Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Kenneth W. Bauer, Jr., PhD


This research evaluated the effects of perturbations in time phased force deployment data (TPFDD) on airlift system performance. Four characteristics of two TPFDD files were perturbed according to a 2(4-1) fractional factorial experimental design and then fed into the Airlift Flow Module (AFM) simulation. Specifically, small, constrained perturbations were made to the specified locations, the timeline, the amounts of cargo and passengers, and the proportion of outsize and oversize cargo categories. The effects these perturbations had on AFM output were interpreted using factor analysis. The computed factor scores, when plotted against one another, provided sensitivity plots, graphically depicting the sensitivity of the airlift performance response to the perturbations. Counter to recent airlift analysis discussions which promote completely unconstrained random TPFDD generation, this research indicated that small, constrained variations could cause potentially significant and unpredictable changes in airlift performance. Of potential interest to the simulation community, another by-product of this research was the potential to use factor analysis as a verification and validation tool for large, complex simulation models.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number