Chapter 1Introduction to Trade-Off Analysis

Gregory S. Parnell

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA

Matthew Cilli

U.S. Army Armament Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny, NJ, USA

Azad M. Madni

Department of Astronautical Engineering, Systems Architecting and Engineering and Astronautical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Garry Roedler

Corporate Engineering LM Fellow, Engineering Outreach Program Manager, Lockheed Martin Corporation King of Prussia, PA


The complexity of man-made systems has increased to an unprecedented level. This has led to new opportunities, but also to increased challenges for the organizations that create and utilize systems.

(ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288, 2015)

1.1 Introduction

This book is about trade-off analyses in the life cycle of a system. It is written from the perspective of engineers, systems engineers, and other decision-makers involved in the life cycle of a system. In this book, we present the best practices for performing systems engineering trade-off analyses in a step-by-step, structured manner. Our intent is to make it an easy-to-understand and useful reference for students, practitioners, and researchers.

Systems are developed to create value for stakeholders by providing desired capabilities. Stakeholders include investors, government agencies, customers/acquirers, end users/operators, system developers/integrators, ...

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