Original Date: 05/23/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Data Analysis and the APEX Artificial Intelligence System
Data analysis of undersea weapon and test vehicle proofing programs, and special investigations were previously labor intensive, repetitive, and sometimes cumbersome processes at Keyport. To overcome these problems, Keyport implemented the Mk 48 ADCAP Proofing Expert System (APEX) for data analysis using artificial intelligence (AI) concepts.
Between 1500-3000 variables can be recorded for each in-water torpedo test. Data was previously evaluated using several tools such as Data Probe, an interactive data reduction, analysis and graphics software originally developed by Bolt, Beranek and Newman for the ADCAP program. Data Probe Version 9.3 was considered the workhorse analytical tool for ADCAP as well as other weapon systems. Data Probe did not have a report generation function and had to be programmed by experienced personnel to provide a usable output. To supplement the existing Data Probe software and improve data analysis capabilities, Keyport contracted with Bolt, Beranek and Newman to assist in the development of the APEX, expert rule-based AI system.
APEX consists of a Symbolics XL 1200 microcomputer, 19-inch monochrome test monitor for text interaction, and a 19-inch Sony Univision Color Graphics monitor for graphics displays. It is a rules- based expert system designed to examine in-water data as a human analyst would, and supports torpedo data accessed through Data Probe. This expert system consists of essentially two parts, system software and a knowledge database. The interactive software allows each analyst expert to contribute to the knowledge database. Because the APEX is flexible, any expert can construct unique knowledge databases by building rules criteria for any application. The knowledge base at Keyport has been programmed by a team of ADCAP analysts who concurred on the optimum analytical method for a particular event. APEX retains a generic core that is applicable to other systems, and can be applied by changing the knowledge database.
Since its initiation in 1991, the benefits of the APEX include an overall 15% reduction in analysis time. Most important, however was a preliminary evaluation analysis time reduction of 50%. Preliminary evaluation (called hardware release) represents the critical analysis that occurs within the first eight hours after the in-water test. This evaluation checks for deficiencies that may require immediate action or could require an additional torpedo test to gather additional data. Reports are now more quickly generated and clearly identify problem areas. The quality of the analysis is enhanced, and APEX ensures more consistent analysis with its rules-based criteria. The system has lowered per unit labor costs and is easily adaptable to other programs and special studies. Keyport currently has one system for ADCAP use only. The division is currently procuring four Sun workstations for expansion of APEX to other weapon systems.
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