Strategies for Competition Beyond Open Architecture (OA): Acquisition at the Edge of Chaos

Report Number: RAY-AM-14-184

Series: Acquisition Management

Category: Open Architecture (OA)

Report Series: Sponsored Reports

Authors: Niraj Srivastava, Michael L. Rice and David Kwak

Title: Strategies for Competition Beyond Open Architecture (OA): Acquisition at the Edge of Chaos

Published: 2014-11-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: Other Research Faculty

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Keywords: Open Systems Architecture


Department of Defense (DoD) Open Systems Architecture (OSA) policies are supposed to enhance acquisition reform to ensure competition for better pricing as dictated by the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009. However, the competition for better pricing using OSA does not necessarily drive innovation that addresses increasing system complexity. In the face of increasing system complexity, uncertain security profiles, and a challenging budget environment, the defense acquisition process and SE efforts need to work in concert to produce defense systems that reduce time to deployment and are more adaptable. We look to complex adaptive systems (CAS) and evolutionary theory for strategies for competition using methods from dynamical systems and population genetics. The key insight of evolutionary theory is that many behaviors involve the interaction of multiple entities in a population, and the success of any one of these entities depends on how its behavior interacts with that of others. Furthermore, we investigate potential for bidirectional coupling between population density (market size) and the evolution of an emergent trait such as competition. We propose the use of the Component Competition Readiness Level (CCRL) metrics which define and measure competition readiness to promote agility in the complex dynamics of the acquisition processes.