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The University of Southampton
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Research project: Multivariant Information Management and Exploitation - Dormant - Dormant

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The MIMEX initiative is a Data and Information Fusion Defence Technology Centre (DIF DTC) cluster project comprising two academic partners (Cardiff University and the University of Southampton) and one industrial partner (General Dynamics UK Ltd). MIMEX aims to investigate some of the key challenges confronting military agencies in an era of effects-based operations and network-enabled capabilities. These challenges include the need to integrate information from physically disparate and semantically heterogeneous information repositories, the need to coordinate response outcomes with bodies of socio-cultural and psychological information, and the need to cope with hostile agencies that may deliberately attempt to subvert or disrupt coalition decision making.

To address these challenges MIMEX countenances a solution strategy that embraces semantic integration techniques, human factors analysis, trust evaluation and cultural modelling. The operational focus area for MIMEX is the domain of stability and support operations, specifically information operations (IO). IO forms part of a spectrum of military operations which entail the exploitation of open source intelligence (OSINT), often focused on the civil, rather than the military, domain. Not only are these operations a central element of notions such as effects-based operations, they also reflect much of the operational reality of current military engagements by British Armed Forces. While traditional warfighting operations typically target effects against an enemy's ability to fight, operations such as IO often attempt to achieve regional stability by targeting the ‘hearts and minds' of relevant social groups (i.e. those groups with sufficient power and influence to instigate or control negative events). This focuses attention on the need for enhanced cultural awareness, which is a key aspect of the ontology engineering effort for MIMEX. The aim is to develop ontologies that support culture-sensitive decision-making and enhance cultural awareness by enabling the task-specific retrieval and visualization of culture-relevant information.

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