The next-generation battlefield will be populated with a vast number of interconnected, heterogeneous and sometimes autonomous agents including devices, networks, software, and humans. Defending such complex and/or autonomous systems will be impossible for humans to do alone. Autonomous Intelligent Cyber-defense Agents (AICA agents) will be key in defending such systems.
Develop the autonomous cyber defense science that will enable the next-generation battlefield in which multiple autonomous or connected devices, the controlling software and defending humans will interact with one another virtually in order to optimize on their mission objectives.
A short history and origins of the AICA IWG
The AICA WG is an independent, not-for-profit organisation.
It will build upon the work and results of NATO’s IST-152 Research Task Group (2016-2019) on “Intelligent, Autonomous and Trusted Agents for Cyber Defense and Resilience” and help fostering research & education, industrial developments, standardisation and evaluation methods in AICA agents technology. The Lead Nation were the USA, with Team Leader Alexander KOTT, USA, and Co-Leader Paul THERON, France. Actions/Events included a first meeting in Paris, France, on September 6-9, 2016; a second meeting in Rome, on 27-31 March 2017; the publication of an Initial Draft of Reference Architecture for Cyber Agents in August 2017; a third meeting in Prague, on 16-17 October 2017 doubled with a workshop on 18-20 October 2017; the publication of an “Initial Reference Architecture…” report in March 2018; a fourth meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on 22-25 May 2018; a fifth meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, on 15-19 October 2018; an Industry Workshop and sixth meeting at Cranfield University, UK, on March 18-22, 2019; and the publication in September-October 2019 of a Final Report by the US Army Research Laboratory and made available at several sites.
As a follow-on to its activities, IST-152 wished to encourage the emerging interest in member Nations’ academia, industry and governments towards the related research and development. In particular, the participants of the Industry Workshop that took place on March 19, 2019, in Bedford, UK, expressed strong interest in forming an International Work Group (AICA IWG) in order for the industrial and academic organizations to continue the work on the topic of AICA.
Therefore, a key objective of IST-152 was to encourage the creation of a functioning, technically well-informed AICA IWG that would pursue several activities towards encouraging and supporting the development of AICA agents. The ultimate goal set for the IWG was to provide NATO countries with industrial capability and actual industry-built products that constitute the next generation of cyber defense of NATO military forces.
The AICA IWG was officially formed on 15 June 2020 and has been legally registered in October 2020.
Its members were initially recruited partly from the attendees of the Industry Workshop that took place on March 19, 2019, in Bedford, UK as well as through other connections.
The activities and outputs of the IWG were thought to include, for example, some of the following:
- developing initial common concepts and vocabulary;
- identifying functional, performance, safety and other requirements;
- identifying or developing applicable standards;
- assembling test data sets;
- creating benchmarking methods;
- creating recommendations for interoperability;
- creating V&V methods;
- organizing workshops and panels on related topics;
- sponsoring competitions of the AICA products.
It is anticipated that the members of the AICA IWG will prefer to focus on those outputs that benefit all members without impeding their competitive interests. Ultimately, the AICA IWG will identify the suitable activities and outputs as its membership – and their interest – evolve.
AICA IWG Board Members
The Board of the AICA IWG are:
- President: Dr. Nathaniel Evans, Argonne National Lab (USA);
- Vice-president: Dr Noam BEN-ASHER, Scientist at Boston Fusion (USA);
- General Secretary: Mr Alessandro Guarino, CEO StAG srl, Italy;
- Treasurer: Dr Paul THERON, Thales, Director of the Aerospace Cyber Resilience Chair (Cyb’Air) of the French Air Force (France).
The following people took part in the creation of the AICA IWG:
- Dr Alexander Kott, Chief Scientist, US Army Research Laboratory, USA;
- Prof. Venkatramanan Siva Subrahmanian, Northwestern University, USA;
- Prof. Diane Henshel, Indiana University, USA;
- Prof. Martin Drasar, Masarik University, Czech Republic;
- Dr Nandi Leslie, Raytheon Technologies (USA);
- Prof. Janos Sztipanovits, Vanderbilt University, USA;
- Dr Mark Raugas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA;
- Prof. Pierre Trepagnier, MIT, Boston, USA;
- Prof. S Jay Yang, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA;
- Dr Igor Linkov, US Army Corps of Engineers, Boston, USA;
- Dr Nate Evans, Cybersecurity Program Manager, Argonne National Laboratory’s Strategic Security Sciences Division, USA;
- Dr Edward.Yakabovicz, Northrop Grumman, USA;
- Dr Eugene Santos, Dartmouth College, USA;
- Mr Demetrius Davis, MITRE Corporation, USA;
- Dr Charles Forgy, US Navy, Center for Naval Analyzes, USA;
- Dr Char Sample, Chief Scientist, Idaho National Laboratory, USA;
- Mr James Wallace Hess, Cythereal Predictive Cyber, Director of Business Development, USA;
- Mr Aaron Mannes, Culmen, LLC – Senior Policy Advisor supporting Homeland Security Science and Technology, USA;
- Mr Paul Maxwell, Cybersecurity Researcher, West Point US Military Academy, USA;
- Mr Samuel Visner, National Cybersecurity Director Federally Funded Research and Development Center, the MITRE Corporation, USA;
- Prof. Patrick Drew McDaniel, Pennsylvania State University, USA;
- Mr James Rowell, Chief Engineer at US Army Corps of Engineers, USA.
- Prof. Benoit Le Blanc, Director of the National School of Cognitive Sciences, Bordeaux;
- Prof. Michel Occello, Grenoble-Alpes University, LCIS Laboratory, Valence;
- Prof. Jean-Paul Jamont, Grenoble-Alpes University, LCIS Laboratory, Valence;
- Prof. Luigi Mancini, Universita di Roma La Sapienza, Italy;
- Prof. Gabi Dreo, Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany;
- Prof. Branislav Bosansky, Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic;
- Dr Giovanni Apruzzese, University of Liechtenstein;
- Dr Fabio De Gaspari, Universita di Roma La Sapienza, Italy;
- Dr Luis Munoz, Imperial College, UK;
- Mr James Lang, Ministry of Defense, United Kingdom;
- Mr Stéphane Sans, Head of studies, Thales, France;
- Mr Olivier Bettan, Cybersecurity Research Manager, Thales, France;
- Mr Tim Dudman, Riskaware, UK;
- Dr Roy Lindelauf, Netherlands Defense Academy, Assistant Professor Quantitative Intelligence Analysis, Holland;
- Mr Arne Norlander, CEO & Chief Scientific Officer, NORSECON, Sweden;
- Mr Klaus Munch Kjoller, PWC, Norway;
- Mauno Pihelgas, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) Tallinn, Estonia.