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T&E Challenges of Evolving Digital Ecosystems

Where:  Huntsville, AL 

When:  Nov 4 – Tutorials start in afternoon, Nov 5*-7 – Technical Program

*US Election Day, please plan accordingly. 

OVERVIEW

A digital ecosystem is a collection of networked information technology resources that can function as an integrated entity. The dominant ecosystems today were created by large tech companies, such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple, using hyperscale platforms. The underlying computing technology is dominated by mobile and cloud providers that spend billions of dollars per year for software, networks, processors, accelerators, memory, and storage, strongly influencing what is commercially available. The result is that T&E organizations are increasingly dependent on this ecosystem with diminishing influence over it. The dominant applications today are data-driven and artificial intelligence-based. To function in this ecosystem and assimilate the massive amounts of test data to facilitate knowledge discovery, T&E organizations must adapt people, processes, tools, and policy. In addition, many of the systems to be tested, for example, autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, are part of a digital ecosystem themselves and contain artificial intelligence elements. We must understand how to test at scale, how to assess data in place without transport to a central repository, how to adapt our organizations and processes to accommodate the inevitable incorporation (and sustainment) of machine learning test tools, and how to recruit, motivate, and retain a highly skilled workforce including scientists, engineers, technicians, and mechanics.

TECHNICAL TRACKS AND POSTER SESSIONS
Technical tracks and poster sessions will be unclassified and open to the general community. No restricted sessions, including Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), will be accepted. Abstracts must be strictly non-commercial in scope, pertinent to a technical topic, and no longer than 500 words. The Poster Session will be held during morning and afternoon breaks, co-located with the exhibits. Best Paper and Student Best Paper awards will be presented for presenters having full papers.

Topics for Technical Tracks, Poster Sessions, and Tutorials

Below are topics for technical tracks, poster sessions, and tutorials. We welcome suggestions for other topics and invite you to serve as the chair and organizer of a technical track.

  1. Chaos Engineering

Chaos engineering is an innovative approach for software testing at scale in an operational environment, developed at Netflix. It is the discipline of experimenting on a system to build confidence in the system’s capability to withstand turbulent conditions in production. The purpose is to address the most significant system weaknesses before they affect users or customers, and to ensure that failures experienced by the system are not damaging to the capabilities delivered to the users and customers.

  1. Natural Language Processing and Large Language Models

Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of artificial intelligence that helps computers understand, interpret, and manipulate human language. A large language model (LLM) is a deep learning algorithm that can perform a variety of natural language processing (NLP) tasks, for example, the generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) models, such as ChatGPT. LLMs are now being evaluated for broad applications in government and industry.

  1. Hybrid On-premise and Cloud Computing

Cloud computing holds potential for T&E, especially its on-demand scalability and global availability. But the cost of cloud computing can be elusive to predict and maintaining multiple versions of applications is cost-prohibitive. Dynamic cost models, containerized applications, and best practices are required for testers to choose when to use the cloud and what applications are best suited for it.

  1. Autonomy and Robotics

Autonomous vehicle testing must anticipate anomalous behavior and correct for it, requiring computation in real time of vehicle position, orientation, and speed relative to what is expected. This requires assimilation of  data (LIDAR, automotive radar, visible spectrum, GPS) data in real time, and comparison of location, orientation, and direction relative to obstacles, boundaries, and other geometric limitations. Testing of weaponized autonomous systems presents even more severe limitations and requires intelligent instrumentation and controls to enforce physical and virtual boundaries for the autonomous vehicle.

  1. Digital Engineering Practice

Digital thread and digital engineering are the next step in virtualization, intended to reduce the challenges of managing complex, dynamic technologies over their lifecycles. Digital engineering has the potential to transform the way hardware-intensive systems are designed and built by placing emphasis on digital modeling techniques. Testers do not control the digital ecosystem but must find ways to leverage its strengths in meeting reduced timelines within reduced budgets.

  1. The Data Lifecycle Enabling Digital Transformation

Historically, data was the final product of T&E, leading to recommendations for acquisition decisions. Today, data is often the starting point of discovery, and historical data plays a key role in designing and testing future systems. Yet testers do not own the data and over the lifecycle of the data, different organizations are involved. Digital transformation depends on continuous access to legacy and new data; testers and evaluators play a key role in the data lifecycle and in providing curated data products.

  1. DevSecOps and Software Factories

DevSecOps has transformed the processes of software development, testing, and acquisition for the Department of Defense. A software factory is a collection of platforms, tools, people, and a culture of continuous innovation/continuous deployment that mimics an assembly line approach for software production, often used to implement a DevSecOps process. Digital Twins can be employed by software factories to maintain virtual consistency of infrastructure and platform environments that enable DevSecOps across multiple environments.

  1. Testing Cognitive Systems

Traditional testing is based on repeatability of test conditions and measurements to establish performance of systems under test. Cognitive systems, by definition, change every time they are touched or exercised. Innovative approaches and metrics are required to test and evaluate cognitive systems, their integration into systems of systems, to establish safety requirements, and to conduct forensic analyses.

  1. Increased Complexity of Measurement and Calibration (Metrology)

Metrology is the science that defines standards for calibration, and calibration is the practice of taking and documenting measurements. As deployed systems and measurement systems increase in complexity, so do the challenges in metrology, error control, and measurement uncertainty. T&E depends on accurate and timely calibration of test instrumentation and requires an increasingly technical metrology staff.

  1. M&S for Challenging Environments

Challenging environments for M&S have historically been those areas where testing is expensive, where no ground test facilities exist, or where statutory preclusions exist, for example, very high altitudes, hypersonic speeds, and testing of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons. Today, developing autonomous systems and testing them in operationally realistic environments depends critically on modeling and simulation. Challenging environments also arise when multiple disciplines interact, multiple systems are simulated, and the entire lifecycle of a system is represented digitally.

  1. Edge and Adaptive Computing

Edge computing means working with data where they are created or acquired, remote from large-scale computing capabilities, i.e., the edge of the network. The prolific contributor is the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT means devices with sensing and processing ability that exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other network. The Internet of Battlefield Things, IoBT, is the IoT with military ‘things’ and military constraints. Adaptive computing dynamically modifies algorithms and applications to fit the available memory, processor, battery life, network bandwidth, and other restrictions of edge computing devices.

  1. Securing the Cyberinfrastructure

Cyberinfrastructure consists of the hardware, software, networks, data, and people that underpin advanced information technology. It offers unprecedented opportunities for economic growth and powers scientific discoveries. Cybersecurity is critical for safeguarding this digital infrastructure, keeping supply chains moving, and ensuring the safety and privacy of personal, proprietary, and classified data on networks.

Besides technical tracks, poster sessions, and tutorials, we also plan to organize student technical tracks.

TUTORIALS

ITEA offers 4-hour tutorials the day before the Symposium program begins (Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning). This allows individuals who are unable to attend the Symposium to still take advantage of increasing their continuing professional education credits. Tutorials require a separate registration from the Symposium. Instructors receive a complimentary registration to attend the Symposium; a secondary instructor will register at the full rate.

To help you to maintain, develop, or increase your knowledge, problem-solving, technical skills, or professional performance standards, these tutorials are often directly mapped to our CTEP certification and the four domains that have been identified by our Board of Examiners.  As a bonus, ITEA offers members an option to sit for the CTEP exam when choosing two tutorials per event. 

Submission 
Abstracts are due July 19, 2024New Online Submission Coming Soon!

Please ensure your abstract is approved for public release and cleared through your organization prior to submitting for consideration. Once your abstract has been accepted, you will be notified with further instructions.

Presenters are not exempt from registration and conference fees. The primary presenter will receive a discounted rate, all other presenters/co-authors will register at the full rate.

Full Papers & Best Paper Award
Full papers are optional but are not required. Full papers will be reviewed for publication in the ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation and will be automatically entered in competition for Best Paper and Student Best Paper awards. Journal guidelines and copyright release form are available from https://www.itea.org/submissions/.

EXHIBITS

The Symposium will be held in the Von Braun Center, which is ideally suited for large displays!  Do not miss your opportunity to exhibit! Commercial, academic, and government exhibits will play an integral part in the Symposium. We will put you in the right place at the right time. Increase your visibility, network with key players, and show your support and commitment to industry and the community!

Coming Soon 

  • Exhibit Application 
  • Exhibit Floor Plan 
  • Exhibitor Kit

SPONSORSHIPS

ITEA is a 501(c)(3) professional education association dedicated to the education and advancement of the test and evaluation profession. Sponsorships, in part are tax deductible.

Sponsorship opportunities are available to highlight your organization before and during the Symposium. Let us know your budget and we will help you get noticed. 

Application

For Planning Purposes

Make plans to vote early!  The 2024 United States elections will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024.  We have modified the agenda with Exhibits set-up on Sunday and Monday. Tutorials will be offered Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, and the Symposium will begin on Tuesday afternoon.

 

 

Coming Soon 

  • Hotel information

Registration

Regular Registration until June 15
$845 – Non-Member
$695 – ITEA Member / Gov’t Employee / Active-Duty Military

Late Registration after June 15
$945 – Non-Member
$795 – ITEA Member / Gov’t Employee / Active-Duty Military

Special Registration
$495 for anyone presenting

Register Now

 

SYMPOSIUM COMMITTEE

If you have any questions, contact us at Symposium2024@itea.org

Symposium Co-Chairs
Dr. Michael Barton, Parsons Corporation
Lewis Hundley, Vice President, Trideum Corporation

Technical Program Chair
Dr. Ernie Wu, Former CEO, ERC

Project Manager
Joe Bullington, Jacobs Technology

Workforce Development Chair
Virginia To, Energetics Technology Center

Tutorial Chair
To be Announced
Kathi Swagerty, ITEA Kathi@itea.org 

EXHIBITS & SPONSORSHIP
Jenna Reza, 909-582-6026 / Jenna@itea.org

REGISTRATION CHAIR
Jenna Reza, 909-582-6026 / Jenna@itea.org

Register Now

Event Details

Date

04 - 07 Nov 2024

Time

4:30 am - 1:00 pm

Venue

Von Braun Center

Location Map

Details

Start:
November 4 @ 4:30 am EST
End:
November 7 @ 1:00 pm EST
Cost:
$595

Venue

Von Braun Center
700 Monroe St SW
Huntsville, AL 35801 United States
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