Unified Search and Information Integration for the ISS Mission Control Center

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Unified Search and Information
Integration for the ISS Mission
Control Center

Richard M. Keller, Ph.D.


Group
Lead for Information Sharing and Integration

Intelligent
Systems Division

NASA Ames Research Center


August 16, 2011

Outline


Motivation: Search for Mission Control


XSearch System: Functionality & Architecture


Data Integration Subsystem


Link Generation Subsystem


Interface


Wrap
-
up


Status


User Acceptance


Related Work


Lessons Learned


Summary

Primary Customer

International Space Station
(ISS) Mission Control Center

ISS Flight Controllers


Monitor ISS systems


Troubleshoot


Perform routine maintenance
procedures


Initiate ISS system changes
via telemetry commands


Document status and actions
taken


Coordinate and execute
complex operations tasks
(e.g. docking, boosting)

Why is SEARCH fundamental to
International Space Station operations?


24x7 Space Station operations staff generates huge volume
of operations workflow records in multiple databases


Flight controllers must access large number of engineering
& operations documents and manuals


Flight controllers search with very high frequency while on
console; search is essential to accomplishing almost every
type of operations activity


Finding information
quickly

is critical for


effective decision making


mission safety and assurance

Search in the Mission Control Center


Information fragmented across many systems


Each search interface is different


Searching is labor intensive, time
-
consuming,
error prone


Interrelated information across systems is not
linked and therefore difficult to access

What are the problems?

Why is interlinked information important?


Obtaining a search result
is just the
first

step in
information gathering


The next step is to
explore key
related

information needed to
interpret the result


Must understand the
context and relationships
among data to make
effective decisions


Linking Open Data cloud diagram,

by Richard Cyganiak and Anja Jentzsch. http://lod
-
cloud.net/

Anomaly
Report

Procedure

Part

Flight
Rule

Example: Mission Control Center Search

Chit

Search the Mission Action Request Tracking System

(a.k.a. the “Chits” System) for:


“ALS heater”


Interlinked information provides context for decision
-
making

Outline


Motivation: Search for Mission Control


XSearch System: Functionality & Architecture


Data Integration Subsystem


Link Generation Subsystem


Interface


Wrap
-
up


Status


User Acceptance


Related Work


Lessons Learned


Summary

XSearch Functionality


Consolidates search


searches multiple databases & displays integrated results


Standardizes & improves search


uniform search interface


improved search functionality


full text search, conjunctive search, acronyms,
synonyms


Interlinks & contextualizes search results

XSearch Components

1.
Data Integration System:



integrates and warehouses ISS information to be
searched on a single server

2.
Information Web:


interlinks the warehoused information

3.
Link Generation Engine:



dynamically scans new and revised information to detect
links and insert into web of data

4.
Search Interface:


searches information stored in the warehouse and
displays both results and linked data

XSearch Architecture

Data
Integration
Subsystem

XSearch Web Interface

Link
Generation
Subsystem

Outline


Motivation: Search for Mission Control


XSearch System: Functionality & Architecture


Data Integration Subsystem


Link Generation Subsystem


Interface


Wrap
-
up


Status


User Acceptance


Related Work


Lessons Learned


Summary

Data Integration Subsystem


Data warehousing approach


“Core” data fields extracted,
normalized & stored


Highly configurable approach
accommodates changes in data
sources

Data sources

Replicated sources

Data Warehouse

periodic replication

extract and normalize

XSearch server

data

bases

documents

web

pages

web

services

Normalization Example

TARGET:

Anomaly
Database


Core Fields



RecordType



RecordID



Title
*



DisplayDate



Content
*



ContentType



Status



DisplayName



OriginatorName



Org



Discipline



Activity

XSearch
Warehouse

tblAnomaly



ItemID



RequestTitle



WhenModified



StatusText



ControlNumber



OriginatorNetID



RequestOrg



RequestDiscipline



Activity

tblAnomalyBody



DocumentPart



DocumentSect



ErrDescription



ErrImpact



ErrWorkaround



ErrResolution



ItemID

tblAnomalyAttachment



ATTKEY



UserFileName

SOURCE:

*Full
-
text indexed

Mapping
Table

for Anomaly
Database

Source

Database

Mapping

Rule

Target

Datatable

Target

Field



source field



constant



SQL statement

Mapping
Table

for Anomaly
Database

Fill
DisplayDate

in the warehouse record with the
WhenModified

field from the Anomaly database

WhenModified


DisplayDate

a field in Anomaly DB

in Warehouse

a string constant

in Warehouse

Mapping
Table

for Anomaly
Database

Fill
RecordType

in the warehouse record
with the string
‘ANOMALY’

‘ANOMALY’


RecordType

Mapping
Table

for Anomaly
Database

{CAT select '<div class="
ANOMALY_Body
" id="ANOMALY_' + cast(
documentpart

as
nvarchar
(max)) + '_' + cast(
documentsect

as
nvarchar
(max)) + '">' + case when
len
(cast(
isnull
(
ErrDescription
,'') as
nvarchar
(max))) < 1 then '' else '<div
class="
ANOMALY_Body_Column
" id="ANOMALY_' + cast(
documentpart

as
nvarchar
(max)) + '_' + cast(
documentsect

as
nvarchar
(max)) + '_
ErrDescription
">' + cast(
isnull
(
ErrDescription
,'') as
nvarchar
(max)) + '</div>' end + case when
len
(cast(
isnull
(
ErrImpact
,'') as
nvarchar
(max))) < 1 then '' else '<div class="
ANOMALY_Body_Column
" id="ANOMALY_' +
cast(
documentpart

as
nvarchar
(max)) + '_' + cast(
documentsect

as
nvarchar
(max)) + '_
ErrImpact
">' + cast(
isnull
(
ErrImpact
,'') as
nvarchar
(max)) + '</div>' end + case when
len
(cast(
isnull
(
ErrWorkaround
,'') as
nvarchar
(max))) < 1 then '' else '<div
class="
ANOMALY_Body_Column
" id="ANOMALY_' + cast(
documentpart

as
nvarchar
(max)) + '_' + cast(
documentsect

as
nvarchar
(max)) + '_
ErrWorkaround
">' + cast(
isnull
(
ErrWorkaround
,'') as
nvarchar
(max)) + '</div>' end + case when
len
(cast(
isnull
(
ErrResolution
,'') as
nvarchar
(max))) < 1 then '' else '<div class="
ANOMALY_Body_Column
" id="ANOMALY_' + …

Fill
Content

in the warehouse record with multiple
fields concatenated from the Anomaly database

in Anomaly DB

in Warehouse

multiple fields


Content

Outline


Motivation: Search for Mission Control


XSearch System: Functionality & Architecture


Data Integration Subsystem


Link Generation Subsystem


Interface


Wrap
-
up


Status


User Acceptance


Related Work


Lessons Learned


Summary

Link Generation Subsystem


links generated by analyzing
textual information in
warehouse records and
documents


links and warehouse records
are displayed in interface

Data Warehouse

Information Web

XSearch Interface

link generation

links

Link Generation Methods

Method 1

(
for

explicit cross
-
references)
:



XSearch analyzes document/record text to identify


citations to other documents


Method 2

(
for

implicit cross
-
references)
:



XSearch performs cross
-
document text analysis


to determine similarities among documents


Pairs of documents in the corpus are compared for
similarity


over 10 billion comparisons!

What do flight control documents/records
look like?


Combination of structured and free text fields
authored by Space Station flight controllers while
on duty


Free text fields cross
-
reference other
documents/records using established naming and
numbering conventions


NO markup used to identify cross
-
references in text


Difficult to spot cross
-
references visually

Sanitized Excerpt from an ISS “Flight Note”

“The purpose of this note is to outline the hazards to the EVA crew
associated with the EVA repair of the SWFPF, for 22A EVA 7. Dynamic
events may affect structural integrity of the damaged component


this
hazard cause will be controlled by implementation of chit 5452, “Update to
Docked Loads Constraints for SWFPF during XPF rotations”, currently
open for review. Analysis has shown the Solar Array…

…Crew
-
induced loads on the WIF extender are generally controlled by
Flight Rule 22A_C2
-
D, “Electrical Load Constraints [HC] [RI]”; loads
constraints for EVA Articulating Portable Foot Restraint (APFR) and
Worksite Interface (WIF) Extender are defined in table 22A_C2
-
86
-
F.
APFR/WIF loads constraints for EVA 4 have been updated in CHIT 5480.
Note that for contingency use of the WIF Extender for EV work on P6, the
only approved attitude control is SRM QFMT NO DTP as detailed in EFN
F012457A. VRCS loads during LoAC recovery are acceptable as detailed
in AR 001767. This hazard control must continue to be observed, to
prevent structural failure of the WIF Extender.”

Cross
-
reference Detection: Mining for links

Chit 004361

Time

...This chit implements a

Resolution to the primary

ALS heater
failure described

in
Anomaly #447
...Based on

information described in

FN F0121902
,temperature

instability began on GMT 125.

Chit 004374

...This chit revises

the policy established

in
Chit 004361

...
temperature instability

was observed shortly after

the
primary ALS heater

failure

was detected...

EFN F013094

EFN F0121902

AR 00447

CITES

x
-
reference

CITED
-
BY

x
-
reference

similar terms

SIMILAR
-
TO

x
-
reference

Search for “
ALS heater


Analyze each search result to
determine three types of cross
-
references hidden in the text

Method 1: Explicit Cross
-
reference
Detection via Pattern Matching


Step 1: Cross
-
reference Candidate Identification

Find the cross
-
references in the text


Step 2: Cross
-
reference Validation

Make sure the cross
-
referenced records exist in the
specified database

Step 1: Cross
-
reference Candidate
Identification

1.
For
regularized

naming schemes: Use specialized BNF
Grammars to recognize cross
-
reference citation patterns



Anomaly Report 001245
’, ‘
Anomaly 1245
’, ‘
AR #1245




Flight Note F013457B
’, ‘
EFN F013457B
’, ‘
F013457B


2.
For
irregular

naming schemes: Use exhaustive match
against database of defined record identifiers:




SPS cable assembly


Anomaly Reports XRef Detection Grammar

ARpattern

::=
AnomalyTrigger

{Digit,1,6}

AnomalyTrigger

::=
AnomalyReport

| AR

AnomalyReport

::= Anomaly Report{‘s’,0,1}

Anomaly = “Anomaly” | “anomaly”

Report = “Report” | “report”

AR = “AR” | “
ar


“Anomaly”

“anomaly”

“Report”

“report”

“AR”

“ar”

{Digi,1,6}

OR

OR ?

OR

OR

AND

BNF Grammar

Example Citations
:


‘Anomaly Report 001245’


‘Anomaly 1245’


‘AR #1245’

AND

Step 2: Cross
-
reference Validation


Check that cross
-
referenced record actually exists

to avoid creating dead
-
end links


Query appropriate database to confirm

Method 2: Implicit Cross
-
Reference
Detection via

Similarity Analysis



Model each record as a point in a multi
-
dimensional vector space



Each dimension represents a word (found within some record)



Each rec is described by a vector:


<w
1
, w
2
, w
3
, w
4
, …. w
n
>



Dimensions normalized by frequency of occurrence



Similarity between two points is measured by the cosine of the
angle between their two vectors.

TF
-
IDF Vector
Space Method

Outline


Motivation: Search for Mission Control


XSearch System: Functionality & Architecture


Data Integration Subsystem


Link Generation Subsystem


Interface


Wrap
-
up


Status


User Acceptance


Related Work


Lessons Learned


Summary

XSearch Interface

Details

Pane

Search

Query

Pane

Search

Results

Pane

XSearch Interface: Query Pane









Time Period
Selection

Information Sources to be Searched

Search Term(s)

Search Field
Selection





































































“ALS heater”

XSearch Interface: Results Pane

Cross
-
References Summary (Line 2)

Identifying Information (Line 1)

Common set of fields displayed across all data sources

Individual Search Result

Record
Type

XSearch Interface: Details Pane

Record Preview

Cross
-
References
Detail Tabs

Identifying
Information

Outline


Motivation: Search for Mission Control


XSearch System: Functionality & Architecture


Data Integration Subsystem


Link Generation Subsystem


Interface


Wrap
-
up


Status


User Acceptance


Related Work


Lessons Learned


Summary

Status


Deployed in Space Station Mission Control
Center since July 2008


Integrates 15 Mission Control information
sources containing >1M records, total


In use daily


User base:

2200 Space Station & Space
Shuttle personnel


User Acceptance


Informal evaluation performed using search log files
and user interviews


Documented cases of value during problem solving


Strongest & most enthusiastic adoption by those
w/cross
-
cutting flight control responsibilities:


Group leads, management personnel, multi
-
functional
consolidated flight control positions


Preference for legacy tool
-
specific search capabilities
over XSearch in the absence of cross
-
cutting analysis
needs


Training environment challenging

Related Systems

1.
Search
:

-
Google Search Appliance,
Lucene
/
Solr
, Autonomy Search

2.
Enterprise integration
:

-

IBM’s
InfoSphere
,
Informatica’s

PowerCenter

3.
Bibliographic Citation Analysis
:

-
CiteSeer
, Google Scholar, Scopus

4.
Linked data
:

-
Link Discovery Systems, Named Entity Resolution, DB Record Linkage

XSearch uniquely combines capabilities, while addressing
specific Space Station Mission Control Center needs:


Fine
-
grained access control


Negligible indexing latency


Lessons Learned


Architect for ease of system reconfigurability


Mitigate impact of ‘data politics’ w/negotiated
data service agreements


Ensure adequate systems health monitoring


Understand user needs thoroughly


Guard against “requirements creep”

Summary


XSearch integrates Space Station Mission Control
data from multiple sources and enables cross
-
source search


Text mining & information retrieval techniques are
used to create linked “document networks”
connecting related mission control documents


Interconnected “document networks” provide

Flight Controllers with rapid access to related
documents, thus decreasing incident response
times and improving overall situational awareness

Acknowledgments: XSearch Team

Ames

Research
Center

Design /

Development :

Intelligent Systems
Division


Dan
Berrios

Mohana

Gurram

Rich Keller*

Chris Knight

Steve Lin

May
Windrem

Shawn Wolfe

Infrastructure /
Operations

Support:

MCC Web Tools

Team


James Hart

Tim Hall*

Jason
Toschlog

Brian
Ulman

Jenny Yang

Customers & Requirements


Brian Kelly*

ISS/STS Flight Controllers

ISS Engineering

ISS Program Staff

ISS

Ames Research Center

Johnson Space Center

Johnson Space Center

Questions?

?

R.M. Keller and C.D. Knight, "XSearch: A Unified Search and Cross
-
Reference Detection
Engine for the ISS Mission Control Center", IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT,
March 2011


R.M. Keller, S.R. Wolfe, M.N.Windrem, and D.C. Berrios, "XSearch: A System for
Searching and Interrelating NASA Mission Operations Data", AIAA Space Ops 2008
Conference, Heidelberg, Germany, May 2008.

.

References

Backup

Authorization and Access Control


Only users belonging to a flight controller group can
access portal where XSearch resides


XSearch is a read
-
only interface


Most sources were read
-
accessible by all flight
controllers


Where required, flight controller groups utilized as a
basis for access control (console logs, flight notes)


Exceptions for flight director and “private” notes


Multi
-
group users have union of permissions


Why not buy the
Google Search Appliance
?


We analyzed pros & cons of GSA


GSA
cannot

provide contextual cross
-
references


No commercial search product provides this capability


GSA can handle basic search and cross
-
source integration


But GSA is not magic and requires configuration (firewalls, security) and
ongoing maintenance (index, database reconfiguration)


GSA solution
does not
meet NASA needs in some key areas:


access control


privacy and restricted information


latency of indexing


interface customizability


indexing methods are ‘black box’