one-way approaches such as data diodes will not work. Reclassification of systems using a “system high” approach has proven too complicated and expensive. This raises the need for true multi level security in collective mission training. This is indeed one of the big challenges in realizing the full potential of distributed simulation for defence purposes.

As part of the NATO RTO program a new modelling and simulation working group has been formed, MSG-080, to look at this topic. Initial members include Canada, Estonia, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and the US. A kick-off meeting has taken place in October 2010 and a first round of knowledge exchange has taken place. An early conclusion is that most participating nations have similar requirements.

This paper summarizes the starting point for this group, including typical use cases where security solutions are needed, some basics about Multi-Level Security principles as well as a description of a few recent experiments carried out by some participants. Finally it describes some early considerations that were raised during the kickoff. Some examples are the need to obscure system capabilities, the need to support both simulation protocols and IT protocols (VoIP etc), the need for adequate performance and the need to get accreditation offices involved.

Authors: Björn Möller, Peter Karlsson, Stella Croom-Johnson, Tim Hartog, Wim Huiskamp, Cor Verkoelen, Glyn Jones, Martin Normann Nielsen, Ingvar Ståhl
Publication: Proceedings of 2011 Spring Simulation Interoperability Workshop, 11S-SIW-069, Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization, April 2011.

Download the full paper (pdf)


Time Representation and Interpretation in Simulation Interoperability – an Overview

ABSTRACT: In the DoD M&S Glossary a simulation is defined as a model operating over time so time is a key element in almost all simulations. Simulations can use time for assigning time stamps to individual data elements as well as for specifying the simulated time for the entire simulator/federate, in particular if the simulation is frame-based. The simulation time needs a binary representation, both in each simulator and in a federation where several simulators interoperate.

This paper is about how the simulation time is represented and how it is interpreted in HLA Federations and related domains. It mainly focuses on logical or scenario time and doesn’t go into detail on sources, usage or correctness of time stamps.

It covers the following:
– General aspects of binary time representations and in particular time classes used in HLA. An overview of commonly used time representations is given, ranging from the older HLA 1.3 RTI time classes to the standardized time types in HLA Evolved. Issues with floating-point time representations and small time steps are covered in detail.
– Specialized time representations such as RPR FOM/DIS time stamps and advanced time classes used for perfect event ordering.
– Relation to time representations from outside of the simulation domain such as UTC time and other time.

Finally, this paper identifies some of the typical mistakes that are made in relation to simulation time and some
important points and advice for both beginners and advanced developers of federations are given.

Authors: Mikael Karlsson, Fredrik Antelius, Björn Möller
Publication: Proceedings of 2011 Spring Simulation Interoperability Workshop, 11S-SIW-049, Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization, April 2011.

Download the full paper (pdf)