Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Engineering and Technology Management

E M 566 Trade-Off Analytics: Exploring the System Tradespace

Course Description

Trade-off Analytics: Exploring the System Tradespace focuses on methods, processes, and tools for delivering optimal affordable total system solutions by focusing on informed trade studies and sound decision analysis approaches in each stage of the system life cycle. Trade-off analytics provides a mathematical foundation and rigorous approach to formal trade-offs that integrate system life cycle cost, system uncertainties and risk, long-term system and environmental sustainability, and overall system effectiveness. As systems continue to become increasingly complex, today’s leaders require a foundation in systems concepts for planning, design, development, build, deployment, operation, sustainment, and retirement across many different domains. The course is designed to assist engineering leaders and managers, systems engineers and architects, technical project and program managers, and hardware, software, electrical, mechanical, and manufacturing engineers with complex system design and implementation decisions. The course includes assignments to relate concepts to real-world practice and demonstrate a formalized systemic approach to trade-offs and decisions made at various stages in the systems life cycle.

Course Objectives

This course teaches fundamentals and concepts for applying trade-off analytics and decision analysis techniques to the system tradespace.  Its specific objectives are:

  • To provide a general approach for formal system-level trade-off analyses using decision analysis techniques;
  • To provide methods, processes, and tools usable by technical managers to formally assess trade-offs and decisions at key stages in the systems life cycle;
  • To provide some practice using analytical tools to analyze a preliminary system design concept for life cycle costs, sustainment, community impact, system effectiveness, and potential risk;
  • To clarify, improve and broaden one’s personal philosophy of system trade-off analysis and decision analysis techniques;
  • To strengthen the students’ communication and research abilities by exploring current societal needs addressable with a system solution;
  • To provide the student with opportunities to utilize critical thinking skills to analyze and solve complex problems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon satisfactory completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Examine the role of trade-off analyses to support system decisions in each stage of the system life cycle.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of tradespace exploration techniques for trade-off analysis of concepts, architectures, designs, operations, and retirement.
  • Use decision analysis as the mathematical foundation for trade-off analysis using both deterministic and probabilistic techniques.
  • Identify and structure stakeholder objectives and develop single objective and multi-objective decision analysis models to evaluate system concepts and design alternatives.
  • Develop an integrated decision model that incorporates system performance, total life cycle cost, schedule, risk and uncertainty, environmental impact, and future growth and opportunities.
  • Communicate the insights of life cycle (total cost, environmental impact, risk) and system effectiveness analyses and the important trade-offs to senior stakeholders and decision makers.

 

Faculty Contact: Alice Squires (alice.squires@wsu.edu)
Semester Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

This course can be used to fulfill the following requirements:

Course Topics

  • Introduction to Trade-off Analysis
  • Conceptual Framework Review
  • Quantifying Uncertainty
  • Analyzing Resources
  • Understanding Decision Management Team Topic Discussion
  • Identifying Opportunities,
  • Identifying Objectives and Value Measures
  • Developing and Evaluating Alternatives
  • An Integrated Model for Trade-Off Analysis
  • Exploring Concept Trade-Offs
  • Architecture Evaluation
  • Sustainment Related Trade Studies
  • Programmatic Trade-Off Analyses
  • Future Trends