Defense Decisions

Design Vs. Analysis

Published in: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Operational Research / Edited by J. Banbury and J. Maitland (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1961)

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1961

by Albert Wohlstetter

In aiding complex decisions on national defense, operations research has had a spotty record. In its greatest successes large scale models have played a subordinate role and stress has been on systems design rather than on systems analysis. While the best possible system is hard even to define, still, precisely because the problems are hard, the technology swiftly changing, and bureaucracies somewhat inert, it has sometimes been possible to design systems which dominate those programmed.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.