BOM Experimental 2010 Schema now available!
It has been four years now since the standardization of the Base Object Model (BOM) within SISO. Over the past four years a SISO Product Support Group (PSG) has supported and analyzed how BOMs have been used to support conceptual modeling and object modeling for Modeling and Simulation (M&S) and System Engineering projects. While, the BOM standard has very effective, there are some areas of improvement that have been identified. The result is a new experimental schema to consider for future BOM Product revision.
Several enhancements have been incorporated into this new schema including the following:
The experimental version of the BOM Schema and an XSLT to transform 2006 based BOMs to the new experimental 2010 version is available here for download. We encourage you to download these resources and provide feedback to the PSG. Also, the community version of the ConceptualWorks tool, which supports the new and old schema will be available for download soon!
- Conceptual Model now Conceptual Definition
- Pattern, State Machine “containers”
- Conceptual Entity / Event Composability
- Characteristic “Has-A” conceptual entity/event now supported
- Used to show what an abstract entity/event embodies
- Mappings folded into the Conceptual Entity / Event,
- Reduces excess / redundant information
- Used to link known classes that can support Entity/Event
- Object Model now Class Definition
- Architecture independent; relaxed “HLA” constructs
- Object Class now identified as Persistent Class
- Interaction Class now identified as Transient Class
- Added extensions place holder for HLA, TENA, CTIA, DIS specific characteristics
- More reusable classes; removed nested object classes / interaction classes and replaced with linked data to parent(s).
- Element can be marked with community related taxonomy marking
- Update Model Id (Discovery Metadata) to be more like MSC-DMS
Base Object Model (BOM) Introduction
The Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO) focuses on facilitating simulation
interoperability across government and non-government applications worldwide. One of SISO's interests is
to explore methods that support and promote reuse of simulation components and encourage agile, rapid,
and efficient development and maintenance of models.
Base Object Models (BOMs) provide a key mechanism in facilitating interoperability, reuse, and
composability. BOMs are specifically identified in the IEEE 1516.3 HLA Federation Development and
Execution Process (FEDEP) as a potential facilitator for providing reusable model components used for the
rapid construction and modification of federates and federations. The open standardization of BOM
representations is considered essential for encouraging their development, distribution and use.
The BOM concept is based on the assumption that piece-parts of simulations and federations can be
extracted and reused as modeling building-blocks or components. The interplay within a simulation or
federation can be captured and characterized in the form of reusable patterns. These patterns of simulation
interplay are sequences of events between simulation elements. The implementation of the pattern using
HLA object model constructs is also captured in the BOM.
There are two BOM related documents that have been standardized by the SISO via its BOM Product Development
Group (PDG). These documents are:
Also available are answers to your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) !
- The BOM Template Specification
- The Guide for BOM Use and Implementation.
M&S continues to provide a proven utility for testing, training and scientific analysis. Its application is
expanding in many arenas and disciplines including military and homeland defense, education,
manufacturing, medical, logistics, aviation, environmental science and more. SISO seeks to promote
interoperability and reuse within the M&S community, and explore ways to enable composability for these
arenas and disciplines. BOMs serve to address the operational and technical needs in these areas,
especially in regards to composabilty.
Typically, the development and deployment of simulations and mission space environments requires a
significant amount of time, effort and collaboration. This might be permissible if it was an occasional thing,
but it is not. From a DoD context, simulation is an important aspect of training, testing, mission rehearsal,
and prototyping. It has become pervasive, and it is not isolated to just the Navy, or the Army, or the Air
Force. Today a distributed simulation exercise may often be at a joint level, where combined assets have
been assembled with the intent to model and test them in a large mission space environment.
Some current technology enablers include the following:
- Interoperability standards
such as the HLA and the Run-time Infrastructure (RTI)
to connect systems and allow them to exchange
- Process standards such as the
FEDEP which help provide guidance and ensure our
objectives are being met
- Various tools and APIs that make the job easier for engineers and developers to build and test
federates within a distributed simulation environment.
Despite these enablers, one of the things that still encumbers the M&S community at large is that the task in
building and putting together simulation and simulation environments, which must conform to common
agreed upon message interfaces, remains an arduous task. That is, it takes a long time, a great deal of
effort, and a lot of collaboration. What is required is a composability infrastructure that encourages the
development and reuse, across the entire community, of components that are matched to the needs of the
desired simulation or simulation space. The BOM standard is seen as a key enabler for supporting
Effect of BOMs
The BOM framework as
documented in the BOM specification and the BOM guidance
document is intended to influence the following seven
capabilities within the M&S community:
- Interoperability - The
application of Extensible Markup Language (XML) and
XML Schemas prescribed for BOMs provides a mechanism
for defining and validating context, and facilitates
understanding of the data being exchanged.
Furthermore, the flexibility offered by BOMs allows
for greater application of simulation interoperability
within other domains.
- Reusability - The meta-data
cataloged within a BOM such as intent-of-use,
integration history, behavioral information, and
potential visual information will facilitate greater
reuse of components.
- Composability - BOMs will
facilitate the ability to rapidly compose simulations
and simulation environments both statically (design
time) and dynamically (at run-time).
- Adaptability - Mega-BOMs
produced by BOM compositions can be used to represent
the standard data exchange interface for systems and
simulations. For instance, HLA compliant federates can
continue to use their specific Mega-BOM interface to
experiment within environments comprised of other
simulations and systems represented by their own
unique Mega-BOM interface. Adaptability is
accomplished by deploying and applying the appropriate
XML-based transformations that represent mappings
between common BOMs within a Mega-BOM, by the
- Aggregation - The application
of BOMs can be used for supporting two types of
aggregation: Pattern Aggregation and Entity
Aggregation. Pattern Aggregations reflect the coupling
of interface groupings that can be identified prior to
an exercise. For instance, a Mega-BOM of an automobile
can be formulated reflecting the sum of its parts,
which might include BOMs such as an Engine, Wheels,
Car Body, Braking System and Suspension. Entity
Aggregations reflect the coupling of multiple entities
into a single inclusive group, which can be
accomplished during a federation execution (FEDEX).
Essentially, a Mega-BOM would be used to represent a
composite interface of a common group of federate
objects. For instance, a Mega-BOM representing a
battalion might be established to represent an
isolated group of troops and their associated vehicles
and equipment. The benefit of aggregation is that it
can reduce the amount of traffic distributed over the
- Multi-resolution Models - At
the Federate Capability Level, BOMs can be used
to represent the behavior states needed for modeling a
conceptual entity of one or more patterns of
interplay. Federates can choose from an assortment of
BOM Component implementations (BCIs) that best
represents their needs and system capabilities, even
though the interface assembly (i.e. Mega-BOM) that is
applied and used by all players may be equivalent. BOM
component implementations of varying resolutions can
even be swapped out dynamically during an exercise,
assuming the proper precautions are taken to ensure
validity and consistency. This provides the benefit
of federate CPU load reduction and federation
- Rapid Application Development (RAD) Tools and Web Services - It is envisioned that the next
generation of tools and web services (such as
collaborative development environments and
repositories) will emerge to support the creation,
deployment and use of BOMs for simulation development,
maintenance, and run-time support. The PDG established
to develop the BOM standard has sought to identify the
explicit high-level tool requirements needed to
support BOM creation, deployment and use
through the BOM Specification.
- Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) - The trend to move from system specific
functionality to service oriented architectures is
likely to have an enormous influence on distributed
simulation. Computer grids are using services to
compose them to deliver the currently needed
functionality by grid users. BOMs can be used to
migrate from existing system centric solutions to SOA
capable M&S services.
The flexibility offered by an open BOM specification coupled with the RAD type capability it offers, lends itself
to a myriad of domains and markets starving for this type of composability. This includes Education and
Distance Learning, Medical and Biotechnology, Manufacturing and Processing, Game Development and
Entertainment, Environmental and Space Sciences, Logistics and Humanitarian Efforts, and much more.
Simulation provides a cost effective tool for all these industries, and BOMs provide an efficient mechanism
for enabling such simulation. Some anticipated applications of BOMs that should be considered include:
- Virtual Hands-on Learning
- Enabling C4ISR and M&S
- Supporting Web-based
Simulations (such as XMSF profiles),
- Maintaining HLA
- Using it for Rapid
- Leveraging it (and it's meta-data) for Enabling the Semantic Web.