Characterizing sailor and command enlisted placement and assignment preferences
Molina, Valerie A.
Butler, Virginia L.
Gates, William R.
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This paper will report on the results to date in developing a sailor/command database for redesigning the enlisted placement and assignment process. DON currently matches sailors to billets using a labor-intensive detailing process. With evolving information technology, the assignment process could be accomplished using intelligent agents and web-based markets. This integrated agent/market process was tested using representative sailors and jobs in a "laboratory setting," to examine actual versus predicted matching performance for human detailers, the two-sided matching markets and optimization algorithms. Economics experiments tested quality of fit in assignments made by both human detailers and the two-sided matching algorithm. Experimental results to date have been promising, but they have used sailors and commands with hypothetical characteristics and preferences. As such, experimental and simulation results may not reflect how assignment algorithms would perform in the Navy's enlisted detailing environment. Meaningful comparisons across detailing approaches must use a realistic database of sailor and command preferences and characteristics. This research investigates sailor and command preferences for a particular enlisted community, identifying the characteristics of both sailors' preferences over jobs and commands' preferences over sailors. Data concerning both the number and type of characteristics considered important by both sailors and commands represent important important design features of any revised assignment process.
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