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Mitigating Systems Obsolescence Using Multi-Criteria Decision Methods Open Access

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Advances in technology have caused many systems to be plagued by obsolescence, which has operational, logistic, reliability, and cost implications. Proactively managing obsolescence is pivotal to its mitigation in mission systems. An important aspect of proactive obsolescence management is conducting trade studies to analyze alternatives before selecting a system for a program’s mission. However, many programs skip this, based on the difficulties associated with decision analysis, cost, and time. Moreover, many decision methodologies in obsolescence management mainly consider cost without considering other intrinsic factors. The Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS), a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) model, coupled with a Monte Carlo simulation of the TOPSIS model is adopted to address Technology Trade Studies and Product Selection in obsolescence management. An empirical case study is conducted using the tacit knowledge of expert practitioners to demonstrate the application of TOPSIS in the obsolescence management process—which allows for easy adaptation when different replacement or upgrade options are under consideration—and to compare model results to other MCDMs. The results of the hypothesis tests demonstrate that TOPSIS is comparable to other MCDMs selected for this work and can help decision makers in obsolescence management.

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