A discussion of the practical problems involved in establishing a cost analysis capability that will generate estimates of the resource impact of alternative courses of action being considered for the distant future. Examples of cost analyses emphasizing several conceptual approaches demonstrate their common sensitivity to variations in the information and data inputs. Of the many difficulties facing the cost analyst, the database problem is the most severe and time consuming. While a major overhaul of present information systems may present a long-range solution, some examples are provided of alternatives: the use of sampling techniques on an ad hoc basis, estimating near-future data points to supplement existing data, statistical manipulation of existing data, and obtaining additional information by conducting experiments. 41 pp.
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