Portland State University. Systems Science Ph. D. Program.
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Systems Science
3, viii, 226 leaves: ill. 28 cm.
System design, Telecommunication, Forecasting
The telecommunications industry is undergoing a metamorphic change. New technologies have made possible a vast panorama of new services. Electronic newspapers, videotelephones, and computer-mediated conferences are but a few of the possibilities. In contrast to technology, most of the other factors affecting the industry (and its infrastructure) have not changed. Government regulations, for example, are based on the 1934 Communications Act. These factors (e.g., consumer behavior, corporate philosophies, energy, and competition) are beginning to change. The Congress is considering a rewrite of the 1934 Communications Act. Competition has become a dominant factor (note that the industry by and large has been a government-regulated monopoly). The outcome of these changes will determine which services will be offered and the extent to which they will be demanded. The problem is to determine which changes will actually occur and, then, forecast their effect. The problem is further complicated by the fact that those individuals and institutions involved in making changes do not know which changes to make. For them, a forecasting system is needed to evaluate the outcome of various changes. A review of the literature was conducted to determine the extent to which the problem was solved. Several forecasts have been generated, but none address the problem in its entirety. Some have examined, in great detail, one or two of the pertinent factors, but ignored the others. Other forecasts have been more global. These assume certain changes will be made. Forecasts are then developed. The problem is that users do not have the option of changing the assumptions. Moreover, most of these forecasters have not specified their assumptions. Following the literature search, an overview of the FORTEL System is given. FORTEL is designed to forecast service and terminal equipment demand. The system synthesizes forecasters' assumptions about industry change with quantitative demand models. The system also provides the forecaster with the ability to change assumptions and evaluate the outcome; i.e., test alternative scenarios. There are three major components: model, user assumptions, and the computer program. The model component consists of four demand models. For each market (residential and business), there are service and terminal models. User assumptions reflect the forecaster's outlook on the future of the telecommunications industry. The assumptions are divided into five categories. The general category reflects assumptions about the industry in general, the economy, societal change, and energy. Technology assumptions deal with the future of a variety of new (and existing) technologies. There are several assumptions about services and terminals. These cover a broad range of factors which will directly affect implementation and demand of a particular service or terminal. The final category includes assumptions about the forecasting technique (quantitative techniques) to be used. The computer program is the synthesizing component of the system. It combines the user assumptions with the models to produce the forecast. It also contains the scenario testing facit of the system. Following a detailed description of each component, an output comparison is given. The author has selected three different sets of user assumptions. The forecasts generated from these sets are compared. The three range from a pessimistic outlook (economic recession and energy crisis) to a very prosperous outlook (exponential growth). The thesis concludes with a chapter on follow-on research and a conclusion.
Black, James Leslie, "FORTEL, a telecommunications forecasting system" (1981). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 80.