Methods and standards for implementation of fusion systems and interfaces are
evolving. Discussions and research concerning the nature of and procedures to
enhance human-computer interfaces are becoming more prevalent. Architecture
selection, implementation, and test processes are still ad hoc, often driven by
outdated communication and data-processing limitations, and often dictated by
personal taste and corporate and agency culture.
Advances in processor technology and sensor netting techniques have removed
many of the limitations of the past. Improved signal-processing techniques and
digital sensor technology have reduced the clutter and false-alarm problem.
Improved workstations and user interfaces (menus) have broadened the
applications of data fusion and interaction of the user with the process.
However, operational limitations of commercial, off-the-shelf hardware and
software may inhibit the full use of new data-processing technologies.
Commercial operating systems and database management systems (DBMSs) are
ill-suited to military and air traffic control (ATC) real-time requirements for
sensor data processing. Military and ATC systems must be designed for the worst
case as delays at critical times are unacceptable.
In state estimation, data correlation is the largest user of data processing
resources, often more than 60 to 70 percent of the total. The key data fusion
technology of the 1990s was the multiple-hypothesis tracking concept, developed
to handle ambiguous association situations. It theoretically maintains all possible
track alternatives. The open-ended number and complexity of the alternatives are
almost guaranteed to exceed current CPU capabilities and DBMS limitations.