099-018: Goal Lattice - Method & Apparatus of Measuring a Relative Utility for Each of Several Different Tasks Based on Identified System Goals

In decision support systems it is important to have a means for evaluating real, measurable actions in terms of how they support the more diffuse and difficult to measure topmost goals of an organization, system, or project. The Goal Lattice (GL) technique is a formal mathematical method based on partially ordered sets and lattices which accrues to topmost goals the multiplicity of values associated with accomplishing lower, measurable actions.

It also apportions to lower goals the value of accomplishing them in terms of how it supports the higher, more diffuse goals. There is a direct traceable route between a realmeasurable action and how it contributes to intermediate and topmost goals. There is also a clear accrual of the value of accomplishing a goal in terms of how it is perceived to contributed to a multiplicity of higher goals. This method is more than a utility function and does not rely on simple pairwise binary comparisons. It has both graphical and database implementation methods as demonstrated in the GMUGLE web-based program for data entry, GL manipulation, and goal value calculation. The method can be applied to determining the value of indi vi dual job s in a corporati on to assi st in making hiring/firing decisions, the value of selecting a specific sensor to observer an environment, the amount of money to invest in a product, the allocation of funds in a budget to different corporate functions, or how much money to put in various portions of an investment portfolio to achieve the user's goals.

Market Significance:

Resource management is always a challenge. Running "lean and mean" requires managers at all levels to efficiently utilize resources to achieve hard as well as the soft goals of an organization. Current methods for assigning, controlling, and measuring resources utilization are ad hoc, utility function based, or fixed point solutions. This goal lattice engine has the ability to evaluate multiple, competing, real, measurable actions in terms of their ability to satisfy top-level, difficult to measure, soft goals. Goal Lattice also has the ability to indirectly control multiple interacting autonomous systems. Uses of this prototyped tool for measuring success are numerous.

- Sensor Management
- track, search, and identify more targets comsuming less prime power and producing lower emissions
- Budget Analysis
- graphically illustrates apportionment of funds and functional relationships
- Human Resource Management
- evaluate positions vs people; RIFs are uncontestable because "positions" not people, are evaluated in light of evolving goals
- Reverse Engineer Competitors Goals
- Observe measurable actions taken by others and construct Goal Lattice from bottom up