ForMAT ForMAT System Description ForMAT

ForMAT has been under development since 1992. ForMAT (Force Management and Analysis Tool) supports force deployment planning, specifically Force Module (FM)/TPFDD development. ForMAT uses Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) techniques to store and index FMs as cases in ForMATs casebase (library). ForMAT focuses on force planning and within the military transportation planning domain, force planning information is often encapsulated in a data structure called the force module (FM).


In the operational world, FMs are currently built by entering JOPES, specifying the FM ID, and then entering the appropriate ULNs which comprise the force module. The FM is typically a grouping of combat, combat support, and combat service support forces (see example A10 Force Module). The FM ranges in size from the smallest combat element to the largest combat element. It may specify accompanying supplies and the required movement resupply and personnel necessary to sustain forces for a minimum of 30 days. The elements of a FM are linked together or uniquely identified so that they may be extracted from or adjusted as an entity in the JOPES database to enhance the flexibility and usefulness of the OPLAN during a crisis. Each has TPFDD (Time Phased Force and Deployment Data) and narrative descriptions, which generally describe the mission, condition, assumptions and constraints of the FM. In theory, these FMs form a library which can be drawn upon to quickly build a new plan.

Using ForMAT, a user can create a new FM from parts of existing FMs by cutting ULNs from one FM and pasting them into another FM. Alternatively, a user can create a blank FM, then attach a TPFDD query to it, in turn defining which TPFDD records belong to the FM. FMs can also be copied from one TPFDD to another.

During a session, indices are employed to retrieve stored FMs; however, a user also modifies and/or creates new indices to better describe a given FM. Using ForMAT, the user can develop a hierarchy of lower level FMs which describe the capability and/or the organization of some "parent" FM. These lower level FMs (i.e., children) can consist of existing FMs which have been copied from the FM library or they can be created by the user at any time. To date the system contains several TPFDDs, along with an ensemble of internal functions and interface functions which support FM creation, modification and indexing.


Currently ForMAT can pass a flat TPFDD file to DART's database via DART's TPEDIT. ForMAT queries can also be initiated with mission information provided from TARGET (a distributed collaborative planning system). Efforts are underway to transition ForMAT into a more operational form that can communicate easily with GCCS applications (DART, TPEDIT, TARGET, ACPT, LAD).

Input Requirements:
ForMAT uses a TPFDD as the starting point for the building of FMs. A user (or alternatively another system), can generate query based retrievals against the TPFDD or the ForMAT casebase to build FMs.

ForMAT creates both an internal casebase (FM library) an also generates the FMs developed into a TPFDD which is then available to any system that can read a standard TPFDD format. ForMAT also geForMAT uses a TPFDD as the starting pointnerates several reports.


ForMAT runs on Sun Workstations (Sun OS 4.1) under X11 R4 or X11 R5. It also runs in the Solaris environment under X11 R5. It is written in Common Lisp with the CLOS object system, using the Lucid Lisp 4.0.1 compiler. The graphical interface is currently implemented using Garnet 2.0, and object-oriented GUI toolkit built on top of CLX, a Common Lisp interface to X-Windows.

The ForMAT source code, binaries, and Lisp image require 130 megabytes of disk space to store data used and generated by the system. This does not include space required for COTS such as X-Windows, ORACLE etc.

A typical working size for ForMAT is 85 megabytes of RAM. Minimum requirement is 64 megabytes of RAM. Sufficient swap space is also required.


RL/ARPA Planning Initiative Prototype. There are several versions of the system:

ForMAT 1.3.1 has been been deployed to several operational sites, used to support numerous exercises, and has been used to guide the development of an operational force management system, called FMedit (a C++ system developed by Ascent Technology).

ForMAT 1.4 and ForMAT 1.4.1 are research versions that have been deployed to several locations for use in demonstrations and in support of a TIE with the University of Maryland and of a TIE with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). ForMAT 1.4.1 contains the enhancements that were required to support the TIE with CMU's Prodigy-Analogy system.

Government Contact:Contractor Contact:
Don RobertsAlice M. Mulvehill
Rome Laboratory
BBN Systems & Technologies
Griffiss AFB, NY 13441
Cambridge, MA
Tom GarveySteven M. Christey
The MITRE Corporation
Arlington, VA 22202
Bedford MA


Last Edited: May 6, 1997