Planning for Communication Resources
journal contributionposted on 01.05.2003, 00:00 by Brett Browning, Manuela M. Veloso
For many human team activities, ranging from military operations through to emergency rescue or large entertainment events, communications resources must be assigned to different teams or team members. These assignments must reflect the capabilities of the available communication devices and avoid conflicting use of communications channels already in use in the local environment. In general, finding and assigning available communication channels for short-term use is a task performed manually by human operators. Operators, using generic tools, such as spreadsheets and database manipulation programs, access government databases to obtain information on frequency usage and then manually attempt to locate suitable unused channels. This process is time intensive, prone to error, and ‘mechanistic’ in nature. In this paper, we describe the CommPlanner, a new fully implemented system developed to automate this assignment procedure and thereby speed up and make more reliable the process. We describe the algorithms used by the CommPlanner, and the underlying issues that, while not always obvious, must be addressed in the processes of assigning frequency usage.