Artificial Intelligence Simplifies DOD Decision Making

The Challenge: Managing a Flood of Policy Requirements

Tens of thousands of documents govern how DOD operates. Action officers updating directives, installations implementing new procedures, and other decision makers must navigate an accelerating flood of policy and statutory requirements to complete their ongoing work.

Over time, as DOD requirements continued to grow, the volume of issuances and statements began to make policy tasks increasingly difficult and time-consuming. As a result, DOD decision makers faced several related challenges:

  • Time wasted searching through different repositories and networks to find the right sources
  • No expedited method for analyzing the meaning, relevance, and authority of multiple policies
  • A lack of integration and collaboration across core processes and internal teams

The Approach: Streamline Decision Making with AI

To address these challenges and transform the Department’s policy landscape, the DOD Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) asked Booz Allen to help design, implement, and manage a new application to streamline document search and analysis.

The Booz Allen team set out to build the app using NLP and other AI capabilities to drive efficient discovery and ingestion of requirements data. These advanced tools would enable rapid search and analysis of DOD policy information to support evidence-based, data-driven decisions.

Through this approach, DOD users would benefit from key capabilities including:

  • One trusted repository of all DOD requirements integrating each document and policy detail
  • The ability to keyword-search for requirements and in-depth data on roles and responsibilities, strategies, functions, and missions
  • Graphics that show how documents and entities connect to each other, for fast analysis of interdependencies, redundancies, and inconsistencies

The Solution: Changing the Policy Game for DOD Decision Makers

Amazon Web Services

Created and continuously improved by Booz Allen, the GAMECHANGER app is a fully developed web tool. Enabling DOD to operate more efficiently every day, it offers fast, sophisticated search as well as a large range of NLP activities and knowledge graph creation, dramatically simplifying exploration and analysis.

Leading capabilities from Amazon Web Services (AWS), a Booz Allen technology partner, power GAMECHANGER. These include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances for computation servers and application hosting, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for document storage, Amazon-managed Relational Database Service (RDS) for PostgreSQL and MySQL, and Amazon-managed Elasticsearch for advanced search and analytics. In addition, the solution will transition from the standard Redis tool to Amazon-managed ElastiCache.

Imaginative Design for Rapid Searches

With its innovative technical features, GAMECHANGER offers multiple advantages to the JAIC and to policy researchers and analysts across the Department:

  • Synchronizes linked requirements with an agile machine learning operations (MLOps) framework to continually refine AI and ML capabilities, which train models to best explore, link, and understand DOD requirements
  • Fine-tunes models, pre-trained on large datasets, using DOD and policy-specific language
  • Provides the ability to swap in new models with no downtime and automatically download the necessary dependencies on deployment
  • Enables application of a wide range of NLP—including summarization, keyword extraction, topic modeling, document comparison, named entity recognition, and question-answering—and any number of existing transformer models in industry and academia
  • Collects user behavior data to create labeled datasets for document recommendation and improved ranking

The Results: Keeping DOD Ahead of the Requirements Game

Without a mechanism to singularly map and analyze the vast, evolving landscape of requirements, DOD decision makers used to operate in uncertainty—leveraging what they could easily access, but unable to fully unearth or navigate policies, roles, authorities, and strategies that were growing more complex.

Today, GAMECHANGER has created a seamless experience for stakeholders who operate in the DOD policy environment. The app now includes documents from over 27 different major sources. In the app’s initial phase, more than 6,000 users conducted in excess of 101,000 queries. The AI-enabled solution provides a model for advanced knowledge management and for successful human-machine teaming.

As an authoritative source of information, GAMECHANGER significantly reduces the time users once spent searching for policy data. With the ability to find accurate references more quickly than ever, DOD can avoid conflicting policy guidance, assess financial impacts of policy changes faster, and better ensure oversight and the alignment of policies with strategy—all while conserving Department resources. The overall result is a more integrated requirements environment where DOD’s policy decision makers receive the support they need to help protect the warfighter and advance the nation's critical defense missions.