Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Operations Research


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Jeffery D. Weir, PhD

Second Advisor

Shane Knighton, PhD


Decisions are made every day and by everyone. As these decisions become more important, involve higher costs and affect a broader group of stakeholders it becomes essential to establish a more rigorous strategy than simply intuition or "going with your gut". In the past several decades, the concept of Value Focused Thinking (VFT) has gained much acclaim in assisting Decision Makers (DMs) in this very effort. By identifying and organizing what a DM values VFT is able to decompose the original problem and create a mathematical model to score and rank alternatives to be chosen. But what if the decision should not be completely decomposed? What if there are factors that are inextricably linked rather than independent? In the past several years, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) have quickly become the number one killer of American troops overseas. To this end the Joint IED Defeat Organization worked to create a VFT model to solicit and grade countermeasure proposals as candidates for funding. While much time and care was put into soliciting a valid VFT hierarchy from the appropriate DM, it does not represent the only option. With JIEDDO as an example this paper examines a strategy to better reflect a DM’s combined values in a way which is understandable to the DM and maintains a level of mathematical rigor.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Co-advised thesis.