Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Patrick T. Hester

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

Ariel Pinto

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E555 K83 2008


The goal of this study is to demonstrate the use of the Dempster-Shafer Theory of evidence as a decision aid to predict aircraft maintenance times during wartime operations using expert judgment elicitation. Increased precision in time estimation enables the jet engine aircraft maintenance facility commander to make more accurate decisions for the Air Force's wartime tactical operations allowing the commander to gain a decisive advantage. A questionnaire was designed to elicit judgments from experts in the Aircraft Maintenance Facility (AMF) to investigate maintenance times of the major failure modes (Ignition, Fuel, and Electrical). Results of the expert judgment elicitation were utilized through an application of the Dempster-Shafer Theory. This approach was presented as a plausible evidence combination technique when uncertain, incomplete, and potentially incorrect evidence needs to be assessed in a wartime environment. A decision aid that allowed comparison of each expert's assessment based on the Dempster-Shafer Theory was created, and an uncertainty assessment was discussed. An example showcasing two jet engine aircraft failures with both aleatory and epistemic uncertainty was presented to demonstrate use of the developed approach during wartime operations. The results of this methodology provide a useful and specific application area for the Dempster-Shafer Theory in the AMF to aid a decision maker in assessing the level of an expert's uncertainty.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).