The Case for a Common Information Infrastructure

The Case for a Common Information Infrastructure

Hard Problems

Solving the hardest problems rarely involves only using information that resides within one domain, e.g. system architecture, design, cost, schedule, risk, requirements, etc.  Rather, it involves access to configuration managed authoritative data sets from multiple sources. A decision-maker may want to understand the impact of spreading development over a longer period of time while decreasing the annual budget.  Or, by doing so, is there a greater risk that some requirements will not be met or that the product will be delivered late?

Data sources may include model-based engineering (MBE) solutions, risk managers, schedule maintainers, etc.  Each data source usually stands alone and trying to understand their interrelationships can be challenging for analysts and decision makers seeking timely and accurate information.  To do it well, a means to interrelate them needs to be developed that is not dependent on any domain as an intermediary to connect them such as having all domains being related only through the Model Based Engineering (MBE) models. 

A Solution

This paper introduces the reader to the concept of a “Common Information Infrastructure (CII)” and its working element, the “Discovery Enabling Capability (DEC)”. CII/DEC is a mature but extensible approach to data consolidation based on semantically consistent content and relationships.  The CII starts with a basic infrastructure that was built using the Strata Methodology – a community recognized architecture pattern.  It reduces effort through simplifying the process of taking data from multiple sources, interrelating them, and delivering relevant, usable information to the user.  The CII and DEC constructs together can implement Digital Engineering (DE) taking it from concept to reality.  DE promises to connect all data regarding a system, a system-of-systems, or an enterprise in a manner that will make it possible to discover multi-domain answers.  The CII/DEC demonstrates how it can be accomplished.