Resource Sharing in Software Defined Coalitions to Support Coalition Missions

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Military / Coalition Issue

Military missions require the use of infrastructure assets including communication links, computational servers, data storage, databases, sensors, and other resources. Dynamicity and agility of military operations demand near real-time configuration, re-configuration and provisioning of these resources, while supporting efficient and robust sharing of assets across armed forces or coalition partners. State-of-the-art techniques cannot currently achieve this.

Core idea and key achievements

A new architecture called Software Defined Coalitions (SDC) has been developed, which extends the existing Software Defined Networking (SDN) paradigm, to resolve the aforementioned issue. A typical SDC is composed of multiple domains, each of which has a set of available resources. Each domain contains one domain controller and the controllers are connected through the control plane to exchange control information. The software control logic implemented in controllers can be programmed to enable rapid configuration and control of resources. We focus here on resource allocation and sharing in SDC, which includes both centralized and distributed solution techniques for single and multiple objective functions. Other SDC achievements are described in related DAIS Outcomes on “Controller Synchronization and Placement” and “RL for Network Control” and “Joint Reinforcement and Transfer Learning for Fragmented SDC.”

Key achievements on SDC resource sharing include the development of:

  • Distributed technique to optimize trade-offs between communications and computation in sensor networks
  • Optimization-based techniques (with single objective function) for allocation and sharing of SDC resources

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  • Game-theoretical frameworks (with multiple objective functions) for resource sharing in SDC

Implications for Defence

The collection of new techniques will enable defence to realize the concept of SDC for dynamic, agile and robust configuration, provisioning and sharing of infrastructure assets among armed forces or coalition partners, which are unmatched by our adversaries.

Readiness & alternative Defence uses

TRL 2/3. Many of the SDC techniques have been prototyped in practical environments, including the demo of SDC resource allocation. Further work will enhance readiness of the new techniques for practical use.

Resources and references

Samples of SDC related publications include:


Imperial College, University of Massachusetts, BBN, and ARL