A crisis has erupted in Northern
Islandia that is disrupting the economic and political stability of the region. While
Northern Islandia has never attracted much attention within the Department of Defense, its
proximity to areas of vital interest make its current unrest a cause for concern.
Unfortunately, there is no machine translation capability into English for Islic, the
native language of the indigenous population, and there are very few individuals available
to the Defense community who have any proficiency in the native language. While
information available from neighboring sources, in languages for which machine translation
is available, is providing a degree of insight into the unfolding situation, the primary
sources of information are the impenetrable Islic web pages. Using TIDES technologies,
information retrieval systems are adapted within a week to be able to retrieve Islic
materials using English queries. Within a month, these systems have also progressed to the
point where topics can be tracked, named entities (people, places, organizations,
can be identified and correlated, and coherent summaries generated. Integrated into the
Armys FALCON-2 (Forward Area Language Conversion - 2) mobile OCR units enables
analysts additional access to local printed materials. This rapid adaptation into Islic
now enables analysts to track events directly based both on information retrieved from the
Web and in situ documents. The situation in Northern Islandia, while still critical, is no
longer as vexing. Analysts now can identify the issues at stake and the stakeholders,
leading to informed decision options for the Commanders in Chief.
The TIDES applications will:
- Demonstrate the ability to solve real problems of real users on real data
- Use integration techniques that overcome the lossy waterfall model
- Provide technology advances that support measurable end-to-end performance improvements in translingual information access.