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Article

Andrej Škraba, Miroljub Kljajić, Peter Papler, Davorin Kofjač and Mitja Obed

This paper aims to describe the development and application of a manpower planning system for the Slovenian armed forces using a system approach, system dynamics (SD) and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the development and application of a manpower planning system for the Slovenian armed forces using a system approach, system dynamics (SD) and numerical optimization.

Design/methodology/approach

The model of the hierarchical manpower system was developed by SD methodology and formulated in discrete time space. The problem of tracking the goal trajectories in the eight topmost ranks at the prescribed boundaries was solved by application of the quadratic performance index and finite automata (FA) which was used for classification of acceptable strategies. Genetic algorithms (GA) as well as pattern search were compared at the numeric optimization.

Findings

Employing SD and a system approach increases the understanding of the system control. The definition of an optimum strategy, which would consider only target values for ranks within prescribed parameter boundaries, could provide an undesired oscillatory solution. Inclusion of rules by FA to determine acceptable strategies based on the time response of a strategy provided acceptable, nonoscillatory solutions. GA and pattern search were considered where pattern search was shown to be significantly more suitable for the task of control strategy determination.

Practical implications

The developed system and methodology was applied by the Slovenian Armed Forces in the process of restructuring.

Social implications

The developed approach permits a moderate transition to the new desired structure. Restructuring without a clear understanding of the system structure and dynamics might result in undesired social impacts such as strikes and riots.

Originality/value

Provision of the systemic view of the hierarchical manpower system and application of FA to determine the proper control of a complex system.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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