Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

John M. Colombi, PhD.


The Modular Open System Approach (MOSA) is an initiative to, among other things, reduce cost and schedule for acquisitions programs. While programs have experienced savings using MOSA, the majority of programs have not, in part due to a lack of a logical method for evaluating architecture alternatives. This research develops the Architecture Cost Effectiveness Framework (ACEF), which combines multi-attribute utility analysis with cost effectiveness analysis throughout the program lifecycle. Step 1 is the establishment of a business strategy that includes an Attribute Hierarchy of selected operational requirements. The business strategy also defines Lifecycle Utility Reference Profiles (LURPs) that document changing requirements for each attribute over time. Step 2 develops a reference architecture for all alternatives. Step 3 creates architecture alternatives using MOSA, including planned design increments. Step 4 compares the alternatives by evaluating the Component Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Component Integration Cost (CIC) for each component. Step 5 conducts a sensitivity analysis to understand the effect of decision-maker preference on the results. Finally Step 6 examines the results and updates the business strategy and reference architecture. The ACEF will assist program managers establish traceability between architectural decisions and operational utility, and thus experience more consistently the benefits of MOSA.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number