Global Information Network Architecture

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Global Information Network Architecture™ (GINA™) is a computer software model which was designed to facilitate a new type of Global Information Grid (GIG) for US security and warfare Net-Centric Operations. In 2004, The GINA™ implementation team was convened under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) between the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California and XSLENT LLC. XSLENT LLC contributed the executable component based modeling environment (US8290988) and NPS provided leadership and implementation sponsorship. The project was called Network Aware Business Data Management System (NABDMS). The modeling environment evolved into GINA™. In late 2008, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) began a second phase of the project. This second phase is still being conducted under CRADA with Big Kahuna Technologies LLC, the current IP holders for the GINA™ environment.

The GINA™ environment has been implemented to become a High Level Architecture (HLA) for System Fusion Networks (SFN) as an interoperable and multi-level security ("MLS") engine.[1] because it uses Vector Relational Data Modelling™ (VRDM™), GINA™ is a non-algorithmically-intense application with linear relationships representing a vast number of software applications; a configurable, component based object model (CBOM) for managing data. GINA combines development, control and application. GINA™ can configure and assemble models which can perform the work done by existing hard-coded information applications such as enterprise systems, integrations and information sharing.

Global Information Grid[edit]

A Global Information Grid (GIG) is a system which uses communications and computer capabilities, processes and personnel to collect, process, store, disseminate and manage information so that it can be made available to US soldiers, policy makers, and support personnel on demand. The purpose of a GIG is to give Information Superiority. It includes National Security Systems as they are defined in section 5142 of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996.[2] The need for a GIG was recognised by the USA in 1996 and has led to a number of research projects. As a combination of hardware and software-based components, which meets the requirements of a GIG, the GINA™ environment is configured as a universal virtual network of data of any type from any source in any location on collected physical networks.

Vector Relational Data Modeling™ (VRDM™)[edit]

In VRDM™, vectors (relationships between information objects) are themselves defined as information objects, and are configurable (object-oriented programming). VRDM™ enables disparate data, from disparate sources, to be invoked and configured to relate in a “System of Systems” model called a specification. The behavior of a specification can be the much same as a contemporary application programmed with a machine language such as Assembler and a descriptive language for specifying procedures such as 4GLs like SQL. While software modeling languages such as Unified Modeling Language (UML) or Object Role Modeling (ORM) articulate the architecture of an application, they are not executable. In comparison, in VRDM™, there is no such programming.

Component Objects[edit]

Using VRDM™, "Data Agnostic Objects" can be created to represent common relationships called Mechanisms. Mechanisms, both new and existing, can be reused and combined to create systems and subsystems. This facilitates rapid deployment and non-programmatic implementation.


Complex systems can be assembled from a relatively few number of objects which are designed for interaction and assembly. At its lowest level (primitives), GINA™ has very few objects. For example, objects (XTypes™ in VRDM™) and relationships between objects (vectors) are primitives. In turn, primitives are assembled into the basic building blocks of VRDM™: fully defined objects (representing XTypes™ and vectors), constraints and other simple entities. These objects can then be assembled to fully describe the GINA™ environment, and to allow the administrator to create the data objects to support a "Task Oriented User Interface™" (TOUI™), or a specific application.


A central concept in GINA™ is that objects can be referenced in multiple WorldSpaces. A WorldSpace determines the applicability of an object’s vectors, for example, their attributes and relationships, when assembled for a particular event or use. WorldSpaces are inherently hierarchical: as one more tightly defines the WorldSpace associated with an event or use, the greater the granularity (detail) one needs to specify in the associated behaviors.


In GINA™, an object exists in a 3-dimensional data object space. Its location in that space is defined by its order of complexity, its use and its related components as well as the WorldSpace™ in which it is being accessed and the user requesting that access. At any given time, the behavior of a system is dictated by all of its objects locations. However, this behavior is not the same for every user. It is the characteristics of the user which define hyperplanes in the object space. Hyperplanes allow a summary of an object model as a point in a 7-plus dimension object behavior space.

Directory Sub System™ (DSS™)[edit]

GINA™ is implemented through a software-based, multi-layer, configurable data object management environment. Just as the entirety of GINA™ can be viewed as a series of well-structured layers, the data object management environment is also structured and layered, with multiple layers of the object management environment corresponding to each of the top three layers. GINA’s DSS layer is composed of two separate implementation layers. There is a "content server layer" that consists of a collection of configurable objects. These objects are able to navigate the network, acquire data, and present it in a consistent way. Secondly, there is an "aggregation layer" that homogenizes all incoming data. The aggregation layer is a universal object repository. It insulates the user from the complexities of the underlying data stores and their management.

Data Access Layer (DAL)[edit]

GINA™ collects data from an aggregate of systems using adaptors called "content servers". The servers structure the protocols, formats, and syntax of collected data into a common representation that can be managed by GINA. Just as the providers of data to GINA™ operate on multiple protocols, formats, and syntaxes, the prospective user of GINA may require data via their own protocols, formats, and syntax. To allow this, GINA has a standard "Data Access Layer" (DAL).

Task Oriented User Interface™ (TOUI™)[edit]

Another model that has been built within GINA™ is the Task-Oriented User Interface™ (TOUI™). The usual approach to user interfaces (UIs) involves a process where a developer "paints", or in some other way creates a mark-up of the UI, and then defines the binding of components of the UI to the underlying application. The TOUI™ model takes a different approach: a UI is assembled at the time of the user's request. The components of the new UI are selected according to a set of vectors. These vectors take into the account the state of the model as well as that of the user. The resulting UI is not the external representation of an application but that of an assembled information model. An advantage of creating a set of metadata-defined GINA™ components to form the UI is that it can be expressed in any user environment that has sufficiently strong semantics be it Java, .NET, Python, or even a 3-D visualization environment.

GINA Applications[edit]

  • Command and Control (C2)
  • C4ISR
  • Intrinsic Multi-level network security.
  • Extensible executable enterprise solution.
  • Cloud based digital artifact management (cloud library for documents, video, code, etc.)
  • Active Cyber Defense/Offense applications
  • Inference and Computational Learning
  • Transfer learning (models that exhibit this quality across different domain applications)


  1. ^ Tudor R. et al. "The Global Information Network Architecture (GINA™) Technology Framework." Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey CA.
  2. ^ Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process "DIACAP Artifact B, Definitions." United States Department of Defence. January 2009. Microsoft Word document. Accessed January 15, 2009.