TIME-COST TRADEOFFS IN UNCERTAIN EMPIRICAL RESEARCH PROJECTS
PRINCETON UNIV NJ DEPT OF ECONOMICS
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This paper explores the relationship between research project cost and expected time to completion under various scheduling strategies it assumes that many potential technical approaches to the research problem can be identified and that each approach has a low but finite subjective probability of success. It is shown that under a variety of assumptions, expected time to project completion can be reduced, but that as a result expected project cost rises at an increasing rate. Some cases in which this convex time-cost tradeoff relationship might not hold generally are identified. When the time-cost tradeoff function is convex, the desirability of concurrent as opposed to series scheduling of approaches depends crucially upon the depth of the stream of benefits expected to be realized upon successful project completion. The deeper the benefit stream is, the more desirable concurrent scheduling is.
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