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Reliability Issues for DoD Systems: Report of a Workshop
community who have the responsibility of evaluating the reliability of defense systems and who, by nature of other responsibilities and backgrounds, are generally less knowledgeable about statistical techniques than academic researchers. One possible way to facilitate such communication is to upgrade or replace DoD 3235.1-H, Test and Evaluation of System Reliability Availability and Maintainability: A Primer (issued in 1962, revised in 1982). This document, referred to henceforth as the RAM Primer, is commonly used (more so in some service test organizations, less in others) by those responsible for the design of tests of system reliability and the associated evaluation in the test service and other defense agencies.
Broadly considered, the goal of the workshop was to foster greater interaction between the academic and defense acquisition communities with regard to both those ideas whose applicability is still uncertain and those that are considered promising. A number of positive impacts for the DoD community were envisioned by the planners of the workshop. First, it was hoped that greater interest would be developed among the academic community in current issues of importance to the defense community involving reliability assessment. Another goal was to inform decision makers about ways of dealing with procedural or other constraints that may hamper the application of statistical techniques in the collection of and access to test and field data, and in the use of testing in the development of reliable systems. Finally, the workshop would acquaint the defense community with state-of-the-art techniques that are applicable to problems in defense system development.
The planned interactions between the statistical research community and DoD were expected to have, in equal measure, strong benefits for the participating researchers. Prominent among these was educating academics about the problems and constraints facing the defense acquisition community, which are often considerably different from those involved in analogous industrial applications.
EIGHT KEY IDEAS
The following eight key ideas represent a useful summary of the workshop sessions: (1) the advantages of methods for reliability growth management, (2) the benefits of broader understanding and use of modern methods for reliability estimation and testing, (3) the need for updating the RAM Primer, (4) gains from the use of alternative modeling approaches, (5) the advantages of state-of-the-art reliability growth models, (6) the po-