Fwd: NEST solicitation

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From: Rohit Khare (Rohit@KnowNow.com)
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 18:59:47 PDT

[Reactions? No ant-colony entries, please; solutions must remain
solidly silicon-based :-) --RK]

>Networked Embedded Software Technology (NEST)
>Primary Sponsor: Department of Defense
>Deadline: 1/5/2001
>"The Department of Defense encourages the participation of Minority
>Institutions (MIs)."
>SOL BAA01-06
>DUE 010501 POC Dr. Janos Sztipanovits, DARPA/ITO; FAX: (703) 522-7161.
>DARPA seeks novel approaches to the design and implementation of
>software for networked embedded systems. Embedded information
>processing is becoming the primary source for superiority in weapon
>systems. The new wave of inexpensive MEMS-based sensors and
>actuators and the continued progress in photonics and communication
>technology will further accelerate this trend. Weapon systems will
>become increasingly "information rich," where embedded monitoring,
>control and diagnostic functions penetrate deeper and with smaller
>granularity in physical component structures.
>Given this trend, the separation of physical and information
>processing architectures is not sustainable. Strong mutual
>interdependence requires their fusion at fine levels of granularity,
>i.e. the distribution of information processing among physical
>components. The coordinated operation of distributed embedded
>systems makes embedding, distribution, and coordination the
>fundamental technical challenge for embedded software.
>The goal of the NEST program is to enable "fine-grain" fusion of
>physical and information processes. The quantitative target is to
>build dependable, real-time, distributed, embedded applications
>comprising 10^2-10^5 computing nodes. The nodes are networked, their
>operation is coordinated and dynamically reconfigured as a response
>to changing physical conditions and modes of operation. The nodes
>include physical and information system components coupled by
>sensors and actuators. Closed loop interaction between physical and
>information system components is an essential feature of relevant
>NEST applications and it differentiates the NEST program from
>general, ubiquitous computing directions.
>Potential examples for target applications include MEMS based
>control and health management of weapon platforms, coordinated
>operation and control of large groups of physical objects (weapons,
>munitions, vehicles), and smart structures. The central themes of
>NEST are coordination and synthesis services in networked embedded
>systems. Coordination services include fault tolerant,
>self-stabilizing protocols for time, data exchange, synchronization,
>and replication in large, distributed, real-time systems. Synthesis
>services provide time-bounded solution for complex, distributed
>constraint satisfaction tasks required for dynamic reconfiguration
>of applications. NEST will develop application independent,
>customizable/adaptable middleware for real-time coordination and
>synthesis. These services are crucial to making aggregate behavior
>of large networked embedded systems predictable and dependable
>despite local failures and upsets. The services will be designed to
>be optimizable for specific applications and underlying distributed
>computing platforms and execution contexts.
>The application and computing platform specific optimization of
>service packages will require automated composition. Support of
>partitioning is essential despite critical and non-critical
>applications sharing the same fabric. To demonstrate the efficacy of
>NEST technology, DARPA seeks convincing evaluation and demonstration
>platforms. Of special interest are approaches that offer scalable,
>inexpensive solution for experimentation and integration studies.
>There are a total of five research areas. Four are contained in
>Group I and the remainder in Group II. Group I research is solicited
>in the following technical topic areas: (1) Application Independent
>Coordination Services: This task will develop customizable, verified
>algorithms and code bases to support time-bounded coordination
>across NEST applications; (2) Time-bounded Synthesis: This task will
>develop new theory and technology for time-bounded synthesis
>services embedded in NEST applications. The resulting capabilities
>will enable synthesis of control sequences, schedules, processing
>configurations, resource maps, etc. -- usually performed at design
>time -- to become part of real-time (i.e. time bounded) NEST
>operations; (3) Service Composition and Adaptation: This task
>addresses the automated composition and customization of
>coordination service packages optimized to the characteristics of
>NEST applications and distributed computing platforms and execution
>contexts. The goals of this task are the fully automated design-time
>composition and customization of service packages, which are
>optimized to the actual requirements and computation/communication
>platforms; (4) Other innovative approaches to the NEST problem.
>Restrictions: Proposals addressing more than one of the areas
>described above should be structured with separable options. Group I
>proposals cannot respond to or address Group II research. Group II
>research is solicited in the following technical topic area: Open
>Experimental Platforms: Open experimental platforms include physical
>system and software components, related challenge problems and
>integration experiments that will be used for the affordable
>evaluation and demonstration of NEST technologies. Restrictions:
>Group II Proposals for Open Experimental Platforms research may
>address experimental platforms for more than one of the Group I
>topic areas but should not propose solutions for Group I research.
>Team efforts and cost sharing are strongly encouraged.
>PROGRAM SCOPE: Proposed research should investigate innovative
>approaches and techniques that lead to or enable revolutionary
>advances in the state-of-the-art. Proposals are not limited to the
>specific strategies listed above, and alternative visions will be
>considered. However, proposals should be for research that
>substantially contributes towards the goals stated. Research should
>result in prototype hardware and/or software demonstrating
>integrated concepts and approaches.
>Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in
>evolutionary improvement to the existing state of practice or
>focuses on a specific system or solution. Integrated solution sets
>embodying significant technological advances are strongly encouraged
>over narrowly defined research endeavors. Proposals may involve
>other research groups or industrial cooperation and cost sharing.
>GENERAL INFORMATION: A pre-proposal conference call will be held
>Tuesday, October 10, 2000. Contact one of the administrative
>addresses below for details regarding time, registration, and
>access. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/Information
>Technology Office (DARPA/ITO) requires completion of a Broad Agency
>Announcement (BAA) Cover Sheet Submission for each Proposal, by
>accessing the URL below:
>p-is.com/BAA/index.asp?BAAid=01-06. After finalizing the BAA Cover
>Sheet Submission, the proposer must submit the BAA Confirmation
>Sheet that will automatically appear on the web page. Each proposer
>is responsible for printing the BAA Confirmation Sheet and
>submitting it attached to the "original" and each designated number
>of copies. The Confirmation Sheet should be the first page of your
>Proposal. Failure to comply with these submission procedures may
>result in the submission not being evaluated. Detailed information
>and instructions are outlined within the Proposer Information
>Pamphlet (PIP).
>ABSTRACT FORMAT: In order to minimize unnecessary effort in proposal
>preparation and review, proposers are strongly encouraged to submit
>brief proposal abstracts in advance of full proposals. An original
>and 4 copies of the proposal abstract and 4 electronic copies (i.e.,
>4 separate disks) of the abstract (in Microsoft Word '97 for
>IBM-compatible, PDF, Postscript, or ASCII format on one 3.5-inch
>floppy disk or one 100 MB Iomega Zip disk). Each disk must be
>clearly labeled with BAA 01-06, proposer organization, proposal
>title (short title recommended) and Copy ___ of 4).
>The proposal abstract (original and designated number of hard and
>electronic copies) must be submitted to DARPA/ITO, ATTN: BAA 01-06,
>3701 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1714, in time to reach
>DARPA by 4:00 PM (ET) Wednesday, November 1, 2000, to guarantee
>review. Upon review, DARPA will make a recommendation to offerors
>either encouraging or discouraging submission of full proposals.
>PROPOSAL FORMAT: Proposers must submit an original and 4 copies of
>the full proposal and 8 electronic copies (i.e., 8 separate disks)
>of the full proposal (in Microsoft Word '97 for IBM-compatible, PDF,
>Postscript, or ASCII format on one 3.5-inch floppy disk or one 100
>MB Iomega Zip disk). Each disk must be clearly labeled with BAA
>01-06, proposer organization, proposal title (short title
>recommended) and Copy ___ of 8. The full proposal (original and
>designated number of hard and electronic copies) must be submitted
>in time to reach DARPA by 4:00 PM (ET) Friday, January 5, 2001, in
>order to be considered. Proposers must obtain the BAA 01-06 Proposer
>Information Pamphlet (PIP), which provides further information on
>the areas of interest, submission, evaluation, funding processes,
>proposal abstracts, and full proposal formats. This pamphlet may be
>obtained by fax, electronic mail, mail request to the administrative
>contact address given below, or at URL address
>Solicitations.html. Proposals not meeting the format described in
>the pamphlet may not be reviewed.
>This Commerce Business Daily (CBD) notice, in conjunction with the
>BAA 01-06 PIP and all references, constitutes the total BAA. No
>additional information is available, nor will a formal RFP or other
>solicitation regarding this announcement be issued. Requests for
>same will be disregarded. The Government reserves the right to
>select for award all, some, or none of the proposals received. All
>responsible sources capable of satisfying the Government's needs may
>submit a proposal that shall be considered by DARPA. Historically
>Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Institutions
>(MIs) are encouraged to submit proposals and join others in
>submitting proposals. However, no portion of this BAA will be set
>aside for HBCU and MI participation due to the impracticality of
>reserving discrete or severable areas of this research for exclusive
>competition among these entities.
>Evaluation of proposals will be accomplished through a scientific
>review of each proposal, using the following criteria which are
>listed in descending order of relative importance: (1) Overall
>Scientific and Technical Merit: The overall scientific and technical
>merit must be clearly identifiable. The technical concept should be
>clearly defined and developed. Emphasis should be placed on the
>technical value of the development and experimentation approach. (2)
>Innovative Technical Solution to the Problem: Proposed efforts
>should apply new or existing technology in a new way such as is
>advantageous to the objectives. The plan on how offeror intends to
>get developed technology and information to the user community
>should be considered. (3) Potential Contribution and Relevance to
>DARPA Mission: The offeror must clearly address how the proposed
>effort will meet the goals of the undertaking. The relevance is
>further indicated by the offeror's understanding of the operating
>environment of the capability to be developed. (4) Offeror's
>Capabilities and Related Experience: The qualifications,
>capabilities, and demonstrated achievements of the proposed
>principals and other key personnel for the primary and subcontractor
>organizations must be clearly shown. (5) Plans and Capability to
>Accomplish Technology Transition: The offeror should provide a clear
>explanation of how the technologies to be developed will be
>transitioned to capabilities for military forces. Technology
>transition should be a major consideration in the design of
>experiments, particularly considering the potential for involving
>potential transition organizations in the experimentation process.
>(6) Cost Realism: The overall estimated cost to accomplish the
>effort should be clearly shown as well as the substantiation of the
>costs for the technical complexity described. Evaluation will
>consider the value to Government of the research and the extent to
>which the proposed management plan will effectively allocate
>resources to achieve the capabilities proposed.
>All administrative correspondence and questions on this
>solicitation, including requests for information on how to submit a
>proposal abstract or proposal to this BAA, must be received at one
>of the administrative addresses below by 4:00 PM (ET) Friday,
>December 29, 2000; e-mail or fax is preferred. DARPA intends to use
>electronic mail and fax for some of the correspondence regarding BAA
>01-06. Proposals and proposal abstracts MUST NOT be submitted by fax
>or e-mail; any so sent will be disregarded. The administrative
>addresses for this BAA are: Fax: 703-522-7161 Addressed to:
>DARPA/ITO, BAA 01-06. Electronic Mail:
><mailto:baa01-06@darpa.mil>baa01-06@darpa.mil. Mail to: DARPA/ITO,
>ATTN: BAA 01-06, 3701 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1714.
>Posted 10/02/00 (W-SN503076). (0276)
>00A000950 Department of Defense
>001104030 Defense Industry
>001104000 Military Sciences & History
>001016041 Information Technology
>001010041 Optimization
>001004237 Network Architecture
>001004223 Information Networks
>001004173 Algorithms
>001004055 Networking
>001004012 Control Applications (Computer Sciences)
>001004007 Computer Software
>001004000 Computer Science
>001000000 Sciences & Technology, Mathematics & Computer Science
>000505027 Minority Institution
>000505023 Hispanic-Serving Institutions
>000505011 Historically Black Colleges & Universities

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