RE: NEST solicitation

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From: S. Mike Dierken (
Date: Wed Oct 04 2000 - 09:43:40 PDT

The hidden benefit being that your creations get to kill men, women and


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rohit Khare []
> Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2000 7:00 PM
> To:
> Subject: Fwd: NEST solicitation
> [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:
> ><>http://www.dyncor
> > 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:
> ><> 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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