Decision Support for the Wartime Theater Ammunition Distribution System
Research Accomplishments and Future Directions
Flexible and responsive management systems can allocate limited logistics resources in ways that maximize combat capability. This research identified uncertainty and complexity as the key problems facing the management of the wartime theater ammunition distribution system. Early in the study, three research areas were identified: a system data model should be developed, a quantitative evaluation mechanism was required, and narrow-purpose expert systems could improve decision support. A prototype knowledge-based simulation creates models of material management centers, movement control centers, and other ammunition managers. A method was developed to identify decisionmaking problems appropriate for expert system solutions. Questions concern whether a problem is appropriate, whether the development of an expert system is feasible, and whether expert system developments can be justified. The authors noted a need for developing expert systems in domains where knowledge is scarce and building a portable and extensible laboratory environment for training and evaluation purposes.