Optimizing Department of Defense Acquisition Development Test and Evaluation scheduling
Edwards, Shane A.
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Department of Defense (DOD) Development Test and Evaluation (DT&E) activities for new acquisitions account for a large portion of time and money during the Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase. DOD Program Management Office test personnel develop test schedules manually using time estimates and heuristic subject matter expert advice for each test to forecast the overall time and costs associated with a developed course of action. These manually constructed schedules take weeks to develop via many planning iterations to construct an acceptable, but not necessarily feasible or optimal solution. Ultimately, these forecast schedules and duration estimates can be inaccurate, and may result in schedule delays and/or cost overruns. This thesis presents an optimization and simulation model as a decision support tool to improve current DT&E scheduling. We represent this resource-constrained scheduling problem as an integer linear program, and develop set enumeration reduction techniques, as well as a cascade method to reduce solve times. The proposed model, unlike current manual scheduling techniques, suggests schedules that are feasible, nearly optimal, and are produced quickly for effective analysis of alternatives.