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Automated Factor-Based Sensitivity Analysis



OBJECTIVE: Develop an automatic software analysis tool to understand the behavior and performance of Missile Defense (MD) mission-critical algorithms.

DESCRIPTION: This topic seeks to gain a deeper understanding of how the Aegis Weapon System (AWS) MD Engage-ability prelaunch Figure of Merit (FOM) algorithm directly contributes to performance in a given MD scenario/vignette.A conceptual factor-based sensitivity analysis tool offers an innovative means to uncover and understand the inherent sensitivities and limitations of mission-critical algorithms.By controlling the data flow into and out of an algorithm under test, the tool can force the system down processing paths that otherwise would not have been exercised with the actual AWS.The outcomes of these off-nominal cases can then be aggregated and analyzed to establish behavioral and performance trends which will aide in understanding the AWS FOM selection logic and should aide in the analysis of impacts to software upgrades and how they impact missile intercept probabilities.

PHASE I: Develop a proof of concept product around the AWS FOM algorithm.Perform an analysis to demonstrate the concept and an initial understanding of the AWS FOM calculations.Phase I should be a feasibility concept study that supports a proposed design solution and down selection of alternatives.

PHASE II: Enhance and refine the proposed tool based on the results and findings of the Phase I and expand its capabilities to generalize the prototype tool to analyze any algorithm in the AWS MD system.The Phase II objective will be to validate a new technology solution that a customer can transition in Phase III.Validate the feasibility of the Phase I concept by development and demonstrations that will be tested to ensure performance objectives are met.The Phase II effort should result in a prototype with substantial commercialization potential.

PHASE III: Productize the tool to expand the capabilities to other interested users in the government.Develop and execute a Phase III incremental test & integration plan that will produce a final prototype.

KEYWORDS: Aegis BMD, Algorithm, Aegis Weapon System, Weapon Control System, Figure of Merit, Robustness and Sensitivity Analysis


1. Statistical Issues in Defense Analysis and Testing, “Sources of Variability”, “Sensitivity Analysis”, Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on the Analysis of Algorithms (Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information, 2000) ISBN 1-57586-212-3.4. “Determining the significance of input parameters using sensitivity analysis”, “A sensitivity analysis algorithm for hierarchical decision models”, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Fact Sheet:

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