The IDEAS Group is the International Defence Enterprise Architecture Specification for exchange Group. The deliverable of the project is a data exchange format for military Enterprise Architectures. The scope is four nation and covers MODAF, DoDAF, DNDAF and the Australian Defence Architecture Framework. The initial scope for exchange is the architectural data required to support coalition operations planning -
The work has begun with the development of a formal ontology to specify the data exchange semantics. The W3C Resource Description Framework and Web Ontology Language will be the format used for data exchange. A demonstration of multinational interoperability is scheduled for September 2007, based on exchanging process models for casualty tracking.

The Need for Architecture Interoperability

The need for IDEAS was identified in 2005 by the Australian, Canadian, UK & US defence departments. The main purpose of IDEAS is to support coalition military operations planning. The ability to exchange architectures between countries enables better understanding of each other's capabilities, communications mechanisms and standard procedures.

Military Application

IDEAS is a formal, higher-order, 4D ontology. It is extensional, using physical existence as its criterion for identity. In practical terms, this means the ontology is well suited to managing change over time and identifying elements with a degree of precision that is not possible using names alone.
The ontology is being built using the BORO Method which has proven useful for the multi-disciplinary team working on IDEAS. BORO forces the ontology developer to consider each concept in terms of its physical extent. This means there can be no argument about names or meaning - something either exists or it doesn't. The BORO Method also deals with classes and relationships by tracing them back to their members or ends.


To date, there have been three IDEAS implementations:
The IDEAS work has been presented at a number of conferences. It has also been cited in a Cutter Consortium white paper and in a book on Systems Engineering from Springer Verlag