A visual query language served by a multi-sensor environment
Abstract: A problem in modern command and control situations is that much data is available from different sensors. Several sensor data sources also require that the user has knowledge about the specific sensor types to be able to interpret the data.To alleviate the working situation for a commander, we have designed and constructed a system that will take input from several different sensors and subsequently present the relevant combined information to the user. The users specify what kind of information is of interest at the moment by means of a query language. The main issues when designing this query language have been that (a) the users should not have to have any knowledge about sensors or sensor data analysis, and (b) that the query language should be powerful and flexible, yet easy to use. The solution has been to (a) use sensor data independence and (b) have a visual query language.A visual query language was developed with a two-step interface. First, the users pose a “rough”, simple query that is evaluated by the underlying knowledge system. The system returns the relevant information that can be found in the sensor data. Then, the users have the possibility to refine the result by setting conditions for this. These conditions are formulated by specifying attributes of objects or relations between objects.The problem of uncertainty in spatial data; (i.e. location, area) has been considered. The question of how to represent potential uncertainties is dealt with. An investigation has been carried out to find which relations are practically useful when dealing with uncertain spatial data.The query language has been evaluated by means of a scenario. The scenario was inspired by real events and was developed in cooperation with a military officer to assure that it was fairly realistic. The scenario was simulated using several tools where the query language was one of the more central ones. It proved that the query language can be of use in realistic situations.
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