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Simulation Based Performance Assessment : Methodology and case study

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Author: Kraker, J.K. de · Noordkamp, H.W. · Fitski, H.J. · Barros, A.I
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) 2009, November 30 - December 3, Orlando, FL, USA
Identifier: 271465
Article number: 9013
Keywords: Virtual environments and Gaming · Defense aquisitions · Decision making · Life cycle cost · Decision support · Simulation based performance assessment · Multi criteria analysis · Performance evaluation


During the various phases of the Defense acquisition process, and in the early design phases, many decisions must be made concerning the performance and cost of the new equipment. Often many of these decisions are made while having only a limited view of their consequences or based on subjective information. Moreover, it is known that the impact of the decisions taken in the early design phases is large; they generally determine as much as 80% of the total life cycle costs. This highlights the need for decision making support in these areas. To support decision-makers, during the various phases of the Defense acquisition process we introduce the Simulation Based Performance Assessment (SBPA) methodology. This methodology allows a transparent, unbiased and integral performance assessment of (future) platforms. It is based on Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) and simulation techniques, and it considers the operational effectiveness, survivability, sustainability, and life cycle costs in the assessment. The methodology can be applied during acquisition of new platforms and systems as well as during maintenance and upgrade programs. The developed SBPA methodology aims at integrally testing one or more system designs. The SBPA methodology supports: 1. integrally judging a single platform’s design on its performance and comparing this performance with the life cycle costs; 2. comparing multiple platform designs on performance and life cycle costs. This paper describes the SBPA methodology and the philosophy behind it. To illustrate its use, it also presents a case study that analyses and assesses alternative designs of a possible future platform. The case study involves the simulation of the platform’s tasks from the perspective of operate, survive and sustain, and involves the calculation of its life cycle costs. This case shows that the SBPA methodology can be applied effectively to support making well-informed decisions during acquisition programs.