Utilizing Statistical Inference to Guide Expectations and Test Structuring During Operational Testing and Evaluation

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Authors
Brathwaite, Joy
Wallace, Alton
Holcomb, Robert
Subjects
Test and Evaluation (T&E)
System Under Test, SUT, Comparative Testing, Statistical Inference, Situational Awareness
Advisors
Date of Issue
2011-04-30
Date
30-Apr-11
Publisher
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Comparative tests are commonly used during the operational testing phase to baseline the system under test (SUT) against the current status quo. Depending on the type of SUT, the comparative test may be costly and resource intensive. Thus, any insights which may be gleaned about the potential results of the test beforehand may provide guidance on (1) the potential benefits of conducting the test and (2) the structuring of the test. This paper offers a statistical approach to understanding the type of results which may emerge during comparative testing of the SUT. Specifically, we utilize the concept of statistical inference to determine the needed performance difference between the SUT and the baseline system. If performance differences are statistically different, there may be useful information to be gained from conducting the test as is. Performance differences, which are not statistically different, may indicate that the test should be restructured or postponed. In either case, the relevant decision-maker is provided with information about the potential results of the test beforehand in order to make an informed decision. We illustrate the method of statistical inference on a system which improves situational awareness on the battlefield.
Type
Technical Report
Description
Proceedings Paper (for Acquisition Research Program)
Department
Acquisition Management
Other Research Faculty
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
NPS-AM-11-C8P10R03-044
Sponsors
Naval Postgraduate School Acquisition Research Program
Funder
Format
Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.