Tooth-to-Tail Impact Analysis

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Tooth-to-Tail Impact Analysis: Combining Econometric Modeling and Bayesian Networks to Assess Support Cost Consequences Due to Changes in Force Structure

Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics

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Current constraints in the fiscal environment are forcing the Air Force, and its sister services, to assess force reduction considerations. With significant force reduction comes the need to model and assess the potential impact that these changes may have on support resources. Previous research has remained heavily focused on a ratio approach for linking the tooth and tail ends of the Air Force cost spectrum and, although recent research has augmented this literature stream by providing more statistical rigor behind tooth-to-tail relationships, an adequate decision support tool has yet to be explored to aid decision-makers. The authors of this research directly address this concern by introducing a systematic approach to perform tooth-to-tail policy impact analysis. First, multivariate linear regression is applied to identify relationships between the tooth and tail. Then, a novel decision support system with Bayesian networks is introduced to model the tooth-to-tail cost consequences while capturing the uncertainty that often comes with such policy considerations. Through scenario analysis, the authors illustrate how a Bayesian network can provide decision-makers with (i) the ability to model uncertainty in the decision environment, (ii) a visual illustration of cause-and-effect impacts, and (iii) the ability to perform multi-directional reasoning in light of new information available to decision-makers.


Dr. Bradley C. Boehmke is an Operations Research Analyst at Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Studies and Analyses Division where he primarily focuses on economic and decision analysis modeling to provide senior leadership robust understanding of economic behavior and potential policy impacts for the Air Force enterprise. He is also an adjunct Assistant Professor of logistics and supply chain management at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). His academic research focuses on developing econometric models, algorithms and applications for forecasting, analyzing and visualizing data. He has also published research on text analysis and written a book, titled Data Wrangling with R.

Dr. Alan W. Johnson is a Professor of logistics and supply chain management with the Department of Operational Sciences, Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). He received his Ph.D. from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an M.S. in Systems Engineering Management from AFIT, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University. His research interests are in the areas of discrete event simulation modeling, design of experiments, and heuristic search methods applied to applications in space logistics and air transportation systems.

Dr. Edward D. White is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He has served as a member of the AFIT faculty since the summer of 1998. Dr. White received his B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Tampa, his M.A.S. in Applied Statistics from The Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in Statistics from Texas A&M University. His work has been published in various journals such as the Air Force Journal of Logistics, Journal of Cost Analysis and Management, Defense Acquisition Review Journal, Cost Engineering, Journal of Public Procurement, and the Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics, where he has previously served as co-editor. His primary research interests include statistical modeling and simulation.

Dr. Jeffery D. Weir is an Associate Professor in the Department of Operational Sciences at the Air Force Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech. He teaches courses in decision analysis, risk analysis, and multi-objective optimization. His research interests are in the areas of decision analysis and transportation modeling. As a former officer in the US Air Force, he has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from scheduling and routing air-craft, determining the value of future intelligence information, assessing the impact of FAA regulation changes to passenger and aircrew safety, and mode selection for multi-modal multi-commodity distribution networks. He has received grants from the Defense Intelligence Agency, US Transportation Command, Air Force Materiel Command, the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, Air Force Research Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, amongst others.

Dr. Mark A. Gallagher, a Senior Level executive, is the Technical Director of the Studies, Analyses and Assessments directorate at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. This directorate conducts analyses for both the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force that ensures comprehensive, defendable and time-sensitive processes underpin Air Force warfighting and force structure capability and sufficiency assessments. The directorate also informs and illuminates leadership on emerging issues; fireproofs resource investment decisions; and rapidly collects, disseminates, implements and tracks lessons learned. Dr. Gallagher earned a B.S. in Operations Research and Computer Science from the US Air Force Academy. He also earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Air Force Institute of Technology, where he later taught and continues as Adjunct Associate Professor.