Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computational Modeling & Simulation Engineering


Modeling and Simulation

Committee Director

John A. Sokolowski

Committee Member

Michael L. McGinnis

Committee Member

Charles B. Keating

Committee Member

Lawrence C. Schuette


The high costs of modern weapons systems, fuel, personnel, and increasing environmental awareness is forcing U.S. forces to rely on simulation for training. Further, the need to train in a robust and theater specific environment is critical to ensure operational readiness immediately upon reaching the combat theater. Finally, the rapidly changing nature of the conflicts, crises, or contingencies in which U.S. forces are involved requires a new approach to training.

The purpose of this research is to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of a methodology that can provide a reliable, consistent method for determining ROI in various forms, focusing on the staffs of Operational level commanders (those staffs who form Joint Task Force staffs or Service Component Commander staffs) so that the most appropriate format can be utilized in determining warfighting improvement or training vs. exercise cost. The major components of the ROI formulation are costs and performance assessment which can be applied in various combinations to quantify the performance benefits achieved for the expenditure of resources that are linked to specifically assessed performance parameters. The performance and cost parameters should apply to any operational or training environment, but the ability to evaluate the potential advantages of training in a completely synthetic environment as opposed to either a live or mixture of live, virtual, and constructive environments is of special interest. The cost components required to determine ROI must provide a reliable methodology to identify the costs of live and synthetic training regardless of the Service or Headquarters staff involved. A second necessary factor is the means to assess the performance of a Component Commander or Joint Task Force staff performance during a training exercise.

The development of feasible methodologies, permitting evaluation of ROI in various formats, will provide a quantifiable means to assist in decisions regarding deployment readiness or support any Service or the Department of Defense during budgetary discussions. The ability to quantify ROI in the most appropriate or most applicable format can lead to better allocation of resources and to the ability to employ the most prepared or appropriately trained staff in a given crisis scenario.