Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Operations Research


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Richard F. Deckro, PhD


Advances in computing and mathematical techniques have given rise to increasingly complex models employed in the management of risk across numerous disciplines. While current military doctrine embraces sound practices for identifying, communicating, and mitigating risk, the complex nature of modern operational environments prevents the enumeration of risk factors and consequences necessary to leverage anything beyond rudimentary risk models. Efforts to model military operational risk in quantitative terms are stymied by the interaction of incomplete, inadequate, and unreliable knowledge. Specifically, it is evident that joint and inter-Service literature on risk are inconsistent, ill-defined, and prescribe imprecise approaches to codifying risk. Notably, the near-ubiquitous use of risk matrices (along with other qualitative methods), are demonstrably problematic at best, and downright harmful at worst, due to misunderstanding and misapplication of their quantitative implications. The use of fuzzy set theory is proposed to overcome the pervasive ambiguity of risk modeling encountered by today’s operational planners. Fuzzy logic is adept at addressing the problems caused by imperfect and imprecise knowledge, entangled causal relationships, and the linguistic input of expert opinion. To this end, a fuzzy inference system is constructed for the purpose of risk appraisal in military operational planning.

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DTIC Accession Number