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Concept Feasibility Assessment with Uncertainty Using Expert Opinion and the Method of Paired Comparison Open Access

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During exploratory research, solution concept approaches are considered with the intention of closing capability gaps between stakeholder business or mission needs and the available solutions portfolio. Increasingly, solution concept alternatives and capability requirements are advanced for concept selection that are not viable which if selected may contribute to future project cost and schedule overruns. The present study examines how the framework and methodologies used during the exploratory research phase can potentially transform concept development in novel ways to promote the creation of feasible concept alternatives and realizable requirements. Decision analysis and assessments performed during concept development often employ expert opinion as information are uncertain, estimated, and incomplete or subject to change. Delphi techniques are often used at this early stage, but decision makers are increasingly looking for methods with increased analytic rigor that support decisions and recommendations for follow–on development processes. The proposed methodology utilizes a paired comparison elicitation technique by which expert opinion and the Bradley–Terry model are used to conduct a feasibility assessment of the capability solution concept approaches. A case study was used to demonstrate the application of the proposed methodology to the evaluation of potential system capability solutions for meeting the operational requirements for border surveillance. The model was validated by comparing results with a multi-objective analysis method based on the additive value model.

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