Swarming: A new model of collaboration

Rather than have an overarching authority decide what information will be distributed and who will receive it, the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) will operate based on a concept known as "swarming."

The Army originally developed the technique to allow separate units in the field to connect directly to one another to coordinate attacks, rather than go through a central command structure. Swarming has been shown to drastically cut the time needed to respond to a given situation.

"Each person [involved in responding to a situation] has their own version of the [virtual] work space on their computer, so that one person could be looking at files while another is looking at photos and e-mailing at the same time," said Dave Fowler, vice president of marketing and business development at Groove Networks Inc. The company's peer-to-peer technology is used in HSIN. "It allows you to see who is in that virtual work space and allows you to speak with them."

A more centralized method would take too much time in setting up communications, verifying and adding people to teams. Instead, the plan for HSIN is to allow people to swarm around a notification of an event that appears on their systems, Fowler said.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Shutterstock image (by wk1003mike): cloud system fracture.

    Does the IRS have a cloud strategy?

    Congress and watchdog agencies have dinged the IRS for lacking an enterprise cloud strategy seven years after it became the official policy of the U.S. government.

  • Shutterstock image: illuminated connections between devices.

    Who won what in EIS

    The General Services Administration posted detailed data on how the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract might be divvied up.

  • Wikimedia Image: U.S. Cyber Command logo.

    Trump elevates CyberCom to combatant command status

    The White House announced a long-planned move to elevate Cyber Command to the status of a full combatant command.

  • Photo credit: John Roman Images / Shutterstock.com

    Verizon plans FirstNet rival

    Verizon says it will carve a dedicated network out of its extensive national 4G LTE network for first responders, in competition with FirstNet.

  • AI concept art

    Can AI tools replace feds?

    The Heritage Foundation is recommending that hundreds of thousands of federal jobs be replaced by automation as part of a larger government reorganization strategy.

  • DOD Common Access Cards

    DOD pushes toward CAC replacement

    Defense officials hope the Common Access Card's days are numbered as they continue to test new identity management solutions.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group