Evaluating Alternative Systems Architectures

by Walter L. Perry, Louis R. Moore

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This paper describes an analysis framework to assess the effectiveness of alternative systems architecture designs. The framework calls for the generation and evaluation of several alternative architectures using a network simulator to model the information systems and an exploratory analysis tool to evaluate the outcomes from runs of the simulation for the alternatives. The model and analysis presented have limited operational relevance. They do not represent the definition and analysis of an actual or proposed system. The work, however, is based on a real problem--the level of detail and the data used are fictitious. In addition, not all processes are modeled accurately. Rather, the objective is to demonstrate a proof of principle, and these simplifications make the process more understandable while not detracting from the analytic value of the work. Based on their work thus far, the authors believe that this framework has the capability to help analyze communications network performance. The framework shows good potential to represent, evaluate, and analyze C4ISR networks and to tie information system performance to operational outcomes.

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