Enterprise Line of Sight Analysis Using Evidential Reasoning




Bunting, William J.

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The overall direction of this research is to improve the development of information systems within federal agency modernization efforts so that the systems produce a value to the federal agency that is significantly greater upon implementation than the investment required to develop the systems. Federal agencies are modernizing at an increasing rate and, before authorizing funds for each specific modernization investment, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires agencies to show alignment to agency mission outcomes. OMB defines the Federal Enterprise Architecture Performance Reference Model (PRM) “Line of Sight” as a means to show this alignment. This research formulated the Line of Sight Evidential Reasoning Analysis (LSERA) method to provide a principled method for PRM Line of Sight analysis that improves reasoning under uncertainty, the examination of evidentiary force, and the inquiry into results of contemplated alternatives. Evidentiary Reasoning theory, Multi-Entity Bayesian Network theory, and Causality theory form the principled basis for LSERA. Given this basis, the LSERA method consists of the LSERA Argument model, and the LSERA Inference Model. The LSERA Argument Model is a structure for the development of a line of sight argument providing a facility to assist in the transformation of the line of sight into an evidential reasoning-based argument. Given the inherent uncertainty within a modernization program, the LSERA Inference Model supports analysts in reasoning about the likelihood of performance attainment in all areas of a technology initiative line of sight. The LSERA Inference Model also supports evidentiary force analysis, showing which pieces of evidence are forceful in asserting the likelihood of achieving mission and customer results. In LSERA, the analysts set causality levels, such as necessary or sufficient, among the line of sight relations, and examine the impacts of causal beliefs on the likelihoods of performance attainment. Finally, daily, new information emerges from within the project and from the project or agency environment. As information emerges, analysts need to reexamine the various technology initiative alignments to the Agency mission, and reason on the new situation. LSERA provides automated tools for knowledge management, and probabilistic reasoning that allow modernization program personnel to perform this enterprise line of sight analysis, including multiple alternatives, in a principled manner and in the necessary time.



Evidential Reasoning, Enterprise architecture, Bayesian Networks, Argument, Line of Sight, MEBN