Joint Command, Microsoft team on R&D

The military's U.S. Joint Forces Command said Wednesday that it will work with Microsoft Corp. to develop better information distribution techniques. The two parties will collaboratively look for ways to improve the command's Knowledge and Information Fusion Exchange (KNiFE) expert systems program under a joint research and development agreement they reached recently, according to the two.

The KNiFE knowledge-based expert system is a series of linked databases the U.S. military uses to provide soldiers in the field with lessons learned from previous engagements. Defense personnel also can tap into KNiFE's databases from a secure Web site or by calling a staffed call center.

The Joint Forces Command wants to improve the technologies it uses to find and deliver data and thinks Microsoft's expertise in database technologies and software will help it develop better ways to search, extract and analyze data, said Joint Command officials.

For its part, Microsoft hopes to pick up lessons that it will use to make improvements to its business intelligence software.

The research deal is the first of its kind between the Joint Command and Microsoft, both parties said.

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