Integrated Cognitive-Neuroscience Architectures for Understanding Sensemaking (ICArUS)

Intelligence analysts are frequently called upon to explain data that are sparse, noisy, and uncertain. This process, termed sensemaking, is a basic human cognitive ability as well as a foundational component of intelligence analysis. Yet despite its importance, sensemaking remains a poorly understood phenomenon.

The goal of the ICArUS Program is to construct integrated computational cognitive neuroscience models of human sensemaking. By shedding light on the fundamental mechanisms of sensemaking, ICArUS models will enable the Intelligence Community to better predict human-related strengths and failure modes in the intelligence analysis process and will point to new strategies for enhancing analytic tools and methods. Furthermore, ICArUS models may serve to help define a platform for a new generation of automated analysis tools.

The ICArUS Program is expected to consist of three phases over a five-year period. This BAA solicits proposals for Phases 1 and 2 only.

Phase 1 is 24 months and consists of a 12-month Base Period plus a 12-month Option Period. The objective in Phase 1 is to develop the initial integrated model. Performers will demonstrate the model’s ability to learn spatial relationships among data and to use this knowledge to make sense of content in a geospatial display.

Phase 2 is a single, 18-month Option Period. The objective of Phase 2 is to extend the functionality of the Phase 1 integrated model to include the ability to make sense of temporal patterns (event sequences) in geospatial data.


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