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Unformatted text preview: on problem into one involving a
single, measurable objective.
One way, but not the only way, of forming the
figure of merit for each alternative is to linearly combine
its scores computed for each of the objectives—that is,
MSFC-HDBK-1912, Systems Engineering (Volume 2)
recommends this selection rule. The weights used in
computing the figure of merit can be assigned a priori or
determined using Multi Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT).
Another technique of forming a figure of merit is the
microcomputer-based commercial software packages
are available to automate either MAUT or AHP. If the
wrong weights, objectives, or attributes are chosen in
either technique, the entire process may obscure the
best alternative. Also, with either technique, the individual evaluators may tend to reflect the institutional
biases and preferences of their respective organizations.
The results, therefore, may depend on the mix of
evaluators. (See sidebars on AHP and MAUT.)
Another multi-objective selection rule is to
choose the alternative with the highest figure of merit
from among those that meet specified individual
objectives. This selection rule is used extensively by
Source Evaluation Boards (SEBs) in the NASA
procurement process. Each proposal, from among those
meeting specific technical objectives (requirements), is
scored on such attributes as technical design, price,
systems engineering process quality, etc. In applying
this rule, the attributes being scored by the SEB are
known to the bidders, but their weighing may not be.
(See NHB 5103.6B.)
In trade studies where no measure of system
effectiveness can be constructed, but performance or
technical attributes can be quantified, a possible
selection rule is to choose the alternative that minimizes
cost for given levels of performance or technical
attributes. This rule presupposes that system cost can
be unambiguously measured, and is related to the all of
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