Date of Award

Fall 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Abel A. Fernandez

Committee Member

Derya A. Jacobs

Committee Member

Wayne Woodhams

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E555 C63


Post-production weight growth of tanks is an historic problem for the military. Tanks are difficult to transport because of their weight, and post-production modifications tend to cause this weight to increase over the lifecycle of the tank. In this thesis, a computer model is constructed which uses influence diagrams to model tank weight growth as a probabilistic process. Historical weight data for the MI Abrams tank program is used to derive probabilities for the model. The model is used to predict tank weight growth over both the short and long term with the goal of understanding more about how and why tanks grow in weight after they are fielded. The analysis apportions the weight of a tank into three major sub-categories: survivability, mobility, and lethality. The model is used to explore ways in which the apportionment of weight to each of these categories can be adjusted to reduce the tendency toward weight growth given the same probabilities for weight growth.


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