16 May 2019

New open-source software framework launched by DSTL

The open-source software framework titled Stone Soup will help develop tracking technology through model outcomes and simulators.

The framework is the result of a collaboration between the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada led by the DSTL, and the open-source software allows anyone to input and test tracking technology. The software architecture allows code components such as algorithms, simulators, and sensor models, to be plugged in in a modular fashion.

The technology allows for many outcomes to be tested for safety, effectiveness, and how they affect survivability. Industry groups and government laboratories can then compare results against standard data sets.

Senior Principal Scientist at DSTL Professor Paul Thomas said: “We are really excited to be making Stone Soup available to other tracking practitioners giving us the potential to be high-impact in multiple communities. It’s a ‘standard’ platform for tracking algorithm development, and for testing and benchmarking, which will be a huge benefit for the academic and Defence community.”

“The framework is in its infancy but the long-term aim is to save lives by having data that can accurately track adversaries, giving commanders in the battlefield full situational awareness.”

“It’s an accelerated learning aid for people who are just coming into this area too. Before this, it could have taken months, even years, to learn the detailed mathematics of tracking. This is a fantastic tool with so many benefits; I hope lots of experts can join us in using and contributing to this framework.”

The software allows data to be compared easily, which was previously a lengthy and complicated process. The technology is being supported by defence laboratories from the four other participating countries, with Defence Research and Development Canada also working on the creation of the hub.

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