Cover: A Portfolio-Analysis Tool for Missile Defense (PAT-MD)

A Portfolio-Analysis Tool for Missile Defense (PAT-MD)

Methodology and User’s Manual

Published Oct 18, 2005

by Paul Dreyer, Paul K. Davis


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This report documents the underlying methodology of RAND’s Portfolio-Analysis Tool for Missile Defense (PAT-MD), an analytic tool developed to facilitate high-level discussion of program tradeoffs and adjustments in the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). PAT-MD provides summary portfolio-style characterizations of alternative investment options, including projected capabilities in different missions, the balance of emphasis across missions, the managing of risks, and economic considerations such as relative cost-effectiveness. PAT-MD and a companion tool, RAND’s Capabilities Analysis Model for Missile Defense (CAMMD), make it possible to “zoom” to higher levels of detail in order to understand the basis of high-level characterizations and how they would change if assumptions or priorities were changed. PAT-MD provides five scoring and aggregation methods that correspond mathematically to alternative aggregation functions. The appropriate method — e.g., simple linear weighted sums or nonlinear methods that enforce the concept that a system with several critical components will fail if any of its critical components fail — depends on the analysis and context. Significantly, PAT-MD also provides a straightforward way to test sensitivity to goals and thresholds in order to ensure that results are not unduly sensitive to arbitrary assumptions. The report also serves as a user’s guide to PAT-MD.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Missile Defense Agency. The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center supported by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the unified commands, and the defense agencies.

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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