Boeing's ultimate goal for its rapidly growing modeling and simulation enterprise is no longer to eventually become fully interoperable with similar networks operated by other major defense contractors.
Guy Higgins, vice president of Boeing Advanced Systems' analysis, modeling, simulation and experimentation group, said that most models and simulations do not required detailed data about competitors' platforms, rendering firm links between proprietary corporate laboratories unnecessary.
"Most of the time we just need to be accurate and by accurate it just needs to be about right," Higgins said. "It doesn't need to be precise."
Higgins' remarks come four years after the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC) was formed expressly to create the standards that would allow the defense industry's various wargaming centers to communicate with each other.
Since 2002, the
Their purpose is to provide a service to military weapons buyers and internal decision-makers, exposing the strengths and weaknesses of new technologies and operational concepts in the digital world to help inform investment decisions.
As each proprietary network was formed, Boeing spearheaded the effort to establish the NCOIC to address concerns that the industry was creating "stovepipe" modeling and simulation centers that would feed into the military's interoperability problem.
However, Boeing's philosophy on the value of interoperable networks since 2004 has shifted. Networking concepts have until recently been guided by Metcalfe's Law, which states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of nodes.
New research appearing in 2006, however, claimed that this principle was incorrect, Higgins said. Instead of increasing at such a high rate, new research suggests the increase in value by adding additional network users is significantly more modest, he said.
Nonetheless, Boeing is continuing to dramatically expand the
network its network of modeling and simulation centers in the
New modeling and simulation capabilities will be opened in