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SPA Serial 28230

POM Linear Optimization Tool (PLOT)


Version 1.0

Help File

20 June 2007

Prepared by

Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc.


2001 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22311

Prepared under contract M00264-07-F-0015 Task # 07-03


TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................... 1-1
1.1 THE GOAL OF PLOT.......................................................................................................... 1-1
1.2 DEFINITIONS, ACRONYMS, AND ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................ 1-2
2. GETTING STARTED ............................................................................................................. 2-1
2.1 LOADING PLOT ................................................................................................................. 2-1
2.2 PLOT ENVIRONMENT ....................................................................................................... 2-1
3. PLOT START-UP SCREEN .................................................................................................. 3-1
3.1 FILE MENU ......................................................................................................................... 3-2
3.1.1 MCPC / BENEFIT IMPORT ......................................................................................... 3-4
3.1.2 EXCEL FILE FORMATTING FOR MCPC / BENEFIT IMPORT .................................. 3-6
3.2 SOLUTION TOOLS MENU ................................................................................................. 3-9
3.3 HELP MENU ..................................................................................................................... 3-15
4. MANAGE BASELINE ............................................................................................................ 4-1
4.1 DATA COLUMN DESCRIPTIONS...................................................................................... 4-1
4.2 ADD MCPC ......................................................................................................................... 4-2
4.3 EDIT MCPC ........................................................................................................................ 4-5
4.3.1 ALTERING FUNDING .................................................................................................. 4-8
4.4 VIEW MCPC DETAILS ..................................................................................................... 4-15
4.5 FIND MCPC ...................................................................................................................... 4-17
4.6 DELETE MCPC................................................................................................................. 4-17
4.7 MANAGE BENEFITS........................................................................................................ 4-18
4.8 ASSIGN BENEFITS .......................................................................................................... 4-29
4.9 EXPORT BENEFITS......................................................................................................... 4-31
4.10 CLOSE.............................................................................................................................. 4-32
5. SCENARIO MANAGER ........................................................................................................ 5-1
5.1 CREATE NEW SCENARIO ................................................................................................ 5-1
5.1.1 ALTERING FUNDING .................................................................................................. 5-4
5.2 SELECT EXISTING SCENARIO......................................................................................... 5-5
5.3 COPY EXISTING SCENARIO ............................................................................................ 5-5
5.4 DELETE EXISTING SCENARIO......................................................................................... 5-6
5.5 FIND MCPC ........................................................................................................................ 5-6
5.6 EDIT SCENARIO .............................................................................................................. 5-14
5.7 EDIT BENEFIT WEIGHTS ................................................................................................ 5-15
5.8 HIDING COLUMNS .......................................................................................................... 5-17
5.9 CHANGE MULTIPLE FUNDING STATES........................................................................ 5-18
5.10 EXPLORE SOLUTION...................................................................................................... 5-19
5.10.1 SUMMARY ................................................................................................................. 5-20
5.10.2 FUNDING ................................................................................................................... 5-20
5.10.3 SELECTED ................................................................................................................ 5-21
5.11 SOLVE .............................................................................................................................. 5-22
6. EXPORTING DATA ............................................................................................................... 6-1
7. MANAGING EXPORTED DATA ........................................................................................... 7-1
Appendix: Mathematical Formulation ...........................................................................................I
Must Funds and Do Not Funds ......................................................................................................I
SLIDING FUNDING..........................................................................................................................II

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LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE 3 - 1 INITIAL PLOT WINDOW MENU WITH SPLASH SCREEN ...................................... 3-1
FIGURE 3 - 2 PLOT START DIALOG BOX ..................................................................................... 3-2
FIGURE 3 - 3 CREATE A BLANK DATABASE WINDOW............................................................... 3-3
FIGURE 3 - 4 IMPORT FROM PBDD AUTOPROMPT WINDOW .................................................. 3-3
FIGURE 3 - 5 MCPC / BENEFIT IMPORT WINDOW...................................................................... 3-4
FIGURE 3 - 6 MCPC / BENEFIT IMPORT WINDOW...................................................................... 3-6
FIGURE 3 - 7 FORMATTED EXCEL FILE FOR PBDD IMPORT CONTROL (LEFT) ..................... 3-7
FIGURE 3 - 8 FORMATTED EXCEL FILE FOR PBDD IMPORT CONTROL (RIGHT) ................... 3-8
FIGURE 3 - 9 FORMATTED EXCEL FILE FOR BENEFIT IMPORT CONTROL ............................ 3-9
FIGURE 3 - 10 COMPARE SOLUTIONS WINDOW ....................................................................... 3-9
FIGURE 3 - 11 SAVE AS WINDOW FOR COMPARE SOLUTIONS............................................. 3-10
FIGURE 3 - 12 COMPARE SOLUTIONS WINDOW ..................................................................... 3-11
FIGURE 3 - 13 SCENARIO SELECT WINDOW ........................................................................... 3-12
FIGURE 3 - 14 COMPARE SOLUTIONS WINDOW ..................................................................... 3-13
FIGURE 3 - 15 COMPARE SOLUTIONS FILE ............................................................................. 3-14
FIGURE 4 - 1 MANAGE BASELINE DATABASE WINDOW (LEFT ................................................ 4-1
FIGURE 4 - 2 MANAGE BASELINE DATABASE WINDOW (RIGHT) ............................................ 4-1
FIGURE 4 - 3 ADD MCPC WINDOW (SUMMARY TAB) ................................................................ 4-3
FIGURE 4 - 4 PLOT WARNING WINDOW FOR ADD MCPC ......................................................... 4-3
FIGURE 4 - 5 ADD MCPC WINDOW (BENEFITS TAB) ................................................................. 4-4
FIGURE 4 - 6 ADD MCPC WINDOW (FUNDING TAB) .................................................................. 4-5
FIGURE 4 - 7 EDIT MCPC WINDOW (SUMMARY TAB) ................................................................ 4-6
FIGURE 4 - 8 EDIT MCPC WINDOW (BENEFITS TAB)................................................................. 4-7
FIGURE 4 - 9 EDIT MCPC WINDOW (FUNDING TAB) .................................................................. 4-8
FIGURE 4 - 10 EDIT MCPC DETAILS WINDOW (ADD FUNDING LINE) ...................................... 4-9
FIGURE 4 - 11 EDIT MCPC DETAILS WINDOW (REMOVING FUNDING LINE) ........................ 4-10
FIGURE 4 - 12 EDIT MCPC DETAILS (CHANGE FUNDING) ...................................................... 4-11
FIGURE 4 - 13 SLIDE DETAILS WINDOW ................................................................................... 4-11
FIGURE 4 - 14 INCREASE FUNDING BY FIXED AMOUNT WINDOW........................................ 4-12
FIGURE 4 - 15 INCREASE FUNDING BY PERCENTAGE WINDOW .......................................... 4-13
FIGURE 4 - 16 DECREASE FUNDING BY FIXED AMOUNT WINDOW ...................................... 4-13
FIGURE 4 - 17 DECREASE FUNDING BY PERCENTAGE WINDOW......................................... 4-14
FIGURE 4 - 18 PLOT SLIDE FUNDING WARNING WINDOW..................................................... 4-14
FIGURE 4 - 19 COMPRESS FUNDING WINDOW ....................................................................... 4-14
FIGURE 4 - 20 FUNDING TOTALS WINDOW (BASELINE)......................................................... 4-15
FIGURE 4 - 21 VIEW MCPC DETAILS (SUMMARY TAB)............................................................ 4-16
FIGURE 4 - 22 VIEW MCPC DETAILS WINDOW (BENEFITS TAB)............................................ 4-16
FIGURE 4 - 23 VIEW MCPC DETAILS WINDOW (FUNDING TAB) ............................................. 4-17
FIGURE 4 - 24 FIND MCPC WINDOW ......................................................................................... 4-17
FIGURE 4 - 25 PLOT DELETE MCPC WARNING........................................................................ 4-18
FIGURE 4 - 26 PLOT DELETE MCPC AND SCENARIO SOLUTIONS WARNING...................... 4-18
FIGURE 4 - 27 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW .......................................... 4-19
FIGURE 4 - 28 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (BENEFITS HIERARCHY)4-20
FIGURE 4 - 29 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (ADD CATEGORY) .......... 4-21
FIGURE 4 - 30 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (SELECT CATEGORY FOR
EDIT) ................................................................................................................................... 4-22
FIGURE 4 - 31 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (EDIT CATEGORY) ......... 4-23
FIGURE 4 - 32 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (SELECT CATEGORY FOR
DELETE) ............................................................................................................................. 4-24
FIGURE 4 - 33 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS (DELETE CATEGORY) .................... 4-25
FIGURE 4 - 34 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS (ADD BENEFIT)................................ 4-26
FIGURE 4 - 35 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (SELECT BENEFIT FOR
EDIT) ................................................................................................................................... 4-27
FIGURE 4 - 36 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS (EDIT BENEFIT) ............................... 4-28

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FIGURE 4 - 37 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS (DELETE BENEFIT) ......................... 4-29
FIGURE 4 - 38 ASSIGN MCPCS TO BENEFIT WINDOW ............................................................ 4-30
FIGURE 4 - 39 DELETE ALL SOLUTIONS WARNING WINDOW................................................ 4-31
FIGURE 4 - 40 EXPORT BENEFIT DATA WINDOW.................................................................... 4-32
FIGURE 5 - 1 SCENARIO MANAGER WINDOW (INITIAL)............................................................ 5-1
FIGURE 5 - 2 SCENARIO MANAGER WINDOW (INITIAL)............................................................ 5-2
FIGURE 5 - 3 SCENARIO MANAGER WINDOW (POPULATED) .................................................. 5-3
FIGURE 5 - 4 DISPLAY SCENARIO FUNDING TOTALS (REQUESTED) ..................................... 5-3
FIGURE 5 - 5 DISPLAY SCENARIO FUNDING TOTALS (SOLUTION) ......................................... 5-4
FIGURE 5 - 6 INCREASE FUNDING WINDOW ............................................................................. 5-4
FIGURE 5 - 7 DECREASE FUNDING WINDOW ............................................................................ 5-5
FIGURE 5 - 8 COPY EXISTING SCENARIO WINDOW.................................................................. 5-6
FIGURE 5 - 9 DELETE SCENARIO WINDOW ............................................................................... 5-6
FIGURE 5 - 10 FIND MCPC WINDOW ........................................................................................... 5-7
FIGURE 5 - 11 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO WINDOW (SUMMARY TAB)...................................... 5-7
FIGURE 5 - 12 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO (BENEFITS TAB) ....................................................... 5-8
FIGURE 5 - 13 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO (FUNDING TAB) ........................................................ 5-9
FIGURE 5 - 14 SCENARIO FUNDING TOTALS WINDOW (BASELINE REQUEST)..................... 5-9
FIGURE 5 - 15 SCENARIO FUNDING TOTALS WINDOW (SCENARIO REQUEST) ................. 5-10
FIGURE 5 - 16 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO (ADD FUNDING LINE) ............................................. 5-10
FIGURE 5 - 17 ADD FUNDING LINE WARNING.......................................................................... 5-11
FIGURE 5 - 18 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO (FUNDING LINE ADDED TO BASELINE)................ 5-11
FIGURE 5 - 19 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO (SELCT FUNDING LINE TO RESTORE)................. 5-12
FIGURE 5 - 20 INCREASE FUNDING LINE WINDOW (SCENARIO FUNDING) ......................... 5-12
FIGURE 5 - 21 SELECT FUNDING TO ALTER ERROR WINDOW.............................................. 5-13
FIGURE 5 - 22 DECREASE FUNDING LINE WINDOW (SCENARIO FUNDING FIXED) ............ 5-13
FIGURE 5 - 23 DECREASE FUNDING LINE WINDOW (SCENARIO FUNDING PERCENT) ..... 5-13
FIGURE 5 - 24 SELECT FUNDING LINE TO SLIDE WARNINNG................................................ 5-13
FIGURE 5 - 25 SLIDE DETAILS (SCENARIO) ............................................................................. 5-14
FIGURE 5 - 26 COMPRESS FUNDING WINDOW (SCENARIO) ................................................. 5-14
FIGURE 5 - 27 EDIT EXISTING SCENARIO WINDOW................................................................ 5-15
FIGURE 5 - 28 EDIT BENEFIT WEIGHTS .................................................................................... 5-16
FIGURE 5 - 29 EDIT BENEFIT WEIGHTS (HIDE/UNHIDE CATEGORIES) ................................ 5-17
FIGURE 5 - 30 HIDING SCENARIO MANAGER COLUMNS ....................................................... 5-18
FIGURE 5 - 31 CHANGE FUNDING STATE FOR MULTIPLE MCPCS ........................................ 5-19
FIGURE 5 - 32 EXPLORE SOLUTION WINDOW (SUMMARY TAB) ........................................... 5-20
FIGURE 5 - 33 EXPLORE SOLUTION WINDOW (FUNDING TAB) ............................................. 5-21
FIGURE 5 - 34 EXPLORE SOLUTION WINDOW (SELECTED TAB)........................................... 5-22
FIGURE 5 - 35 SCENARIO MANAGER WINDOW (SOLVED) ..................................................... 5-23
FIGURE 6 - 1 EXPLORE SOLUTION WINDOW............................................................................. 6-1
FIGURE 6 - 2 EXPLORE SOLUTION DIALOG BOX....................................................................... 6-1
FIGURE 6 - 3 EXPORT SCENARIO DATA DIALOG BOX .............................................................. 6-2
FIGURE 6 - 4 EXPORT COMPLETED DIALOG BOX..................................................................... 6-3

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1. INTRODUCTION
This document serves as the primary reference manual for PLOT™. It explains the
operational use and value of the various PLOT tools and, details the tool’s algorithmic flow and
provides examples for further understanding.

The following emphasis conventions will be maintained throughout the document.

1. References to other applications will appear in bold italics.

2. Menu items, button captions, dialog options will appear in bold.

1.1 THE GOAL OF PLOT


PLOT was developed by SPA for USMC PA&E to create and explore alternate POM
decisions. PLOT is an integer programming tool that incorporates PBDD financial data and user-
specified, weighted benefits for Marine Corps programs to develop alternative POMs to aid
programmatic decisions. Version 1.0 can be used to explore alternatives within the Warfighting
PEB. Future versions can be expanded to include additional PEBs or the entire POM. For more
about the mathematics of PLOT, please see the appendix.

Of the many features described in this manual, the following four will be particularly
significant for the user:

1. Baseline Database: stores imported data from an Excel file containing PBDD data
that has been specifically formatted for the PLOT Data Import/Export Utility.
Information contained in the Baseline Database serves as default data for the
Scenario Manager. Information set in Baseline Database should not be changed
once established unless agreed upon by PA&E decision makers. The user has the
option to Manage Baseline Database (after importing a PBDD pull) via a button on
the main PLOT screen. Clicking on this button opens a window that includes
functions that allow the user to Add/Edit/Find/Delete MCPC, Manage/Assign/Export
Benefits.

2. Scenario Manager: can be reached by clicking the button Manage Scenarios from
the main PLOT screen. The Scenario Manager allows the user to make changes
to default Baseline Database information; it then uses a built-in solver, SYMPHONY,
to solve for a feasible alternative POM. The user can manipulate total funding for the
Warfighting PEB by year. Funding can also be edited (increased, decreased, or slid)
for a specific MCPC within the Warfighting PEB by year and by funding line (an
appropriation/PE pair). Benefit weights can be changed within Scenario Manager.
MCPC benefit scores can also be changed. Users can select or copy an existing
scenario, create a new one, edit or delete a scenario.

3. Data Import/Export Utility: is accessible from the File menu on the main PLOT
screen and from the “Export” button within Scenario Manager. The import utility
allows users to import PBDD data pulls and/or MCPC benefit information from
specifically formatted Excel file/s.

4 Color Coding: When the user is viewing a window that displays or could potentially
change data in the Baseline Database the window will have a red border. When the
user is viewing a window that displays or could potentially change data in the
Scenario Database the window will have a yellow border.

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1.2 DEFINITIONS, ACRONYMS, and ABBREVIATIONS

Scenarios developed with the Scenario Manager are constructed from a variety of
interrelated elements, defined as follows:

PE – Program Element

PBDD – Programming and Budgeting Documentation Database

PEB – Program Evaluation Board

POM – Program Objective Memorandum

PR – Program Review

PLOT – POM Linear Optimization Tool. An application used for alternative POM
development and analysis. Version 1.0 includes the Warfighting PEB only.

MCPC – Marine Corps Program Code. PLOT finds the optimal mix of MCPCs (maximum
benefit) subject to user specified constraints, and based on user assigned and
weighted benefits for given funding levels across the FYDP. MCPCs and their
associated data are pulled from PBDD into a specifically formatted Excel file, which
is then uploaded to Baseline Database via the Import/Export Utility accessed from
the File menu on PLOT’s main screen. MCPC information pulled from PBDD and
stored in Baseline Database is considered to be the default/truth. The user may
change the default values in Baseline Database if necessary, but should seek
approval from PA&E decision makers before doing so. Scenario Manager is the
component of PLOT that allows users to explore and create alternative POMs
(Warfighting PEB only for PLOT Version 1.0). In Scenario Manager, users may
freely create alternatives by changing MCPC data. Changes can be made to MCPC
benefit assignments and funding across the FYDP (by appropriation or as a whole).

Benefit – a criteria used to evaluate the relative value of an MCPC. Benefits can include
items such as guidance (CMC, DON, QDR, etc.), Warfighting/Battlespace function
(Fires, Maneuver, C2, Force Protection, Intelligence, and Logistics), Gaps, JCA’s, or
any other benefit the user wishes to create. Once a benefit has been created, the
user must select each MCPC that matches the benefit. In Baseline Database,
benefits can be added, removed, categorized, assigned (by MCPC), and given a
default weight. In Scenario Manager, benefits may be re-weighted, altered, and
adjusted to reflect and solve various “what-if” scenarios.

Category – A label used to group related benefits together.

Funding Line – The lowest level of funding information. A MCPC may have any number
of funding lines. A single funding line specifies which appropriation and PE the
funding is for, and how much money is requested in each of the POM years (and
how much was funded in the 2 years prior to the POM).

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2. GETTING STARTED

2.1 LOADING PLOT


PLOT was developed using Microsoft Visual Basic 2005. The following steps will
facilitate loading PLOT onto the user's computer:

1. Close ALL applications.


2. Insert the PLOT installation CD.
3. Browse the CD to find SETUP.EXE and open the file. This setup program will guide the
user through the setup process. It creates a new directory C:\Program Files\PLOT (the
user can change this during the setup process) and the following sub-directories:
C:\Program Files\PLOT\data_backup, C:\Program Files\PLOT\errorDBs, C:\Program
Files\PLOT\logfiles, and C:\Program Files\PLOT\Resources. PLOT.EXE, is copied to the
C:\Program Files\PLOT directory. Other various support files are copied to the user’s
???C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory (C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32 for NT users).
4. Installation is complete.

2.2 PLOT ENVIRONMENT


PLOT is Microsoft Windows based software that shares many of the same attributes
found in typical Windows applications. Windows displayed by PLOT contains minimizing and
maximizing buttons located in the upper right corner. A menu bar or toolstrip across the top of
the screen allows the user to select various commands. If necessary, a status bar at the bottom
of the window reports on the status of PLOT as it executes commands. Vertical and horizontal
scroll bars appear as necessary.

PLOT windows are modal dialogs. This means that only one window within PLOT can
be active at a time and a user cannot switch between two open windows without closing the
active window.

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3. PLOT START-UP SCREEN


When PLOT is opened, a window will appear. Figure 3-1 shows the initial PLOT window
with the About PLOT splash screen. The splash screen will disappear a few seconds after
PLOT is loaded. Pressing the <Space> bar or <Enter> key or clicking the OK button will remove
the splash screen immediately.

Figure 3 - 1 INITIAL PLOT WINDOW MENU WITH SPLASH SCREEN

A few seconds after the About PLOT splash screen disappears, a PLOT Dialog Box,
Figure 3-2, appears that allows the user quick access to the Active Database. This window
specifies the date of the last PBDD Import as well as the last Benefit Import. From the main
PLOT window, the user may view and edit the Baseline Database by clicking the Manage
Baseline button, or the user may go directly into the Scenario Manager feature by clicking on
the Manage Scenarios button.

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Figure 3 - 2 PLOT START DIALOG BOX

The Manage Baseline and Manage Scenarios buttons are color coded red and yellow,
respectively. Once the user enters either of these features (by mouse click), all dialog box
borders within the feature will maintain a consistent color of red or yellow (depending on which
feature the user has entered) to visually help the user remember if he/she is working in the
Baseline Database or Scenario Database.

3.1 FILE MENU

File has the following menu options:

• Select Database allows the user to browse through the computer’s directory
structure and choose any previously Baseline Database (this will be a Microsoft
Access file, and will have the “.mdb” file extension).

• Load Backup Database allows the user to load a previous database that was
backed up during the import process. To preserve the integrity of the data in that
database, the database will not be directly loaded, but a copy of the database will be
made and loaded into PLOT. A dialog box will prompt the user to specify where and
what to name the backup database copy. Backup databases are located in
C:\Program Files\PLOT\data_backup\.

• Create Blank Database allows the user to start fresh with a blank database that can
be filled with MCPC data and benefit information. When this option is selected the
following window (Figure 3-3) will open prompting the user to name the blank
database and allowing them to browse to a location where they would like to save
this blank database.

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Figure 3 - 3 CREATE A BLANK DATABASE WINDOW

Once the user has named the database and selected its location he/she should click
the Save button. A new window will open immediately asking the user if he/she
would like to begin importing to this newly created database right away (Figure 3-4).

Figure 3 - 4 IMPORT FROM PBDD AUTOPROMPT WINDOW

By selecting Yes, the MCPC / Benefit Import window will open (see Section
3.1.1 for information on how to use this window). If the user instead selects No, the
main PLOT screen will appear again. The user may navigate to the MCPC / Benefit
Import window from the File menu.

• Import Data opens an MCPC / Benefit Import window, Figure 3-5, which allows the
user to import MCPC data, or benefit data, or both. The user may browse through
the computer’s directory structure and choose any Excel file containing formatted
PBDD (MCPC) data for importing, or any Excel file containing formatted benefit data,
or the user may choose to perform both operations at once.

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• View Import Log allows the user to see log files from previous PBDD or benefit
imports that will document any changes to the Baseline Database during import.
Log files are located in C:\Program Files\PLOT\logfiles\

• Exit will close PLOT.

3.1.1 MCPC / BENEFIT IMPORT


When the user selects Import Data from the PLOT File menu, the MCPC / Benefit
Import window appears, Figure 3-5.

Figure 3 - 5 MCPC / BENEFIT IMPORT WINDOW

MCPC Import Control and Benefit Import Control allow the user to browse the
computer’s directory structure and select an Excel file to import into the active database. The
user should ensure the appropriate worksheet (the one containing the data to be imported) within
the workbook is selected. In order to avoid confusion, it is recommended that when the Excel
file is created the user deletes all other worksheets in the workbook. MCPC Import Control
expects an Excel file containing a formatted PBDD data pull, while Benefit Import Control
expects an Excel file containing formatted MCPC benefit data. Specific formatting requirements
are discussed in section 3.1.2.

The Import Control drop down menu gives the user several options for how to import
the selected data: NO IMPORT, IMPORT, MERGE, and UPDATE.

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• NO IMPORT should be selected when the user does not wish to import any new
data. For example if the user doesn’t want to alter PBDD information when doing a
benefit import, he/she should select NO IMPORT for the PBDD Import Control drop
down.

• IMPORT should be selected when the user wants the Baseline Database to contain
only those MCPCs listed in the Excel file being imported (presumed to be the most
recent PBDD or benefit data). This option will delete any MCPCs or benefits
currently in the active Baseline Database that are not present in the import file.
IMPORT is the default option for PBDD Import Control because it will keep the
Baseline Database consistent with the PBDD information.

• MERGE should only be selected if the user wishes to add import MCPCs or benefits
not already listed in the Baseline Database. MERGE will update any discrepancies
between the import file and the Baseline Database as far as updated funding
information or benefit scores, but it will not delete any MCPCs or benefits from the
Baseline Database. MERGE is listed as the default option of Benefit Import
Control because it is likely that the user will most often just need to add to the list of
benefits already available.

• UPDATE allows the user to update MCPCs and benefits information already in the
Baseline Database. Any new MCPCs or benefit categories in the import files will be
ignored.

The user may also choose to empty the entire active Baseline Database of all
information (MCPCs and benefits) before importing by checking the boxes that say “Delete
MCPCs Before Import” and “Delete Benefits Before Import” (see Figure 3-6 below). All data
in the active Baseline Database will be deleted, and then replaced with the imported data;
however, before this happens the Baseline Database can be backed up by checking the box
“Backup Database Before Import” (see Figure 3-6). This box is selected as a default. If the
user does not wish to backup the Baseline Database then he/she should deselect the checkbox
that says “Backup Database Before Import.” Backup databases are located in
C:\Program Files\PLOT\data_backup\.

Lastly, the user has the option to view a log of changes made to the active Baseline
Database after import. To view this log automatically, the user may check the box that says
“Show Log After Import” (see Figure 3-6). If the user wishes to open the log manually, he/she
may select “View Import Log” from the File menu of the main PLOT screen (after the import is
complete). A log file will be created for every import.

Once the user has clicked “OK,” the Status bar at the bottom of the MCPC / Benefit
Import window (see Figure 3-6) tracks the progress of the import (by MCPC funding row
imported or benefit row imported). For a MCPC input the Status bar will complete twice, first
importing MCPC information, then funding information. For a Benefit input, the Status bar will
complete once. Therefore, if both MCPCs and Benefits are imported the Status bar will complete
three times.

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Figure 3 - 6 MCPC / BENEFIT IMPORT WINDOW

In the above figure there is a box that says “PBDD Data Start Row” with the default
value set to “3.” This tells the import tool where the PBDD information begins within the
worksheet being imported. This number should never be changed unless the format of the
PBDD import file is changed (which is not currently anticipated).

Once data import is complete, the main PLOT screen will appear and the user may then
choose to either review the Baseline Database by clicking the Manage Baseline button, or they
may immediately begin creating and managing scenarios by clicking the Manage Scenarios
button. For further information on Manage Baseline and its functions see Section 4. For further
information on Manage Scenarios see Section 5.

3.1.2 EXCEL FILE FORMATTING FOR MCPC / BENEFIT IMPORT


In order for PLOT to import MCPC data and benefits properly, the user must only import
specifically formatted EXCEL files. PBDD Import Control expects an EXCEL file in the following
format (see Figure 3-7)

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Figure 3 - 7 FORMATTED EXCEL FILE FOR PBDD IMPORT CONTROL


(LEFT)

Data pulled from PBDD should be formatted in EXCEL exactly as shown here. Data
begins in Row-1, Column-A with the header “MCPC.” Row 1 should have headers for all data
columns. Data columns should be placed in this specific order: MCPC, MCPC Title, MCPC
Definition, Appropriation, Appropriation Title, PEB, PEB Title, WAR-FSG, PE, PE Title, Area, Area
Title, Mission Area, Mission Area Title, Title 10, and Title 10 Title, followed by 8 columns of
funding (see Figure 3-8).

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Figure 3 - 8 FORMATTED EXCEL FILE FOR PBDD IMPORT CONTROL


(RIGHT)

Data for each of these columns should begin in Row-3; Row-2 should be left blank.
Figure 3-9 shows the formatting for the Benefit Import Control file. PLOT will read in benefit
category names starting in Row-1, Column-C and will continue to read until it comes to a blank
cell. Underneath each benefit category name is a category description (Row-2). Row-3 is
reserved for the benefit names, and Row-4 is for benefit descriptions. Row-5 contains a default
benefit weight. MCPCs are listed by number and title in Columns-A and B, respectively
beginning in Row-7. The user may change any of the information located in this file (e.g., add or
remove a benefit, or change the scores for a particular MCPC), but must not change the format,
otherwise, PLOT will not import the benefit data correctly. If an MCPC contributes to a particular
benefit the user should put the number “1” in that benefit column for the MCPC. If it does not
contribute to the benefit, the cell can be left blank. Do not enter any number other than 1. It is
recommended for PLOT Version 1.0, that the user imports no more than 100 benefits (located in
Row-3) as this will result in a slow operation speed of PLOT.

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Figure 3 - 9 FORMATTED EXCEL FILE FOR BENEFIT IMPORT CONTROL

3.2 SOLUTION TOOLS MENU

The Solution Tools menu has the option Compare Solutions, which allows the user to
compare multiple alternatives (solutions) in an exported Excel file containing automatically
generated graphs and data tables. When the user selects Compare Solutions from the
Solution Tools menu in the main PLOT window, the following window will be displayed.

Figure 3 - 10 COMPARE SOLUTIONS WINDOW

The user should click OK, after which, a standard Save As window will appear prompting
the user to name and save the newly created file to the location of his/her choice (Figure 3-11).

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Figure 3 - 11 SAVE AS WINDOW FOR COMPARE SOLUTIONS

After clicking Save, the solution comparison file will open with a Compare Solution
window that allows the user to add the files to be compared (Figure 3-12).

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Figure 3 - 12 COMPARE SOLUTIONS WINDOW

When the user clicks the Add button, the Scenario Select window will appear (Figure 3-
13), and the user will be able to select Excel files that contain a solution that has been exported
from PLOT (see Section 6 – Exporting Data). The user can add multiple solution files by holding
down the Ctrl key and clicking on each of the files he/she wishes to compare.

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Figure 3 - 13 SCENARIO SELECT WINDOW

The names of the selected solution files will be shown in the Compare Solutions
window (Figure 3-14). If necessary, a solution file can be removed by selecting the file in the
Compare Solutions window and clicking the Remove button.

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Figure 3 - 14 COMPARE SOLUTIONS WINDOW

When the user is ready to compare the selected solutions he/she should click the OK
button. The output file will be generated with graphs and their corresponding data tables. Note
that generating the solution comparison may take a few seconds as the built-in macros generate
the worksheets.

The Cancel button will close the Compare Solutions window without comparing
solutions.

Below is a picture of what the compare solutions file will look like (using sample data)
once the built-in macros are finished running (Figure 3-15).

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Figure 3 - 15 COMPARE SOLUTIONS FILE

The solution comparison workbook generated will have twelve worksheets; each of them
is briefly explained here:

• COA - A line graph showing the total obligated spending allocated to programs by
year
• Appropriation Chart # - A series of line graphs showing the spending allocated to
different funding lines by year
• Benefit Chart # - A series of line graphs showing the spending allocated to different
benefits by year
• By Year Funding Data Tables – Source data for building the spending line graphs
• Appropriation Funding Chart – A bar chart showing the total spending, over all
years, allocated to each type of appropriation by scenario
• % MCPCs Funded by Appr. Chart – A bar chart showing the fraction of MCPCs
funded supporting a funding line out of all MCPCs that support that funding line by
scenario
• By Year Summary Data Tables - Source data for building the appropriation bar
graphs
• Benefit Funding Chart - A bar chart showing total funding, over all years, allocated
to each benefit by scenario
• % MCPCs funded by Benefit Chart - A bar chart showing the fraction of MCPCs
funded supporting a benefit out of all MCPCs that support that funding line by
scenario
• Benefit Summary Data Tables - Source data for building the benefit bar graphs
• Benefits – A table with the benefit associated to each MCPC by scenario

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• Results – A table with summary information about how each MCPC played in each
scenario: times in or out, times funding slid, times it was a “must fund”, times it was a
“do not fund”

3.3 HELP MENU

Help has the following menu options:

• PLOT Help File will open this User’s Guide.

• View Error Log allows the user to view error messages that may have been
generated while using PLOT. This feature can be used to aid PLOT developers in
isolating errors.

• About PLOT will open up the splash screen shown in Figure 3-1.

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4-1

4. MANAGE BASELINE
When the Manage Baseline button is selected from the main PLOT screen, a new
window is opened called Manage Baseline Database. Figure 4-1 shows an example of the left-
half of this window, while Figure 4-2 shows the right half (because there may be many more
fields than can be displayed on one screen, the image has been broken up here for readability).
Note that the actual data displayed will vary from baseline database to baseline database.

Figure 4 - 1 MANAGE BASELINE DATABASE WINDOW (LEFT

Figure 4 - 2 MANAGE BASELINE DATABASE WINDOW (RIGHT)

The columns show the data fields and corresponding data, by MCPC, found in the
baseline database (Section 4.1), while the buttons at the very top of the form control the
functionality of the Manage Baseline environment (Sections 4.2 – 4.9).

4.1 DATA COLUMN DESCRIPTIONS

The data fields, represented in column form, show all of the imported data (MCPCs and
their funding data, and benefits) and a few additional columns generated by PLOT. This data
can be sorted on any column simply by clicking the column title (click multiple times to toggle
between ascending and descending order). All column data may be edited or modified as
desired through the Manage Baseline functions discussed in the remaining sections (Section 4.2
– 4.9). Additionally, the benefit data can be edited directly in this window. Below is a standard
list of column data (from left to right):

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1. MCPC: The unique Marine Corps Program Code ID


2. Title: Short Description of Marine Corps Program Code
3. Definition: A more detailed description of the MCPC
4. PEB: Identifies which of the six Program Evaluation Boards is responsible for that MCPC
5. FSG: Identifies which Functional Subgroup the MCPC falls under
6. Areas: Marine Corps Program label to help categorize the MCPC
7. Mission Areas: Marine Corps Program label to help categorize the MCPC
8. Title 10: Identifies where, under Title 10, the MCPC falls

(Items 1-8 are obtained from the PBDD import file, while items 9-14 are generated in PLOT)

9. New Start: A check indicates that the MCPC is a new start. Currently this field is only
displayed and not used by PLOT to make any decisions.
10. Updated: A check identifies any MCPC that was in the old database that got updated with
new data (e.g., funding or benefit score) during the last PLOT data import.
11. New MCPC: A check identifies the MCPC as new to the database (since the last PLOT data
import).
12. Default Funding State: Identifies whether the MCPC can COMPETE for funding, is a MUST
FUND, or is a DO NOT FUND by default when creating Scenarios.
13. Notes: Any pertinent facts about that MCPC as relates to the import (such as the MCPC is
new to the database or, for example, a new appropriation funding line has been added to an
existing MCPC during the last data import).
14. Benefits: One column per benefit (as set up in the import file – see Figure 3-9). In the
example above (Figure 4-2) there are six Battlespace functions shown along with
Commandant’s Planning Guidance.

4.2 ADD MCPC

When the user selects the ADD MCPC button from the top of the Manage Baseline
window, the ADD MCPC window appears, Figure 4-3. This window allows the user to create a
new MCPC and add it to the Baseline database. The new MCPC will also be added to all
scenarios in the database. This action will invalidate all scenario solutions associated with the
active database since they would have been calculated without considering this new MCPC;
however this will not delete any exported solution files.

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Figure 4 - 3 ADD MCPC WINDOW (SUMMARY TAB)

From the Add MCPC window Summary tab, the user can enter information describing
the MCPC such as its Title, FSG, Definition, etc. By default the new MCPC will have New Start
checked, although the user may uncheck this if desired. Declaring a program as a New Start
does not change the way it is handled by PLOT in any way; it is just a way for the user to keep
track of new programs. The new MCPC is added by clicking the Save MCPC button at the top of
the window. Upon doing so, a warning window will appear informing the user that this action will
erase all scenario solutions, and asking if he/she wants to continue (Figure 4-4).

Figure 4 - 4 PLOT WARNING WINDOW FOR ADD MCPC

The Cancel button allows the user to cancel the addition of the new MCPC and return to
the Manage Baseline window; no scenarios will be deleted.

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Figure 4 - 5 ADD MCPC WINDOW (BENEFITS TAB)

In the Add MCPC window Benefits tab (Figure 4-5), the user can assign benefits to the
new MCPC as desired by clicking in any benefit box. Only benefits already in the Baseline
Database are shown here. To add a benefit, the user must use the Manage Benefits function
(see Section 4.7.). By default, PLOT assumes that the MCPC has no benefits.

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Figure 4 - 6 ADD MCPC WINDOW (FUNDING TAB)

In the Add MCPC window Funding tab (Figure 4-6), the user can add and edit funding
information for the new MCPC, set its default funding state, and set whether or not a funding line
will be able to slide. For a more detailed description of how funding may be altered,within the
Add MCPC window see Section 4.3.1. This functionality is operated the same under Add MCPC
and Edit MCPC.

4.3 EDIT MCPC

When the user selects a single MCPC in the Manage Baseline window and clicks on the
Edit MCPC button, the Edit MCPC window appears, Figure 4-7. The user can use this window
to edit summary, benefit, and funding information for the selected MCPC (The MCPC identifier
may not be edited). Note that the Edit MCPC window looks almost exactly the same as the Add
MCPC window. All updates to this MCPC’s Summary, Benefit, or Funding information are saved
by clicking the Update MCPC button on the top of the window. Cancel returns the user to the
Manage Baseline window without saving any changes to the MCPC.

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Figure 4 - 7 EDIT MCPC WINDOW (SUMMARY TAB)

From the Summary tab, the user can modify information describing the MCPC such as
its Title, FSG, Definition, etc. as in the Add MCPC window.

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Figure 4 - 8 EDIT MCPC WINDOW (BENEFITS TAB)

In the benefits tab, the user can modify which benefits the MCPC has.

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Figure 4 - 9 EDIT MCPC WINDOW (FUNDING TAB)

In the funding tab, the user can alter the funding information for the MCPC in a number of
ways.

4.3.1 ALTERING FUNDING


There are several functions for altering funding within the Funding tabs of the Add / Edit
MCPC Details windows (Figure 4-6 and Figure 4-9). The user may Add a Funding Line,
Remove a Funding Line, or Change Funding (Slide Funding, Increase Funding, Decrease
Funding, or Compress Funding). Additionally, the user can view the total requested funding for
all funding lines.

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Figure 4 - 10 EDIT MCPC DETAILS WINDOW (ADD FUNDING LINE)

To add a funding line, the user will click on the Add Funding Line button. This will
display a list of appropriations, and within the appropriation, a list of PEs. By clicking on one of
the PEs, a funding line corresponding to the appropriation/PE pair will be added to the MCPC’s
requested funding. In Figure 4 - 10 a funding line for the PANMC appropriation / Marine Corps
Landing Force Technology PE will be added.

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Figure 4 - 11 EDIT MCPC DETAILS WINDOW (REMOVING FUNDING LINE)

Similarly to adding a funding line, the user can remove a funding line by clicking on the
Remove Funding Line button, navigating to an appropriation, and clicking on a PE name. The
funding line corresponding to this appropriation/PE pairing will be removed. In Figure 4-11 the
funding line corresponding to the PANMC appropriation and Training (Marine) PE will be
removed.

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Figure 4 - 12 EDIT MCPC DETAILS (CHANGE FUNDING)

Clicking on the Change Funding button reveals 4 options for altering the funding request
within a specific funding line. The options are Slide Funding, Increase Funding, Decrease
Funding, and Compress Funding.

Figure 4 - 13 SLIDE DETAILS WINDOW

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To slide funding for a funding line:

1. Select the funding line you wish to slide. This is done by clicking on the row header for that
funding line (a small black arrow will appear in the row header, and the entire row will be
highlighted).
2. Click on Change Funding and then again on Slide Funding (a new window will open
(Figure 4-13)
3. Select the number of years you wish to slide the funding line
4. Select whether you wish to slide the funding line earlier, or later. Note that sliding a funding
line later 1 year will cause $0 to be requested by that funding line in the first year of the POM.
Similarly sliding a funding line 1 year earlier will cause $0 to be requested by that funding line
in the last year of the POM
5. Click OK

Figure 4 - 14 INCREASE FUNDING BY FIXED AMOUNT WINDOW

To increase funding in a funding line:

6. Select the cell(s) in which increased funding is desired


7. Click on Change Funding and then again on Increase Funding (a new window will open
(Figure 4-14)
8. Select whether you would like to increase funding by a Fixed Amount or by a Percentage
by selecting the appropriate radio button
9. Enter the dollar amount or the percentage you wish to increase funding
10. Click OK

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Figure 4 - 15 INCREASE FUNDING BY PERCENTAGE WINDOW

Figure 4 - 16 DECREASE FUNDING BY FIXED AMOUNT WINDOW

To decrease funding in a funding line:

1. Select the cell(s) in which decreased funding is desired


2. Click on Change Funding and then again on Decrease Funding (a new window will open
(Figure 4-16)
3. Select whether you would like to decrease funding by a Fixed Amount or by a Percentage
by selecting the appropriate radio button
4. Enter the dollar amount or the percentage you wish to decrease funding
5. Click OK

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Figure 4 - 17 DECREASE FUNDING BY PERCENTAGE WINDOW

Note that because you can only decrease a dollar amount between 0% and 100%, a
sliding bar is used to input the decrease amount if the Percentage option is selected.

Upon clicking OK, in the Slide Funding, Increase Funding, Decrease Funding, or
Compress Funding window, that window will close, taking the user back to the Add/Edit MCPC
Details window.

Figure 4 - 18 PLOT SLIDE FUNDING WARNING WINDOW

Figure 4 - 19 COMPRESS FUNDING WINDOW

To compress funding in a funding line:

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1. Select the cell(s) that you would like to compress. Note, at least two cells must be
selected, and these cells must be within the same funding line.
2. Click on Change Funding and then again on Compress Funding (a new window will
open (Figure 4-19)
3. Depending on the number of cells that were selected, you will be allowed to select how
many years to compress into. Select the number of years. Note that you must compress
into less years than were selected. For example, if four years were selected, you could
compress this four years worth of funding into three, two, or 1 years. If you selected to
compress into 2 years, the third and fourth year of funding selected would be totaled and
then split evenly between the first two years.
4. Click OK

Figure 4 - 20 FUNDING TOTALS WINDOW (BASELINE)

Clicking on the Display Totals button will display the total requested money for all
funding lines within that MCPC.

4.4 VIEW MCPC DETAILS

When the user double-clicks within an MCPC row in the Manage Baseline window the
View MCPC Details window will be displayed (Figure 4 – 21). This window displays the same
information as the Edit MCPC window, but is read only.

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Figure 4 - 21 VIEW MCPC DETAILS (SUMMARY TAB)

Figure 4 - 22 VIEW MCPC DETAILS WINDOW (BENEFITS TAB)

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Figure 4 - 23 VIEW MCPC DETAILS WINDOW (FUNDING TAB)

4.5 FIND MCPC

Clicking on Find MCPC will open a window (Figure 4 -24) that allows the user to type in a
word or phrase for PLOT to search by within the MCPC, Title, and Definition columns—the first
three data columns. The user may select to perform the search by matching case and/or by
whole words only simply by clicking in the appropriate box. Clicking the Find Next button will all
the user to toggle through each of the data fields containing the search term typed in the Find
What entry field.

Figure 4 - 24 FIND MCPC WINDOW

4.6 DELETE MCPC

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If a user has highlighted one or more MCPCs in the Manage Baseline window and clicks
on the Delete MCPC button, that MCPC will be removed from the baseline and all scenarios
permanently. This will invalidate any scenario solutions associated with the active Baseline
Database, therefore PLOT will prompt the user with a warning that all scenario solutions will be
erased. Two windows will be displayed warning the user of this and giving them a chance to
cancel the delete (Figure 4-25 and Figure 4-26).

Figure 4 - 25 PLOT DELETE MCPC WARNING

Figure 4 - 26 PLOT DELETE MCPC AND SCENARIO SOLUTIONS WARNING

4.7 MANAGE BENEFITS

Clicking on the Manage Benefits button will load the Manage Categories and Benefits
window, Figure 4 -27.

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Figure 4 - 27 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW

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Figure 4 - 28 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (BENEFITS


HIERARCHY)

From this window, the user can add/edit and delete categories and benefits. Initially, a
hierarchical view of all categories and benefits are displayed. In Figure 4-28 the category
“Battlespace Functions ” has six benefits: C2, Fires, Force Protection, Intelligence, Logistics
Maneuver. This window also has a column named Description that displays the description for
the corresponding category or benefit. The Default Weight column displays the weight that will
be used for the corresponding benefit within a newly generated scenario. This weight can be
changed within the scenario, (Section 5-7) but will initially be the value displayed here.

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Figure 4 - 29 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (ADD


CATEGORY)

To add a category
1. click on the Categories button and then on Add Category. A new panel will be
displayed within the Manage Categories and Benefits window.
2. Enter a name and description for the category. (The category name is a required
field.)
3. Click Add.

The user may also edit an already existing category by double-clicking on the category in
the benefits hierarchy display or by clicking on the Categories button, then clicking on Edit
Category and finally clicking on a specific category name.

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Figure 4 - 30 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (SELECT


CATEGORY FOR EDIT)

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Figure 4 - 31 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (EDIT


CATEGORY)

Once a category is chosen for edit, a new panel will be displayed within the Manage
Categories and Benefits window (Figure 4-31). The user can modify the category name as well
as the category description. Changes made within this panel can be saved by clicking the
Update button. Clicking Cancel will cancel all changes and return the user to the benefit
hierarchy view.

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Figure 4 - 32 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (SELECT


CATEGORY FOR DELETE)

To delete a category, the user will click on the Categories button, then click on Delete
Category and finally click on a specific category name. This will load the Delete Category panel
within the Manage Categories and Benefits window.

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Figure 4 - 33 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS (DELETE CATEGORY)

The Delete Category panel will display the category name and description. To delete
the category, the user will click Delete. To return to the benefit hierarchy view without deleting
the category, the user will click Cancel.

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Figure 4 - 34 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS (ADD BENEFIT)

To add a benefit
1. click on the Benefits button and then on Add Benefit. A new panel will be
displayed within the Manage Categories and Benefits window.
2. Enter a name for the benefit. (The category name is a required field.)
3. Choose a category for the benefit (or New.. to create a new category)
4. Enter a description for the benefit.
5. Enter a default weight for the benefit. This is the weight that will be assumed
when a new scenario is created (Section 5.7)
6. Click Add

Clicking Cancel will return the user to the benefit hierarchy view without adding the new
benefit.

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Figure 4 - 35 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS WINDOW (SELECT


BENEFIT FOR EDIT)

Once a benefit is chosen for edit, a new panel will be displayed within the Manage
Categories and Benefits window (Figure 4-35). The user can modify the benefit name,
description, and default weight, and even change the category the benefit is in. Changes made
within this panel can be saved by clicking the Update button. Clicking Cancel will cancel all
changes and return the user to the benefit hierarchy view.

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Figure 4 - 36 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS (EDIT BENEFIT)

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Figure 4 - 37 MANAGE CATEGORIES AND BENEFITS (DELETE BENEFIT)

To delete a benefit, the user will click on the Benefits button, then click on Delete
Benefit, then click on the category that contains the benefit and finally click on the benefit name.
This will load the Delete Benefit panel within the Manage Categories and Benefits window.

The Delete Benefit panel will display the category name and description. To delete the
benefit, the user will click Delete. To return to the benefit hierarchy view without deleting the
benefit, the user will click Cancel.

4.8 ASSIGN BENEFITS

When the user clicks the Assign Benefits button, the Assign MCPCs To Benefit
window is displayed, Figure 4-38.

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Figure 4 - 38 ASSIGN MCPCs TO BENEFIT WINDOW

The user can use this form to search for MCPCs meeting a set of criteria and assign or
un-assign benefits to those MCPCs either one-at-a-time or en masse. Clicking on the white box
next to the Word Search label will bring up a window with a more detailed explanation of the
word search feature.

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To assign or un-assign a benefit to a group of MCPCs the user must first select a benefit
in the Select Benefit dropdown box. Next the user may specify a word search, category search
and or funding search. To specify a word search the user will enter text into the Input Words to
Search textbox as well as choose to search the MCPC title and or definition. To specify a
category search the user must specify one or more of the drop down boxes under the Heading
Category Search. To Search on a specific funding appropriation the user must specify the
appropriation they wish to search on from the dropdown box Has Appropriation Type.

Clicking Search for MCPC will fill the panel at the bottom of the window with a set of
MCPCs that satisfy the word search, category search and the funding search.

By clicking the checkboxes in the left-most column the user can choose whether the
MCPC meets the selected benefit (Select all and clear all button are also provided.)

The Close button will close the window without accepting the changes made to the
MCPCs in the panel at the bottom of the window.

The Update button will save changes and allow the user to perform another search.

The Done button will allow the user to save changes and automatically close the window

Figure 4 - 39 DELETE ALL SOLUTIONS WARNING WINDOW

4.9 EXPORT BENEFITS

When the user clicks the Export Benefits button, a standard Windows Save As dialog is
displayed. All benefit information in the Baseline database will be exported to the specified file.

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Figure 4 - 40 EXPORT BENEFIT DATA WINDOW

4.10 CLOSE

Clicking the Close button will close the Manage Baseline window and return the user to
the main PLOT window.

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5. SCENARIO MANAGER
Manage scenarios is where the bulk of the analyst’s work will be completed. Through the
scenario manager the analyst can see how see how various factors could effect the overall
solution. Scenario Manager can be opened by clicking the yellow button that says “Manage
Scenarios” from the main PLOT window (see Figure 3-2). Doing this will open the following
window.

Figure 5 - 1 SCENARIO MANAGER WINDOW (INITIAL)

The Scenario Manager is formatted much the same as the Baseline Database in that
the data fields, represented in column form, show all of the imported data (MCPCs and their
funding data, and benefits) and a few additional columns generated by PLOT. See Section 4.1
for a more detailed description of the column data. Figure 5-1 is what the screen will look like if a
scenario does not already exist for the active database (e.g., the user has not created one yet);
there is no data shown. Once a scenario is created (see Section 5.1), the scenario data will
appear in this window (Figure 5 - 2). The following sections describe the functionality of the
Scenario Manager

5.1 CREATE NEW SCENARIO

To create a new scenario click Create New Scenario at the top of the Scenario
Manager window (Figure 5-1). A new window will be opened that allows the user to name the
scenario, give it a description, and adjust the scenario funding (Figure 5-2). The new scenario
screen also displays the number of MCPCs that will be in the scenario only the Display

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Requested Totals button will be enabled. Likewise, if there is no selected scenario then neither
button will be enabled.

Figure 5 - 2 SCENARIO MANAGER WINDOW (INITIAL)

Follow the steps below to complete the creation of the scenario:

1. Enter a name for the new scenario. (Scenario names can only include letters, numbers and
spaces)
2. Optionally enter a description of the scenario
3. If desired, alter the funding for any or all of the fiscal years in the scenario.
4. Click OK

This window will close and the Scenario Manager window will populate with default data
from the baseline (Figure 5-3). At this point the user may choose to Solve the scenario right
away (see Section 5.11) to get a baseline solution, or continue navigating the Scenario Manager
functions until the scenario is set up the way he/she wants it.

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Figure 5 - 3 SCENARIO MANAGER WINDOW (POPULATED)

Scenario Manager displays the current scenario name (“EXAMPLE” in the above figure)
in the top left of the window. It also indicates whether the scenario is Solved or Unsolved. At the
top left of the Scenario Manager window, there are two buttons called Display Requested
Totals, and Display Solution Totals. If the scenario is unsolved Display Solution Totals is
disabled.

Figure 5 - 4 DISPLAY SCENARIO FUNDING TOTALS (REQUESTED)

The Display Scenario Funding Window displays a summation of the requested


funding from each MCPC in the scenario. From this screen the user can select and copy the
contents of the cells by highlighting the cells and then clicking the Copy Selection To Clipboard
button.

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Figure 5 - 5 DISPLAY SCENARIO FUNDING TOTALS (SOLUTION)

The Display Scenario Funding Totals Window displays a summation of the solution
funding. These totals take into account MCPCs that were cut or had their funding slid by the
solver. From this screen the user can select and copy the contents of the cells by highlighting the
cells and then clicking the Copy Selection To Clipboard button.

5.1.1 ALTERING FUNDING


There are several functions for altering funding within the Create a New Scenario
window (Figure 5-2). The user may Increase Funding, Decrease Funding, Reset Selected
Funding Years, or Reset All Funding Years. The button Reset Selected Funding Years
allows the user to restore default funding to the scenario by selecting the cell(s) that he/she
wants to reset and then clicking the button. Clicking Reset All Funding Years will restore
default values to all scenario funding.

To increase funding in the scenario:

11. Select the cell(s) in which increased funding is desired


12. Click the Increase Funding button above the scenario funding row (a new window will open
(Figure 5-4)
13. Select whether you would like to increase funding by a Fixed Amount or by a Percentage
by selecting the appropriate radio button
14. Enter the dollar amount or the percentage you wish to increase funding
15. Click OK

Figure 5 - 6 INCREASE FUNDING WINDOW

Upon clicking OK, this window will close, taking you back to the Create A New Scenario
window. Note that the funding increase has been applied to the highlighted cells in the Scenario

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Funding row. The Scenario Funding is now greater than the Default Funding (or baseline
funding).

To decrease funding in the scenario:

5. Select the cell(s) in which decreased funding is desired


6. Click the Decrease Funding button above the scenario funding row (a new window will
open (Figure 5-7)
7. Select whether you would like to decrease funding by a Fixed Amount or by a
Percentage by selecting the appropriate radio button
8. Enter the dollar amount or the percentage you wish to decrease funding
9. Click OK

Figure 5 - 7 DECREASE FUNDING WINDOW

Upon clicking OK, this window will close, taking you back to the Create A New Scenario
window. Note that the funding decrease has been applied in the same manner as in the increase
funding example above.

5.2 SELECT EXISTING SCENARIO

The SELECT EXISTING SCENARIO button, found at the top of the Scenario Manager
window, allows the user to select and work in a scenario that has already been created.

To select an existing scenario:

1. Click the Select Existing Scenario Button at the top the window
2. Next select the scenario of your choice from the dropdown list

5.3 COPY EXISTING SCENARIO

This feature allows the user to create a copy of an existing scenario in order to build on
work already done.

To copy an existing Scenario:

1. Click the Copy Existing Scenario button at the top of the Scenario Manager window
2. Select the scenario that you wish to copy from the dropdown list
3. A new window is opened (Figure 5-8). Type the name of the new scenario you are creating
(Only letters, numbers, and spaces are allowed)

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Figure 5 - 8 COPY EXISTING SCENARIO WINDOW

Clicking OK will create an exact copy of the selected scenario and automatically load that
scenario into the Scenario Manager Window.

5.4 DELETE EXISTING SCENARIO

To delete an existing scenario:

1. Click the Delete Existing Scenario at the top of the Scenario Manager window
2. Select the scenario that you wish to delete from the dropdown list
3. A new window is opened (Figure 5-9). Confirm that you would like to delete the selected
scenario (permanently)

Figure 5 - 9 DELETE SCENARIO WINDOW

5.5 FIND MCPC

This feature allows the user to search for an MCPC in the current scenario. The user
has the option to search in the MCPC and Title.

In addition to searching the MCPC and Title the user also has the ability to perform a
case sensitive search and a search for only whole words. Pressing enter will find the next match
in the scenario manager

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5-7

Figure 5 - 10 FIND MCPC WINDOW

When the user double clicks an MCPC the Edit MCPC In Scenario Window is
displayed. The Summary tab of the Edit MCPC In Scenario Window is a read-only window that
allows the user to examine Specific data gathered about the MCPC at the time of import.

Figure 5 - 11 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO WINDOW (SUMMARY TAB)

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5-8

The Benefits tab of the Window displays Core as well as the Scenario Benefit
information. The Core benefit details are read only to let the user know what the original values
are in the core. The user can override the core values by entering values within the Scenario
Benefit details portion of the window. To reset the solution benefits for the MCPC back to their
original setting the user can click the Restore Baseline Benefits button under Scenario Benefit
Details.

Figure 5 - 12 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO (BENEFITS TAB)

The Funding tab of the window displays Core as well as the Scenario Funding
information. The Core funding details are read only to let the user know what the original values
are in the core. The user can override the core values by entering values within the Scenario
Funding details portion of the window.

For explanation of figures 5-13 to 5-26 see Section 4.3.1.

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5-9

Figure 5 - 13 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO (FUNDING TAB)

Figure 5 - 14 SCENARIO FUNDING TOTALS WINDOW (BASELINE


REQUEST)

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5-10

Figure 5 - 15 SCENARIO FUNDING TOTALS WINDOW (SCENARIO


REQUEST)

Figure 5 - 16 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO (ADD FUNDING


LINE)

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5-11

Figure 5 - 17 ADD FUNDING LINE WARNING

Figure 5 - 18 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO (FUNDING LINE ADDED TO


BASELINE)

5-11
5-12

Figure 5 - 19 EDIT MCPC IN SCENARIO (SELCT FUNDING LINE TO


RESTORE)

Figure 5 - 20 INCREASE FUNDING LINE WINDOW (SCENARIO FUNDING)

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5-13

Figure 5 - 21 SELECT FUNDING TO ALTER ERROR WINDOW

Figure 5 - 22 DECREASE FUNDING LINE WINDOW (SCENARIO FUNDING


FIXED)

Figure 5 - 23 DECREASE FUNDING LINE WINDOW (SCENARIO FUNDING


PERCENT)

Figure 5 - 24 SELECT FUNDING LINE TO SLIDE WARNINNG

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5-14

Figure 5 - 25 SLIDE DETAILS (SCENARIO)

Figure 5 - 26 COMPRESS FUNDING WINDOW (SCENARIO)

5.6 EDIT SCENARIO

This feature allows the user to edit the current scenario funding. To edit an existing
scenario, click the Edit Existing Scenario button. A new window is opened (Figure 5-27) that
works exactly like the window for creating a new scenario (see Section 5.1 for operating
procedures).

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5-15

Figure 5 - 27 EDIT EXISTING SCENARIO WINDOW

5.7 EDIT BENEFIT WEIGHTS

Edit Benefit Weights (Figure 5-28) is a feature that allows the user to edit the relative
importance of benefits in the current scenario. Changing benefit weights will change the benefit
function used by the solver.

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5-16

Figure 5 - 28 EDIT BENEFIT WEIGHTS

To edit the weighting of an individual benefit:

1. Click the Edit Benefit Weights button at the top of the Scenario Manager window
2. Adjust the benefit weight of the benefit by either using the slider bar or textbox
3. Changes will only take effect when the user clicks the OK button.

Note: Changing the benefit weights will invalidate the solution and erase the current solution
values. Valid values are numbers between 0 and 100. A value of zero essentially “removes”
as benefit from the scenario.

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5-17

Figure 5 - 29 EDIT BENEFIT WEIGHTS (HIDE/UNHIDE CATEGORIES)

Edit menu has the following options:

• Hide/Unhide Categories allows the user to filter the benefits that are visible on the
screen by checking or un-checking only the benefit categories that he/she wishes to
view.
o Zero All Benefit Weights and Set All Benefit Weights to Value only applies to
benefits in categories that are visible
• Zero All Benefit Weights will set all the visible benefit weights to zero
• Set All Benefit Weights to Value will set all the visible benefit weights to the value that
the user enters.
o All benefit weights must be between 0 and 100.

Note: The edit functionality is also available by right clicking in the main panel.

5.8 HIDING COLUMNS

By right clicking on the column titles, the user can choose to hide or display any column
(Figure 5-30).

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5-18

Figure 5 - 30 HIDING SCENARIO MANAGER COLUMNS

5.9 CHANGE MULTIPLE FUNDING STATES

For convenience of operation, the user may wish to change the funding state of more than
one MCPC at a time (Figure 5-31). To do this:

1. Highlight a number of MCPC rows by clicking to the left of the first column of each MCPC
2. Right click anywhere within the MCPC screen
3. Choose the desired funding state

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5-19

Figure 5 - 31 CHANGE FUNDING STATE FOR MULTIPLE MCPCs

5.10 EXPLORE SOLUTION

Immediately after a solution is generated, the Explore Solution window is presented


(Figure 5-32). It can also be displayed by clicking the Explore Solution button on the Scenario
Manager window. It has three tabs: Summary, Funding, and Selected.

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5-20

Figure 5 - 32 EXPLORE SOLUTION WINDOW (SUMMARY TAB)

5.10.1 SUMMARY
The Summary tab displays basic information about the solution including: number of
MPCPs that were “Must Funds,” “Do not funds,” etc.; amount of money available in a given year
within the solution; and amount of money allotted to MCPCs in a given year within the solution
(Figure 5-32).

5.10.2 FUNDING
The Funding tab displays the amount of money allocated to a given appropriation or
benefit. The information displayed can also be filtered by year. (Figure 5 - 33)

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5-21

Figure 5 - 33 EXPLORE SOLUTION WINDOW (FUNDING TAB)

5.10.3 SELECTED
The Selected tab allows the user to view the number of MCPCs in a solution that contain
a given appropriation or have a given benefit (Figure 5-34). Note that programs that are either
without benefit or without funding will not compete unless they are designated as “Must Fund”
programs. For a further discussion of the mathematics behind this please see the appendix.

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5-22

Figure 5 - 34 EXPLORE SOLUTION WINDOW (SELECTED TAB)

5.11 SOLVE

To solve the current scenario:

1. Click the Solve button at the top of the Scenario Manager window. The Solution Funding
columns to the far right of the Scenario Manager window will be filled with data and color
coded (Figure 5-35)
2. A green check in the Solution column indicates that the MCPC was fully funded, a yellow
arrow mean the solution funding was slid (as directed by the user), a red circle means the
MCPC was cut entirely
3. The FYXX columns to the right of the solution contain values indicate the funding that each
MCPC received in each year of the solution (takes sliding into account)
4. The Benefit to the right of the solution and funding columns indicates the weighted benefit of
each of the MCPCs in the solution (takes sliding into account)

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5-23

Figure 5 - 35 SCENARIO MANAGER WINDOW (SOLVED)

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6. EXPORTING DATA
Anytime the Solve button is clicked, PLOT will generate a solution set (generally with
some programs funded and some programs cut). Once the solution is ready the Explore
Solution window is automatically opened (Figure 6-1).

Figure 6 - 1 EXPLORE SOLUTION WINDOW

When this window is closed another dialog box pops up asking the user if he/she would
like to export the solution (Figure 6-2).

Figure 6 - 2 EXPLORE SOLUTION DIALOG BOX

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6-2

The user may opt to export the solution immediately by clicking Yes, or may choose to
export later by clicking No. If the user has clicked Yes an Export Scenario Data dialogue box
will open (Figure 6-3).

Figure 6 - 3 EXPORT SCENARIO DATA DIALOG BOX

This window allows the user to save the exported file to the specified location. The
default name of the solution export file is SolutionName_ Date Time. In Figure 6-3 the default file
name is set to “TestScenario_14-06-07 1554.”

If the user chose to export later, this window would not appear; instead, the user would
be taken back to the main Scenario Manager window where he/she may continue to make
adjustments to the scenario before exporting. Once the user has arrived at a solution requiring
further analysis, he/she should click on the EXPORT button at the top, right of the Scenario
Manager window. This will open the same Export Scenario Data dialogue box as shown in
Figure 6-3. The user may navigate to the place he/she wishes to save the file, and click Save to
save the file to the specified location.

Once PLOT has finished exporting the solution, the dialog box in Figure 6-4 will appear,
indicating the completion of the export.

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6-3

Figure 6 - 4 EXPORT COMPLETED DIALOG BOX

Clicking OK will take the user back to the main Scenario Manager window, where
changes can be made to the current scenario and exported, or where another scenario may be
created, solved, and exported (e.g., for comparison with the previously exported solution).

Once all solutions that the user wishes to do further analysis on are exported, the user
should close Scenario Manager. This will take the user back the main screen of PLOT. To
further analyze or compare solutions, the user should select Compare Solutions from the
Solution Tools drop down menu. See Section 3.2 for information on how to open multiple files
for comparison. Once the user has followed the instructions outlined in Section 3.2, he/she may
close PLOT and open the EXCEL file that was created.

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7. MANAGING EXPORTED DATA


Once the user has exported a set of scenarios, there are two options for analysis on the
scenario data: the user can compare multiple scenarios as described in Section 3.2, or the user
may open a single exported solution in Excel and perform analyses on the single scenario’s data.
The workbook containing the single exported scenario’s data has multiple data sheets and
graphs that are built on data export. These sheets are

• CREATE GRAPHS - A set of buttons to automatically create other graphs from


scenario data -- these buttons and graphs are described in greater detail below

• Summary –

o Scenario name – Name of scenario as specified within PLOT


o Scenario Description – description of scenario as specified within PLOT
o Selection Summary
ƒ Num Must Fund – the number of MCPCs that were listed as MUST
FUND
ƒ Num Do not Fund – the number of MCPCs that were listed as DO NOT
FUND
ƒ Num No Funding – the number of MCPCs that were listed as Compete
but had no requested funding in any year.
ƒ Num No Benefit – the number of MCPCs that were listed as Compete
but had no benefit
ƒ Num Max Possible – The maximum number of MCPCs that could have
been part of the solution set (the number of MUST FUND MCPCs +
number of Compete MCPCs with funding >0 AND benefit >0). This may
be less than the total number of MCPCs as some of the MCPCs were
DO NOT COMPETE or had 0 funding or 0 benefit.Note: Num Max
Possible = Num Fully Funded + Num Slid Funding + Num Cut.
ƒ Num Fully Funded – The number of MCPCs that were fully funded in the
solution (none of their funding lines slid)
ƒ Num Slid Funding - The number of MCPCs that had one or more
funding line slide in the solution.
ƒ Num Cut – The number of MCPCs that were cut (are not in the solution
o Scenario Benefit Weights – Displays the weighting assigned to each benefit in
the scenario
ƒ Benefit – The name of the benefit in the scenario
ƒ Benefit Weight– The weight assigned to the benefit in the scenario.
These values can range from zero to one hundred.
• MCPC Data – This page contains all of the information that was displayed in the
Manage Scenarios form.
o MCPC – This column contains the MCPC identifier for each program
o MCPC Title – The title of the MCPC
o Funding state – Compete, MUST FUND, or DO NOT FUND
o Total Funding – the total funding requested by this scenario across all POM
years
o Funding [year] (TY$K) – The total requested funding in thousands of then-year
dollars in a given year for the MCPC.
o Total Benefit – The total benefit for this MCPC would have if it were fully funded
in all years.
o [Benefit columns] – The benefit score for this MCPC in a given benefit. This
number is either 0, or the weight of that benefit within the scenario.
o FY[Year] (TY$K) – The amount of funding (in then-year thousands of dollars)
received in the solution in a given year.

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7-2

o Solution Score – The actual benefit score achieved by this MCPC in the solution.
This will be equal to the Total Benefit column if the MCPC was fully funded, but
may be lower if any funding line slid (see the appendix for a discussion of
solution scoring)

• Solution – More detailed data for the solution (Columns are sortable on this sheet).
Each row represents the total funding within one appropriation for an MCPC or the
total across all appropriations for that MCPC. The rows are grouped so that each
appropriation for an MCPC is listed individually, followed by one line that lists the
total of all appropriations for that MCPC.
o MCPC – This column contains the MCPC identifier for each program
o MCPC Title – The title of the MCPC
o Appropriation – The appropriation of this funding line (ALL represents the total for
all appropriations)
o Funding Choice – Compete, MUST FUND, or DO NOT FUND.
o Funding Type –
ƒ Full means it was fully funded in all years in the solution
ƒ SLID means some funding line within that appropriation slid at least 1
year in the solution
ƒ NOT FUNDED means it was not funded in the solution (either cut, DO
NOT FUND, or competed without benefit or funding).
o Base FY[year] (TY$K)– The amount of money (in then-year thousands of dollars)
requested in this fiscal year
o Funding Start year - the year this appropriation began to receive full funding.
This will be NOT FUNDED if the appropriation was not funded for some reason.
It will be the base year (first year in the POM) if it was fully funded, or the year it
slid to if the appropriation had a funding line slide.
o Sol FY[year] (TY$K)– The amount of money (in then-year thousands of dollars)
received in the solution. Note: this will differ from Base FY[year] if the MCPC
was cut, a DO NOT FUND, or a funding line was slid.
o [Benefit score columns] – these columns represent the actual benefit score
achieved by the MCPC in each column. These benefits are weighted, but also
may have been reduced if a funding line was slid (see the appendix for a more
detailed discussion)
o Benefit/Cost ratio – The total benefit score for this MCPC divided by its total cost.
o Funded –
ƒ YES means this MCPC was either fully or partially funded
ƒ NO means the MCPC received no funding.

• MCPC Benefit Values – The complete set of benefits assigned to the MCPCs for this
scenario. The top row is the category name, the second row is the category
description. The third, fourth and fifth rows contain the benefit name, description and
default weight respectively. This sheet is formatted for use in benefit import into
PLOT.
o MCPC – This column contains the MCPC identifier for each program
o MCPC Title – The title of the MCPC
o [Benefit columns]
ƒ 1: means that the MCPC in this row has the benefit in this column
ƒ 0: means that the MCPC in this row does not have the benefit in this
column

• Funding Appropriation – The maximum and actual, annual and total funding, across
the FYDP, by appropriation – also includes data on how many MCPCs in the solution
support each appropriation and how many in the baseline support each appropriation
o Appropriation – The name of the appropriation

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o Year – The specific year (or ALL) for this information


o MaxFund – The maximum amount of money that could have been funded
towards this appropriation (the total of all money requested for this appropriation)
o ActFund – The actual amount of money that was funded towards this
appropriation
o MaxMCPC – The maximum number of MCPCs that could have received funding
for this appropriation
o MCPCSelected – The actual number of MCPCs that received funding for this
appropration

• Funding Benefit – The maximum and actual, annual and total funding, across the
FYDP, by benefit – also includes data on how many MCPCs in the solution support
each benefit and how many in the baseline support each benefit
o Benefit – The name of the benefit
o Year – The specific year (or ALL) for this information
o MaxFund – The maximum amount of money that could have been funded
towards this benefit (the total of all money requested for this appropriation)
o ActFund – The actual amount of money that was funded towards this benefit
o MaxMCPC – The maximum number of MCPCs that could have received funding
for this benefit
o MCPCSelected – The actual number of MCPCs that received funding for this
benefit

• Benefit Selection – Each row represents one benefit. The columns are as follows
o MustFund – the number of MCPCs that had this benefit that were MUST FUND
o DoNotFund - the number of MCPCs that had this benefit that were DO NOT
FUND
o NoFunding – the number of MCPCs that had this benefit that were Compete but
had 0 total requested funding
o NoBenefit – the number of MCPCs that had this benefit that were Compete but
had 0 total benefit
o MaxPossible – The maximum number of MCPCs that had this benefit and could
have been part of the solution set (the number of MUST FUND MCPCs +
number of Compete MCPCs with funding >0 AND benefit >0).
o FullyFunded – The number of MCPCs that had this benefit that were fully funded
in the solution (none of their funding lines slid)
o SlidFunding - The number of MCPCs that had this benfit and had one or more
funding line slide in the solution
o Cut – The number of MCPCs that had this benefit and were cut from the solution
(received 0 funding, but were Compete programs)

• Funding by Benefit - FY08-FY13 – A bar graph showing how much total funding each
benefit receives, across the FYDP

• Chart 2 – A pie chart showing total COA funding, across the FYDP, by appropriation

• Chart 3 – A pie chart showing total COA funding, across the FYDP, by funding state
(MUST FUND, Compete, unallocated Surplus)

• MCPCs Chosen Count – A pie chart showing number of MCPCs by funding state
(Unfunded, Must fund, and Competed & Funded)

• Time versus Benefit Spending – A line chart showing spending for each benefit
across the FYDP

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• Funding by Appropriation – A sand chart showing appropriation spending across the


FYDP – the sum is the COA

• Funding Summary – A line chart showing the amounts of Fixed Funding, Slid
Funding, Total Funding, Budget Funding and Surplus by year.

• Chart Support – Data for constructing the various charts

As mentioned above, the user may make other graphs automatically by using the first sheet in
the export “CREATE GRAPHS”. These are the graph options:

• Line Chart: Funding Summary– A line chart showing the amounts of Fixed Funding,
Slid Funding, Total Funding, Budget Funding and Surplus by year.

• Pie Chart: Total COA Funding By Year – A pie chart showing total COA funding,
either across the FYDP or for a single year, by funding state

• Pie Chart: Total COA Funding By Year – A pie chart showing total COA funding,
either across the FYDP or for a single year, by appropriation

• Sandchart: Funding By Appropriation -- A sand chart showing appropriation spending


across the FYDP – the sum is the COA. (Same as Funding By Appropriation
worksheet).

• Bar Chart; Benefit Funding By Year -- A bar graph showing how much total funding
each benefit receives, either across the FYDP or for a single year

• Line Chart; Benefit Funding By Year -- A line chart showing benefit spending across
the FYDP

• Pie Chart: Top Ten MCPCs by Funding for Appropriation "X" – Year – A pie chart
showing for a given year or across the FYDP, and for a given appropriation or across
all appropriations, the relative funding proportions going to the top 10 MCPCs with
that appropriation (or total spending) in that year (or across the FYDP)

• Pie Chart: Top Ten MCPCs by Funding for Benefit "X" – Year – A pie chart showing
for a given year or across the FYDP, and for a given benefit, the relative funding
proportions going to the top 10 MCPCs with that benefit in that year (or across the
FYDP)

• Pie Chart: % of Total COA Funding by Funding State for Appropriation "X"-Year-- A
pie chart showing a total COA funding breakdown, either across the FYDP or for a
single year, for a particular appropriation

• Pie Chart: % of Total COA Funding by Funding State for Benefit "X"-Year-- A pie
chart showing a total COA funding breakdown, either across the FYDP or for a single
year, for a particular benefit

• Pie Chart: % of Total Scenario MCPC by Funding State for Appropriation "X" – Year -
- A pie chart showing total COA funding going to a particular appropriation, for either
a particular year or across the FYDP, by Must Fund, Competed and Funded, and Not
Funded MCPCs

• Pie Chart: % of Total Scenario MCPC by Funding State for Benefit "X" – Year -- A pie
chart showing total COA funding going to a particular benefit , for either a particular

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year or across the FYDP, by Must Fund, Competed and Funded, and Not Funded
MCPCs

• % of Total Scenario MCPCs by Funding State – Year – A pie chart showing for a
particular year or across the FYDP, the proportions of MCPCs that are funded, must-
funds, and unfunded

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I

Appendix: Mathematical Formulation


The optimization engine for PLOT is the SYMPHONY solver suite, an open-source linear,
non-linear, and integer programming tool maintained by COIN-OR 1 . PLOT problems are
translated into instances of the classic “knapsack” problem and then passed to the solver. This
translation is achieved as follows:

Each MCPC in the PLOT database is assigned a binary decision variable xi with x1
assigned to the first MCPC in the database, x2 assigned to the second MCPC, and so on. If an
MCPC is included in a solution, the corresponding binary variable takes the value 1 otherwise it
takes the value 0. Similarly, the cost for each MCPC can be represented by a vector

(ci1 , ci 2 ,K ci 6 )
where each entry represents the cost of the ith MCPC in the corresponding POM year. Letting TLj
represent the total obligation for the jth POM year, the first set of constraints for the problem can
then be written as

∑c x
i =0
ij i ≤ TL j j = 1,2, K ,6

This is the basic set of budgetary constraints 2 .

To construct the objective function, the weighted benefit category scores are combined
into a single benefit score – if the benefit categories are enumerated 1 to k and given weights w1
to wk, and if the corresponding benefit score for the ith MCPC is bil, then the overall benefit of the
ith MCPC is calculated as

k
bi = ∑ wl bil
l =1

The combined benefit score, B, for a POM is then simply

k
B = ∑ bi xi
l =1

Though of as a function of the xi, this expression is exactly the objective function the solver
optimizes.

Must Funds and Do Not Funds

Computational Infrastructure for Operations Research – COIN-OR Foundation, Inc., is a non-


profit educational and scientific foundation that was formed to manage the COIN-OR project.
2
The default top-line is simply the sum of the costs of all of the MCPCs, but the user can of
course edit the top-line to whatever top-line is desired.

I
II

When an MCPC is designated as a “Must Fund”, the corresponding decision variable is


assigned the value 1. Similarly, if an MCPC is designated as a “Do Not Fund”, the corresponding
decision variable is assigned the value 0. In either case, a new constraint is added to the set of
already existing budget constraints. Note that if a program has no benefit or no funding, then by
default (to simplify and speed-up the computations), it will not “compete” – it will not be assigned
a binary decision variable and will not factor in any solution. If a user wants such a program to
compete, it must be designated as a ‘Must Fund” program.

SLIDING FUNDING
When creating a scenario, users are given the option of letting an MCPC’s funding slide a
set number of years. A one year slide of all of the funding changes the funding vector from

(ci1 , ci 2 ,K ci 6 )
To

(0, ci1 ,Kci 5 )


In general, appropriations have more than one color of money; if a single color (say RDT&E) is
allowed to slide, then only its funding shifts forward the appropriate number of years.
Mathematically, we can write

(ci1 , ci 2 ,K ci 6 ) = (c1i1 , c1i 2 ,K c1i 6 ) + K + (c j i1 , c j i 2 ,K c j i 6 )


where the superscripted variables represent the different funding streams that comprise the
overall funding of the MCPC. If we allow say the first funding stream to slip one year, then the
new overall funding is calculated as

(ci′1 , ci′2 ,K ci′6 ) = (0, c1i1 ,K c1i 5 ) + K + (c j i1 , c j i 2 ,K c j i 6 )


Overall benefit for an MCPC is also decreased in proportion to the unfunded fraction when that
MCPC’s funding is slid. This reflects the fact that to get benefits, investments must be made and
that there is a cost to allowing funding to slide. In this case, the overall benefit would be multiplied
ci′1 + K + ci′6
by α=
ci1 + K + ci 6

The when an MCPC’s funding is allowed to slide, the solver internally creates multiple copies of
that MCPC, one for for each year the funding is allowed to slide, with the associated prorated
overall benefit. A constraint is added that only one of the multiple copies of the MCPC may
actually be in any solution (the sum of their decision variables must be less than or equal to one),
and the solver solves the same problem on the expanded/extended set of MCPCs.

II