Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Darryl K. Ahner, PhD.


This research considers the optimal allocation of weapons to a collection of targets with the objective of maximizing the value of destroyed targets. The weapon-target assignment (WTA) problem is a classic non-linear combinatorial optimization problem with an extensive history in operations research literature. The dynamic weapon target assignment (DWTA) problem aims to assign weapons optimally over time using the information gained to improve the outcome of their engagements. This research investigates various formulations of the DWTA problem and develops algorithms for their solution. Finally, an embedded optimization problem is introduced in which optimization of the multi-stage DWTA is used to determine optimal weaponeering of aircraft. Approximate dynamic programming is applied to the various formulations of the WTA problem. Like many in the field of combinatorial optimization, the DWTA problem suffers from the curses of dimensionality and exact solutions are often computationally intractability. As such, approximations are developed which exploit the special structure of the problem and allow for efficient convergence to high-quality local optima. Finally, a genetic algorithm solution framework is developed to test the embedded optimization problem for aircraft weaponeering.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number