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Title:Military budget decisions: inferring trade-offs using decision analysis
Author(s):Ritchey, Heather
Advisor(s):Abbas, Ali E.
Department / Program:Industrial&Enterprise Sys Eng
Discipline:Industrial Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Decision Analysis
Military Decision Making
Trade-Off Analysis
Abstract:This thesis uses a decision analytic framework to assess how the United States Army makes trade-offs involving monetary resources and the potential loss of human life. Data for the study looks at the Army budget for a four year period from 2008-2011, with a focus on spending for combat and suicide prevention, and the loss of life experienced in both areas. This data is used to answer two research questions: (i) Does available data suggest the Army makes consistent trade-offs between money and human life? (ii) How can value using inferred trade-offs be used for decisions relating to the Army budget? To answer the research questions, a basic model is derived from the data. Curve-fitting of historical data is used to infer trade-offs, as a causal relationship is assumed to exist between the spending level and the loss of lives. For the purposes of this study, the best curve-fit is assumed to represent an indifference by the decision maker to increased spending along the line if it results in a corresponding decreased loss of life. In response to the first question, the model shows that there is the potential that the Army makes inconsistent trade-offs across these areas, and explores the possible implications if these trade-offs are truly inconsistent. After addressing the possible implications of the model developed, the model is used to address the second question by showing how a value-based model can be used for the decision of budget allocation for the Army, which is especially pressing given the recently imposed budget cap that impact the US Department of Defense. Limitations of the study are addressed, along with areas for future research to expand on the initial results presented in this study.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Heather Ritchey
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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