"Copulas for Decision and Risk Analysis"
The standard project framework for the Department of National Defence (DND) consists of five phases: Identification, Options Analysis, Definition, Implementation, and finally Close Out. Each project phase must be managed towards a successful conclusion such that the Government’s exposure to risk is minimized.
Ideally, project staff familiar with the acquisition process would, within a reasonable degree of confidence, be able to estimate when one project milestone is completed and another starts. Failing to do so affects program cash flows by having to keep project management offices in operation longer, and affects the training and operations schedules for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as equipment acquisitions can’t be phased into service as originally planned.
The construction of a probabilistic model is a key step in most decision and risk analyses, and Copula functions have become a popular tool in risk analysis as they prescribe a method for “coupling” a multivariate distribution function to its one-dimensional marginal distribution functions. In this analysis, we have chosen to build copulas out of distributions for Planned and Actual durations at each project milestone and through the copula density specify milestone dates with a degree of confidence.
Paul E. Desmier, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Defence Research and Development Canada
In June 2017, Dr. Desmier will have completed 35 years conducting analysis in support of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. In that period, he has held positions as Deputy Chief of Staff Operational Research and Chief Scientific advisor to the Commander of Air Command, Director of Operational Research for the Air Staff and Director of Operational Research for the Materiel Group.
He has conducted analyses in many diverse areas, most notably: torpedo dynamics and lethality studies, nuclear EMP, dynamics of guided missile systems, space-based radar coverage and satellite surveillance, force structure analysis, foreign exchange risk, and cost and schedule risk.
He is a graduate of McGill University, in Montreal, Canada where he obtained a B.Sc. with First Class Honours in Chemistry and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics.