Basis Technology engineers help secure thrilling win at DI2E Plugfest 2016


We’re always proud of our team’s work, but all the more so when they create new technology with the potential to help our government and armed forces. At the start of this month, Basis Technology’s government services team presented at the DoD’s annual DI2E Plugfest competition. Eleven weeks of hard work and collaboration with our partners on the DCGS-SOF team culminated in a thrilling victory at the Mashup Challenge, demonstrating interoperability and reuse in a real-world scenario.

What is Plugfest?

The Defence Intelligence Information Enterprise (DI2E) is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) enterprise architecture component for the Intelligence Mission Area. The DI2E Plugfest is an annual event demonstrating advancements in the DI2E, including Programs of Record, COCOMS and Agencies, Intelligence Investment Fund, 43 displays, dozens of demonstrations, talks from senior leadership, 4 mashup challenge teams, and hundreds of attendees.

One staple of Plugfest every year is a mashup challenge in which several DoD tech suppliers volunteer to create, use and share specs, software, services and data to provide real mission value. This year Basis Technology teamed up with Booz Allen Hamilton, MarkLogic, SDL Government, Splunk, and Aerstone to create Operation Upshot.

plugfest team
The proud victors of DI2E Plugfest’s 2016 Mashup Challenge.

The Challenge

While in the field, Special Operations Forces have little time to determine what documents should be taken with them after going into an enemy’s’ location. This year our mashup team was tasked with coming up with a tool that could assist in speeding up this decision process without sacrificing quality, or compromising valuable documents and information.

Our Solution

The DCGS SOF Mash up team created an app for a cell phone which allows a soldier to take photos of various document. When they hit send, the OCR is converted to text and Basis Technology’s Rosette text analytics software pulls the entities from the documents. When the information is returned to the soldier in the field, he or she knows to take the sensitive documents, such as those regarding bomb making, and leave any innocuous documents, like one regarding a recipe for cake.

peter plugfest
Peter Harding, a Basis Technology Customer Engineer, explaining the text analytics component of Project Upshot’s solution.

Operation Upshot workflow

Our team’s solution begins with the in-field user taking a picture on their phone and submitting the  photo to Operation Upshot’s system. The multiple vendors on the team each help with a different important service component.  

The image is first converted to text using the  OCR software component, then Rosette from Basis Technology steps in. Our text analysis, identifies the languages within the document, then extracts all names, phone numbers, emails, and locations from the text.

Ultimately the user then gets back:

  • original text
  • text converted to english
  • analysis
  • extracted names
  • any name hits on watchlists
  • phone numbers
  • emails
  • locations

This collection of orchestrated enterprise services ensures that the field user quickly retains, leaves, or destroys the appropriate documents, even if they do not know the languages in the document. Operation Upshot allows US field agents to make better decisions faster.

A worksheet from Plugfest, breaking down Project Upshot’s components and contributors.