Skip to main content Accessibility help

Development of flexible languages for scenario and team description in multirobot missions

  • Daniel Castro Silva (a1) (a2), Pedro Henriques Abreu (a3) (a4), Luís Paulo Reis (a2) (a5) and Eugénio Oliveira (a1) (a2)


The work described in this paper is part of the development of a framework to support the joint execution of cooperative missions by a group of vehicles, in a simulated, augmented, or real environment. Such a framework brings forward the need for formal languages in which to specify the vehicles that compose a team, the scenario in which they will operate, and the mission to be performed. This paper introduces the Scenario Description Language (SDL) and the Team Description Language (TDL), two Extensible Markup Language based dialects that compose the static components necessary for representing scenario and mission knowledge. SDL provides a specification of physical scenario and global operational constraints, while TDL defines the team of vehicles, as well as team-specific operational restrictions. The dialects were defined using Extensible Markup Language schemas, with all required information being integrated in the definitions. An interface was developed and incorporated into the framework, allowing for the creation and edition of SDL and TDL files. Once the information is specified, it can be used in the framework, thus facilitating environment and team specification and deployment. A survey answered by practitioners and researchers shows that the satisfaction with SDL+TDL is elevated (the overall evaluation of SDL+TDL achieved a score of 4 out of 5, with 81%/78.6% of the answers ≥4); in addition, the usability of the interface was evaluated, achieving a score of 86.7 in the System Usability Scale survey. These results imply that SDL+TDL is flexible enough to represent scenarios and teams, through a user-friendly interface.


Corresponding author

Reprint requests to: Daniel Castro Silva, Department of Informatics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias s/n, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal. E-mail:


Hide All
Abreu, P.H., Mendes-Moreira, J., Costa, I., Castelão, D., Reis, L.P., & Garganta, J. (2012). Human versus virtual robotics soccer: A technical analysis. European Journal of Sport Science 12(1), 2636.
Allen, S., Burke, E.K., Hyde, M.R., & Kendall, G. (2009). Evolving reusable 3D packing heuristics with genetic programming. Proc. 11th Annual Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conf., GECCO 2009 (Rothlauf, F., Ed.), pp. 931938. New York: ACM.
Almeida, F., Abreu, P.H., Lau, N., & Reis, L.P. (2013). An automatic approach to extract goal plans from soccer simulated matches. Soft Computing 17(5), 835848.
Aloisio, G., Conte, D., Elefante, C., Epicoco, I., Marra, G.P., Mastrantonio, G., & Quarta, G. (2006). SensorML for grid sensor networks. Proc. 2006 Int. Conf. Grid Computing & Applications, GCA 2006, pp. 147152, Las Vegas, NV, June 26–29.
ANSI/AIIM. (2009). Standard Recommended Practice—Strategy Markup Language: Part 1. StratML Core. Standard ANSI/AIIM 21. New York: ANSI/AIIM.
Brooke, J. (1996). SUS—A quick and dirty usability scale. In Usability Evaluation in Industry (Jordan, P.W., Thomas, B., McClelland, I.L., & Weerdmeester, B., Eds.), pp. 189194. London: Taylor & Francis.
Brunk, B.K., & Porosnicu, E. (2004). A tour of the AIXM concepts. 24th Annual ESRI Int. User Conf., San Diego, CA, August 9–13.
Brunk, B.K., & Porosnicu, E. (2005). Aeronautical information exchange model (AIXM) GIS interoperability through GML. Proc. 25th Annual ESRI Int. User Conf., San Diego, CA, July 25–29.
Brunner, H., Mikula, A., & Eier, D. (2007). A concept for service based information quality and safety enhancement in aeronautical information management. Proc. 52nd Annual Conf. Air Traffic Control Association 2007, pp. 4347, Washington, DC, October 28–31.
Camara, A., Silva, D.C., Abreu, P.H., & Oliveira, E. (2014). Comparing centralized and decentralized multi-agent approaches to air traffic control. Proc. 28th European Simulation and Modelling Conf., ESM'2014, pp. 189193, Porto, Portugal, October 22–24.
Casbeer, D.W., Kingston, D.B., Beard, R.W., & McLain, T.W. (2006). Cooperative forest fire surveillance using a team of small unmanned air vehicles. International Journal of Systems Science 37(6), 351360.
Deursen, D.V., Bruyne, S.D., Lancker, W.V., Neve, W.D., Schrijver, D.D., Hellwagner, H., & de Walle, R.V. (2007). Mu-MiVA: a multimedia delivery platform using format-agnostic, XML-driven content adaptation. Proc. 9th IEEE Int. Symp. Multimedia (ISM ’07), pp. 131138. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society.
Fan, H., Meng, L., & Jahnke, M. (2009). Generalization of 3D buildings modelled by CityGML. Advances in GIScience: Proc. 12th AGILE Conf. (Sester, M., Bernard, L., & Paelke, V., Eds.), Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography, pp. 387405. Berlin: Springer.
Federal Aviation Administration. (2010). Temporary flight restrictions. Accessed at
Flight One Software, Inc. (2009). Airport Facilitator X Manual, 1.08 ed. Accessed at
Georgieva, A., & Georgiev, B. (2010). Nontraditional approach to XML web services interactions. Proc. 5th Int. Conf. Internet and Web Applications and Services, pp. 6772. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society.
Gimenes, R., Silva, D.C., Reis, L.P., & Oliveira, E. (2008). Flight simulation environments applied to agent-based autonomous UAVs. Proc. 10th Int. Conf. Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS 2008), pp. 243246, Barcelona, June 12–16.
Groppe, S., Groppe, J., Böttcher, S., Wycisk, T., & Gruenwald, L. (2009). Optimizing the execution of XSLT style sheets for querying transformed XML data. Knowledge and Information Systems 18(3), 331391.
Hobbs, R.L. (2003). Using XML to support military decision-making. Proc. XML Conf. Exposition 2003, XML 2003, Philadelphia, PA, December 7–12.
Huang, C.-H., Chuang, T.-R., Deng, D.-P., & Lee, H.-M. (2009). Building GML-native web-based geographic information systems. Computers & Geosciences 35(9), 18021816.
Kumar, C.S., Govardhan, A., & Rao, C.G. (2009). Usage of XML technology in electronic health record for effective heterogeneous systems integration in healthcare. International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics 1(4), 399406.
Lewis, J.R., & Sauro, J. (2009). The factor structure of the system usability scale. Proc. 1st Int. Conf. Human Centered Design, pp. 94103. San Diego, CA: Springer–Verlag.
Masterson, J., Keeshan, B., & Hauck, H. (2009). Airport design editor use manual, 1.47 ed. ScruffyDuck Software Company. Accessed at
Microsoft Corporation. (2008). Compiling BGL. Microsoft Developer Network, Microsoft ESP SDK. Accessed at
Microsoft Corporation. (2010). XML Schema Definition Tool (Xsd.exe). Microsoft Developer Network Library. Accessed at
Open Geospatial Consortium. (2007 a). OpenGIS Geography Markup Language (GML) Encoding Standard. OpenGIS Standard OGC 07–036, Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. Accessed at
Open Geospatial Consortium. (2007 b). OpenGIS Sensor Model Language (SensorML) Implementation Specification. OpenGIS Implementation Specification OGC 07–000, Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. Accessed at
Open Geospatial Consortium. (2008). OpenGIS City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) Encoding Standard. OpenGIS Encoding Standard OGC 08–007r1, Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. Accessed at
Peel, R. (2001). Airport, navigation aid and IFR intersection data in FlightGear. FlightGear Development Documents. Accessed at
Peel, R. (2009). X-Plane Airport Data (Apt.Dat) file epecification, edition 850. Accessed at\%20APT850\%20Spec.pdf
Rodrigues, C., Silva, D.C., Rossetti, R.J.F., & Oliveira, E. (2015). Distributed flight simulation environment using Flight Simulator X. Proc. 10th Iberian Conf. Information Systems and Technologies, pp. 12931297, Águeda, Portugal, June 17–20.
Santos, A. (2010). Autonomous intelligent vehicle adaptation and performance analysis in Flight Simulator X. Master's thesis. University of Porto.
Schweiger, R., Brumhard, M., Hoelzer, S., & Dudeck, J. (2005). Implementing health care systems using XML standards. International Journal of Medical Informatics 74(2), 267277.
Silva, D.C., Abreu, P.H., Reis, L.P., & Oliveira, E. (2014). Development of a flexible language for mission description for multi-robot missions. Information Sciences 288, 2744.
Silva, D.C., Abreu, P.H., Reis, L.P., & Oliveira, E. (2015). Development of a flexible language for disturbance description for multi-robot missions. Journal of Simulation. Advance online publication. doi:10.1057/jos.2015.4.
Sousa, P.D. (2010). Autonomous air traffic control for intelligent vehicles using Microsoft Flight Simulator X. Master's thesis. University of Porto.
Sousa, P.D., Silva, D.C., & Reis, L.P. (2010). Air traffic control with Microsoft Flight Simulator X. Proc. 5th Iberic Conf. Information Systems and Technologies (CISTI 2010), pp. 378383, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, June 16–19.
Web3D Consortium. (2008). Extensible 3D (X3D). ISO Standard ISO/IEC 19775–1:2008, Web3D Consortium, Inc. Accessed at
Wittman, R.L. Jr. (2009). Defining a standard: The military scenario definition language—version 1.0 standard. Proc. 2009 Spring Simulation Multiconference (SpringSim 2009) (Wainer, G.A., Shaffer, C.A., McGraw, R.M., & Chinni, M.J., Eds.). San Diego, CA: SCS/ACM.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Development of flexible languages for scenario and team description in multirobot missions

  • Daniel Castro Silva (a1) (a2), Pedro Henriques Abreu (a3) (a4), Luís Paulo Reis (a2) (a5) and Eugénio Oliveira (a1) (a2)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.