Encapsulation of large scale policy assisting computer models

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


In the past two decades policy assisting computer models have made a tremendous impact in the analysis of national security issues and the analysis of problems in various government affairs. SURMAN (Survivability Management) is a policy assisting model that has been developed for use in national security planning. It is a large scale model formulated using the system dynamics approach of treating a problem in its entirety rather than in parts.

In this thesis, an encapsulation of SURMAN is attempted so as to sharpen and focus its ability to perform policy/design evaluation. It is also aimed to make SURMAN more accessible to potential users and to provide a simple tool to the decision makers without having to resort to the mainframe computers. To achieve these objectives a personal/microcomputer version of SURMAN (PC SURMAN) and a series of curves relating inputs to outputs are developed.

PC SURMAN reduces the complexity of SURMAN by dealing with generic aircraft. It details the essential survivability management parameters and their causal relationships through the life-cycle of aircraft systems. The model strives to link the decision parameters (inputs) to the measures of effectiveness (outputs). The principal decision variables identified are survivability, availability, and inventory of the aircraft system. The measures of effectiveness identified are the Increase Payload Delivered to Target Per Loss (ITDPL), Cost Elasticity of Targets Destroyed Per Loss (CETDPL), Combat Value Ratio (COMVR), Kill to Loss Ratio (KLR), and Decreased Program Life-Cycle Cost (DPLCC).

The model provides an opportunity for trading off decision parameters. The trading off of survivability enhancement techniques and the defense budget allocation parameters for selecting those techniques/parameters with higher benefits and lower penalties are discussed. The information relating inputs to outputs for the tradeoff analysis is presented graphically using curves derived from experimentally designed computer runs.