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CONMOD stands for CONflict MODeling and was a government program to simulate the battlefield. One battle could be simulated with different weapons, strategies, soldiers, weather, and battle fields without the needless destruction of resources and at a fraction of the cost.

The project was a follow on project to JANUS. JANUS had been around for several decades and resisted many efforts to modernize.

CONMOD would be based on the technology of objects, Ada, relational databases, large monitors with color GUIs, Digital's VAX computers running VMS, and expert systems.

There was no real software engineering methodology followed. There was no requirement or architecture document. There was no testing paradigm. The military would place about a dozen high level professional officers on a 12 month rotation. The civilian programmers would get their daily work assignments from the officers.

A significant amount of time was spent on the random number generator. Since this was a discreet simulation where every action would create an event with a probabilistic outcome, the random number generator was considered high priority. Every actor on the battle field, be it personnel or munitions, would have an event queue. As time progressed, actions would trigger events. Everything was to be modeled except for the command and control. Command and control would be provided by military officers guiding the simulation.

CONMOD was to be a non-classified project using only military information gathered from public sources. The military officers would have a private session on what information to share with the civilians.

The project never accomplished more than a very simple simulation. There was a large gap on communication between the civilian programmers who wanted to talk algorithms and data structures and the military officers who wanted to talk about military campaigns. The project lasted five years with about 100 person years of effort invested. See tables 7.13 and 7.14 starting on page [*].

Table 7.13: Survey Part 1: Basic Properties CONMOD
Question Response
Analysis? none.. poor..fair..good..great
Design? none.. poor..fair..good..great
Implementation? none.. poor..fair..good..great
Testing? none.. poor..fair..good..great
Cycles of ADIT? one.. few..several..frequent
Priority? no..yes
Versions? no..yes
Change Order Control? no..yes
Internal Prototype? no.. yes
External Prototype? no..yes
Alpha Release? no..yes
Beta Release? no..yes
Duration? 5 years
Effort? 100 person years

Table 7.14: Survey Part 2: Change Control CONMOD
Question Response
Did a new introduced requirement ever negatively affect accomplished work? never..seldom..often.. frequent
Did an architectural change ever negatively affect accomplished work? never..seldom..often.. frequent
Are new features introduced up to product release? never..seldom..often.. frequent
Is there a dedicated period of quality assurance before the product is released? no..yes

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Ronald LeRoi Burback