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The following are my initial thoughts on Referance FOMs. I believe that some mechanism should exist to provide a base capability of interoperability among simulation in the same domain and if possible limited interoperability across domains. This mechanism should be well defined. It is important that a formal standards process be used to control the products. The community is currently calling this mechanism a Reference FOM. Reference FOM is probably a bad name because it seems to imply a way of implementing this mechanism. I see two different ways to provide this mechanism. The first is a FOM that implements the lowest common denominator for a given domain. This FOM would be complete enough that it could stand on its own and be used in exercises. It could also be extended to meet additional needs for a given Federation. The second would not be a FOM but rather just Object Models (OM). This is what some people have referred to as FOMlets. In this concept there would be multiple standard ways to represent basic entity interactions, communications, environment, etc. The Federation would select from the available OMs for each type of data and interactions it needed to represent. Both mechanisms could be documented using the OMT. The first approach provides a foundation that a Federation builds on. The second approach provides a set of building blocks that can be assembled in different ways. I think the first approach provides better intra-domain interoperability and the second provides better cross domain interoperability. I am not sure which approach I think is better. Once the mechanism is defined the next question is if and how to standardize them. I think the answer to if they should be standardized is yes. Standardization provides program managers and developers the confidence that they are not developing to a moving target. Standards should be hard to change. I dont think these standard impose a burden on Federation developers. The savings they will realize from using a standard will out weigh any limitations. In either case federations will be able to extend the base capability. I think standards are a significant savings for Federate builders. I believe that defining the characteristics of a Reference FOM (which ever approach is selected) is a difficult task. The characteristics should be well defined to limit the number of Reference FOMs that become standards. At the same time the characteristics must be general enough to support a wide range of domains. This is my first cut at defining some of the question for the study group. I think that there is a good bit of work to be done. Mike Michael J. O'Connor Kaman Sciences Corporation 600 Boulevard South, Suite 208 Huntsville, AL 35802 (205) 650-2732 voice (205) 883-5622 fax [log in to unmask]

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