Analytic tool is ally in war games

When the U.S. Joint Forces Command began planning a second multinational war games experiment this year, it used a software analysis tool that displays relationships among facts buried in separate files.

The Multinational Limited Objective Experiment 2 called on U.S., Australian, British, Canadian and German defense officials to deal with an imaginary 2010 Pacific Rim crisis. The goal was to share information securely and gauge an enemy's military and technological potential. The first multinational foreign collaboration test took place in November 2001.

The command began using ClearResearch from ClearForest Corp. of New York in December 2002. It offered the other participating countries training for the software, which cost the U.S. government about $200,000.

Tag, you're it

ClearResearch tags predetermined points, names, locations, organizations or titles from unorganized text in news stories, reports, Web sites or memos. It displays their relationships to other facts from other data sources on a single monitor.

'It takes a concentrated effort to continually evaluate the information we get,' said Jim Rowley, knowledge management project engineer at the Joint Forces Command. 'The value is going to be, I think, in correlating large document sets.'

ClearResearch runs under Microsoft Windows NT and 2000. Client-server licenses start around $70,000.

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