A Learning Curve Model Accounting for the Flattening Effect in Production Cycles

Authored by: Evan R. Boone , John J. Elshaw , Clay M. Koschnick , Jonathan D. Ritschel , Adedeji B. Badiru

Handbook of Scholarly Publications from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Volume 1, 2000–2020

Print publication date:  December  2022
Online publication date:  December  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032116679
eBook ISBN: 9781003220978
Adobe ISBN:


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The authors investigate production cost estimates to identify and model modifications to a prescribed learning curve. Their new model examines the learning rate as a decreasing function over time as opposed to a constant rate that is frequently used. The purpose of this research is to determine whether a new learning curve model could be implemented to reduce the error in cost estimates for production processes. A new model was created that mathematically allows for a “flattening effect,” which typically occurs later in the production process. This model was then compared to Wright’s learning curve, which is a popular method used by many organizations today. The results showed a statistically significant reduction in error through the measurement of the Defense Acquisition Research Journal: A Publication of the Defense Acquisition University two error terms, Sum of Squared Errors and Mean Absolute Percentage Error.

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