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Activity title

Intelligent, Autonomous and Trusted Agents for Cyber Defense and Resilience

Activity Reference

IST-152 (IWA)


Information Systems Technology

Security Classification




Activity type


Start date


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Autonomous Behaviors, Autonomous Cyber Defense, Computer Information Systems (CIS), Cyber Defense Operations, Information & Communications Technology (ICT), Intelligent Agents


In a conflict with a technically sophisticated adversary, NATO military tactical networks will be a heavily contested battlefield. Enemy software cyber agents -- malware -- will infiltrate our network and attack our C4ISR and computerized weapon systems. To fight them, NATO needs artificial cyber hunters - intelligent, autonomous, mobile agents specialized in active cyber defense.


• Characterize the current state of research and capabilities in the field of intelligent, autonomous cyber defense agents • Develop a prioritized assessment of potential methodological and technical approaches for cyber defense of C4ISR systems • In part through a focused technical workshop • Develop a reference architecture and a roadmap • Demonstrations of relevant products • Develop a set of technical communication products • Comprehensive technical report • A book or a special journal issue


Theoretical foundations and formulations of problems of intelligent autonomy in cyber defense; Practical architectures and functions of such agents; Observability, controllability and control-theoretic approaches for human control of agents; Relevance of Physical Robotics approaches; Formal languages and near-natural languages for specifying and controlling intelligent cyber agents; Assessment of barriers to successful use of autonomous cyber agents; Analysis of known related approaches and methods; Assessment, management and maintenance of trust between humans and agents and multiple agents; Validation of the agents behavior; Situational awareness of and about agents; formulation and encoding of rules of engagement; mission formulation, planning and communication for the agents; adversarial decision-making and game-theoretic reasoning for the agents.

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