A prototype decision support system for Marine Corps officer allocation policy analysis.
Exner, Philip J.
Milch, Paul R.
Bradley, Gordon H.
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This thesis presents the prototype for a decision support system which permits repeated formulation and solution of the Marine Corps staffing allocation problem under various user-controlled policy scenarios. The system allows the decision maker to vary the eligibility criteria used to determine who may be transferred as well as to adjust the relative priorities of two objectives: minimize relocation costs and maximize "fit" as defined by the Marine Corps. The user may also set a minimum acceptable "aspiration level" for the total fill of all billets. Based on the eligibility requirements which are input by the user, the system extracts data on individual Marines and the jobs that need to be filled, and matches people to billets using a set of matching rules developed by the Marine Corps. The resulting matches are then transformed into a capacitated transshipment network for solution in a special commercial optimization software package. The network formulation models a multiobjective allocation problem using optimization techniques to permit adjustment of some of the objective priorities. After the solution is presented to the decision maker, he may change the relative priorities of the relocation cost and fit objectives, set an aspiration level for the total fill, or change the rules used to determine who may be transferred. The user then has the option of reformulating and re-solving the problem with the new objective priorities or aspirations, or re-starting the entire problem based on the new eligibility rules. Testing of the system on all Marine Corps aviation officers, who constitute about 35 percent of the total personnel, suggests that the concept is feasible to implement for the entire Marine Corps, provided that certain enhancements recommended in the thesis are implemented.
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