Situation awareness, i.e. being aware of the environmental situation by collecting and interpreting information, is a prerequisite for many organizations in order to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions. In many domains, such as air traffic control, chemical plant surveillance, emergency situations and maritime safety and security control, ICT-based support is therefore indispensable for gathering and processing all of the relevant data.
A system for supporting situation awareness has to deal with large amounts of information coming from many different sources, with different formats and semantics and with various levels of reliability and trust. Semantic reasoning is necessary for providing the aggregation of the various pieces of data, including historical data, into meaningful information, while state-of-the-art visual representations are needed to help human users in their interpretation. Moreover, a typical situation awareness application will consist of a collection of autonomous systems and sub-systems without clearly-identifiable centralized control. As a system of systems, it can evolve dynamically and adapt to new sources.
Information‐centric architectures have been developed for systems of systems in maritime situation awareness applications. In this approach, information flow reasoning incorporates the environmental information flows and meta-information about their reliability and trust, as well as configuration and dependability information about the system, all of which mutually interact.
Identify tasks and views of system operators and users
Capture required information sources, processing, and reasoning
Analyze the resulting information flows and their behaviors over time
Determine information flow mechanics for core data and meta‐data using channels, transport and storage mechanisms, and feedback
Create a mapping of functionality and flow mechanics