Engineering Management & Systems Engineering;
School of Engineering & Applied Science

Final Results of Research Projects Presented to LMI

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On January 25, 2013, final reports for two EMSE research projects sponsored by the Logistics Management Institute (LMI) were delivered to the sponsor. Doctoral candidate Joanna Resurreccion and Assistant Professor Joost Santos submitted a report on "Resilience Enhancement Planning for Interdependent Critical Infrastructure Systems," and Doctoral candidate Iryna Payosova and Professor Jonathan Deason submitted a report on "A Multiobjective 'Analysis of Alternatives' Tool for Energy Investments at Fixed-Site Installations." Oral presentations on the results of the projects were held at the LMI headquarters building in McLean, Virginia.

"Resilience Enhancement Planning for Interdependent Critical Infrastructure Systems"

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In her research, Joanna Resurreccion leveraged preliminary results from her recent publication in Risk Analysis, “A Multiobjective Prioritization Methodology and Decision Support System for Evaluating Inventory Enhancement Strategies for Disrupted Interdependent Sectors” to expand her previous formulation of economic resilience to accommodate resilience enhancement planning for interdependent economic and infrastructure systems. She developed and demonstrated a decision support tool to prioritize critical systems associated with different hurricane scenarios in Virginia.

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In her research efforts, Joanna also identified a list of critical infrastructure systems (transportation, electric power, telecommunications, and water distribution) and assessed their relative worth to the functions of the economic and service sectors in Virginia. She collected data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Census Bureau, and other sources to build industry-by-industry transactions database, and collected information on the levels of services and inventory of goods for the economic and infrastructure systems using the North American Industry Classification System.

These data enabled her to determine associated initial inoperability levels for each economic and infrastructure sector and identify and classify resilience enhancement opportunities.

"A Multiobjective 'Analysis of Alternatives' Tool for Energy Investments at Fixed-Site Installations”

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In her presentation, Iryna Payosova explained that the process to develop a mechanism to convert data currently collected by the Facilities Policy Division into an overall measure of Net Zero Energy progress began with the identification of energy-related mandates applicable to DA. More than 50 such Congressional, Executive Branch and DOD mandates were identified in the research. Next, discussions with a number of appropriate subject matter experts (SMEs) were undertaken with the objective of acquiring a group of SMEs willing to participate in the research. Care was taken to ensure that the SMEs, while knowledgeable in the research topic, had no professional stake in the outcome and could therefore offer objective judgment on questions posed to them.

A set of 10 such SMEs was identified. Those SMEs were led through an iterative Delphi process to develop an energy objectives hierarchy for DA, taking into account the Department’s numerous mission considerations and priorities essential to the overall defense mission of the Army. The resulting objectives hierarchy was used to identify a set of evaluation criteria to be used in assessing contributions of portfolios of energy related investment opportunities to the multiple energy objectives of DA.

Two approaches to defining energy related investment opportunities were investigated: a programmatic approach and a project-specific approach. The results of that investigation led to the selection of 10 project-specific components of prospective investment portfolios from a list of 53 project alternatives developed specifically for this research by the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army - Installation Management. Preferred portfolios at each of five budget constraint levels were identified using an a priori Multicriteria Decision Aiding (MCDA) formulation applied to the 1,023 combinations (portfolios) theoretically possible from the 10 project-specific components in conjunction with preference weights that were elicited from the SME group in a second phase of SME interactions.

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In addition to the demonstration of utilizing an a priori MCDA formulation to identify optimal portfolios using SME-generated weights, a second approach to identifying preferred portfolios was investigated in response to SME feedback indicating discomfort with assigning criteria weights in the absence of information about actual project alternatives and performance outputs. That approach, referred to in the literature as an a posteriori preference elicitation process, could be used to identify Pareto optimal energy investment portfolios without the need for assessment of a group utility function. Such a Pareto optimal subset of feasible alternative investment portfolios would be followed by exposure of decision-makers to a display of outputs from the Pareto optimal portfolios. Under such an approach, decision-makers would not be required to assign criteria weights but instead would operate directly in the “decision space” to identify preferred portfolios. Such an approach could reduce the complexity of the budget allocation problem and forgo the need for decision-makers to assign criteria weights in isolation.

Recommendations on undertaking the second approach, along with comparisons of the a priori and a posteriori approaches, are provided in her report.

Results of the pilot level trials undertaken indicate that the Net Zero Energy AoA tool developed in this research can provide policy-relevant information to DA in a more useful manner than reliance on the extremely large and noncomparable data set available from current energy efficiency, renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction reporting requirements.

A copy of Iryna’s presentation slides to LMI may be seen at the following link: A Multiobjective Analysis of Alternatives Tool for Energy Investments at Fixed-Site Installations.