View NAF:NOV-2 Operational Node Connectivity Description Subview



The NOV-2 Operational Node Connectivity Description subview is part of the NATO Operational View and one of the 49 NATO Architecture Framework subviews*.

Version & Date

Version 3.1

* =  changed at 3.1

+ =  new at 3.1

The change history is derived from the definition of each NATO Architecture view within section 5.2.4 NATO Operational View (NOV) in AC/322(SC/1-WG/1)N(2009)0005-ADD2.  NATO Architecture Framework Version 3.1 document from .

See NAF Release History.


From the NATO Architecture Framework v3, CHAPTER 4, Section 4.5.2

The purpose of the Operational Node Connectivity Description is to illustrate the operational domain’s needs for information exchange in support of operational activities.

NOV-2 depicts operational nodes with needlines between those nodes that indicate a need to exchange information. The NOV-2 may optionally show the required location of operational nodes. An NOV-2 may be annotated to show flows of materiel, energy, or people between nodes (note that these exchanges are not needlines and do not appear in an NOV-3). The operational nodes shown in an NOV-2 product may be internal nodes to the architecture, or external nodes that communicate with those internal nodes.

Covered by NATO release conditions.


From the NATO Architecture Framework v3, CHAPTER 4, Section 4.5.2

The NOV-2 is focused on the operational nodes which are logical collections of operational activities. Operational nodes produce or consume information and may represent an operational realization of capabilities. The main features of NOV-2 are the nodes, the links between them, and the characteristics of the information exchanged. Each needline describes the characteristics of the data or information, i.e. its substantive content, format (voice, imagery, text and message format, etc.), throughput requirements, security or classification level, timeliness requirement, and the degree of interoperability required for the exchange. The activities associated with a given information exchange can be described explicitly, in order to allow functional solutions, rather than system solutions, to be devised.

A Required Capabilities Matrix can be used to further describe the operational node connectivity. The capabilities required at any single node are catalogued in the matrix cells that lie along the diagonal, while the required capabilities between the cells are catalogued in the matrix off diagonal cells. The contents of the required capabilities matrix may be obtained by summarizing the contents of the information exchange matrices by node. Alternatively, capabilities may be shown as symbols on an NOV-2, linked to the nodes that provide those capabilities.

Normally, the capabilities required between two nodes do not depend on the direction of information exchange. However, occasionally the need exists for documenting one-way requirements, e.g. the case for broadcast communications. The matrix offers the flexibility to catalogue two-way requirements as well as separate one-way requirements in each direction. In particular, since information generally flows into, as well as out of nodes, the cells below the diagonal can be used to describe information inputs and those cells above the diagonal used to describe outputs.

The required capabilities matrix simply represents a summary by node pair of the information contained in the Information exchange matrix (refer to NOV-3). The ‘input-process-output’ format of the matrix is consistent with activity modelling and provides a convenient way to summarize some of the information in activity models.

From the NATO Architecture Framework v3.1, CHAPTER 5, Section

Flows of People, Materiel and Energy

Needlines are only one example of Logical Flows in NAF version 3.1. Other flows can be used to model people, energy and matter. This information helps to provide context for the business roles represented by the Nodes. Examples of Flow usage would be:

  • a Node representing a logistics capability may have an interaction with other Nodes which involves supplying (physically delivering) personnel
  • a Node representing an air-to-air refuelling capability may have an interaction with airborne platform capabilities which involves transfer of fuel
  • a Node representing a sensor capability may have an interaction with a Node representing a target through a flow of physical energy that is sensed; this is not an information flow.

This can be achieved by overlaying the Flows on the diagram using a notation that is clearly distinct from Needlines (which only represent the requirement to exchange information between Nodes).

Covered by NATO release conditions.

Not clearly expressed - the first example is a Movement of People, the second is a Materiel Flow and the third an Energy Flow.

Data Objects*

From the NATO Architecture Framework v3.1, CHAPTER 5, Section

The data in an NOV-2 can include:

  • Locations
  • Services (consumed or provided by nodes)+
  • A problem domain and its interaction with known resources+
  • Note: data objets list is inconsistent with the diagram which shows - Energy Flow, Materiel Flow, Movement of People - can be added to the NOV-2

    Covered by NATO release conditions.


    Configuration History


    nodes are logical collections of operational activities doesn’t make sense and is inconsistent with the NAF metamodel. A NAF:Node is not a collection of activity-like things - the way in which words are used should match the metamodel definitions - it’s a logical thing that performs operational activities.

    The ability to describe exchanges of energy, materiel and people flows to the existing information exchange is welcome. The way in which it is achieved is inconsistent, however - why should they be represented differently from information exchange? Why is a needline only related to an exchange of information and not any other type of exchange? The most likely explanation is the way in which the definition of MODAF::Needline at 1.2.003 - a need to exchange information between nodes got changed to A relationship between Nodes representing a bundle of InformationExchanges and in doing so lost the definition of the thing in the real world being represented (a need for something) in favour of a description of the M3 itself - not much help. Having lost the sense of describing a need it was probably a small step then to break out the new parts of the M3 and not include them as needs for these new types of exchange.


    • Section 4.5.2 (page 203 of pdf) of APPENDIX 1 TO ANNEX 1 TO AC/322-D(2007)0048. NATO Architecture Framework Version 3.
    • Section (page 380 of pdf) of APPENDIX 1 TO ANNEX 1 TO AC/322-D(2007)0048. NATO Architecture Framework Version 3.

    Other Frameworks

    See also:



    Category:Framework -> View
    Category:NAF -> Subview



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