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Table of Contents

HISTORY ............................................................................................................................................... 2 METHODOLOGY .................................................................................................................................. 3 MATHEMATICAL PROGRAMMING ..................................................................................................... 4 STOCHASTIC PROCESSES ................................................................................................................... 4 OR TECHNIQUES ................................................................................................................................. 4 THEORY OF REPLACEMENT ............................................................................................................... 5 OPERATIONAL RESEARCH IN PRACTICE .......................................................................................... 5 SCOPE OF APPLICATION .................................................................................................................... 6 ADVANTAGES....................................................................................................................................... 6 LIMITATIONS........................................................................................................................................ 7 REFERENCES ....................................................................................................................................... 7

professionals. It is often considered to be a sub-field of Mathematics. Computer revolution helped OR as the problems in computation was enormous and required a tool strong enough to handle complexity . HISTORY The ambiguous term Operations Research (OR) was coined during World War II. Today. business. industry. The terms management science and decision science are sometimes used as more modern-sounding synonyms. when the British Military Management called upon a group of scientists together to apply a scientific approach to the study of military operations to win the battle.Electronic and Digital calculation gave way to a school of thought which was beyond manual calculation. Operations Research originated in Great Britain during World War II to bring mathematical or quantitative approaches to bear on military operations. or Operational Research in British usage is a discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. OR solutions are available as software¶s which are customised according to necessity and demand. The main objective was to allocate the scarce resources in an effective manner to the various military operations and to the activities within each operation. Many legacy systems use these as a calculation engine which gives accurate result on providing the inputs. India was one of the first few countries who started using OR. that is. Since its birth in the 1940's. Due to the availability of faster and flexible computing facilities and the no. each of which leads to a different and sometimes unknown end result. . the first OR unit was established in the Regional Research Laboratory at Hyderabad. The objective is to select the best alternative. A decision-making problem occurs where there are two or more alternative courses of action.R. OR has been widely recognized as an important approach to decision-making in the management of all aspects of an organization. it is now widely used in military. public health etc. transportation. In 1949. mechanical engineering and the mathematics. Further the growth of OR was boosted at every step of computer growth.INTRODUCTION Operations research. the one leading to the best result. Operations research is also used to maximize the utility of limited resources. of qualified O. Today. OR is a popular subject in management. The effectiveness of operations research in military spread in it to other government department and industry.

and the sequence of problem-modeltechnique-solution-problem may have to be repeated several times. dynamic programming. although graphical and analog models are also useful. It is necessary to identify the decision maker. by choice of the (decision variable). A statement of the problem properly contains four basic elements that. subject to a set of (constraints and restrictions). This also indicates the areas in which the data-collecting effort should be made. has been the result of the following six simply stated rules: (1) formulate the problem (2) construct a model of the system (3) select a solution technique (4) obtain a solution to the problem (5) establish controls over the system (6) implement the solution. With the first solution obtained. if correctly identified and articulated. the alternatives. It may be a cataloging of observable effects. The controls are established by performing sensitivity analysis on the parameters.Two factors that helped boost the growth of OR is this research in techniques and the computer revolution. however. and not the other way around. goals. These elements can be combined in the following general form: ³Given (the system description). queuing theory and inventory theory were relatively well developed by 1950. It is important. the problem is to optimize (the objective function). METHODOLOGY The success of operations research. . and constraints. Many theories and methods like the simplex method (developed by George Dantzig in 1947). and the parameters of the system. it is often evident that the model and the problem statement must be modified. The first statement of the problem is usually vague and inaccurate. where there has been success. and many crucial tools of OR like linear programming. one usually relies on mathematics. greatly eases the model formulation. that the model suggest the solution technique.´ In modeling the system.

hospital operations. expressed in terms of the decision variables. Dynamic programming It has been applied to capital budgeting. they can be used to describe the ³health´of a system. repair and maintenance of broken-down machines. advertising media selection. blending. probability distribution. but not necessarily how to ³cure´ it.Implementation is perhaps of least interest to the theorists. Generally speaking. These can be defined as processes in which one or more of the variables take on values according to some. This type of problem is found mainly in production systems. If direct action is not taken to implement the solution. selection of advertising media. In contrast to the mathematical programming methods and applications. that is. but in reality it is the most important step. scheduling and control of air-traffic. These are referred to as random variables. . and it takes only one to make the process stochastic. transportation and many others. that is to be minimized or maximized a set of constraints that limit the possible values of the decision variables . there are not many optimization techniques. distribution. The basic problem that can be modeled by linear programming is the use of limited resources to meet demands for the output of these resources. OR TECHNIQUES Linear programming It has been used to solve problems involving assignment of jobs to machines. Waiting line or queuing theory It has been useful to solve problems of traffic congestion. a mathematical optimization model has the following typical components: a set of decision variables an objective function. counter in banks and railway booking agencies. number of service facilities. STOCHASTIC PROCESSES A large class of operations research methods and applications deals with stochastic processes. cargo loading and optimal routing problems. The techniques used tend to be more diagnostic than prognostic. least cost diet. the whole effort may end as a dust-collecting report on a shel MATHEMATICAL PROGRAMMING Probably the one technique most associated with operations research is linear programming. perhaps unknown. but is not limited to this area. product mix.

design may be modified and then test for the validity of the hypothesis. military and public services.Inventory control / planning These models have been used to determine economic order quantities. Network analysis (PERT& CPM) These techniques have been used in planning. Research is also done extensively in OR. THEORY OF REPLACEMENT It has been extensively employed to determine the optimum replacement interval for three types of replacement problems: i) Items that deteriorate with time. The next step is to fit the problem in a scientific model as per the nature. telecommunication. as discussed earlier. iii) Staff replacement and recruitment. safety stocks. medicine. ii) Items that do not deteriorate with time but fail suddenly. scheduling and controlling construction of dams. construction. research and development projects. computers etc. reorder levels. Decision theory It has been helpful in controlling hurricuanes. Simulation It has been helpful in a wide variety of probabilistic marketing situations. also deals with practical management. The term ³management sciences´ is used as a synonym for Operational research. A hypothesis is formulated that the designed model is sufficient and precise representation of the features of the real problem in hand. minimum and maximum stock level. roads and highways and development & production of aircrafts. ships. OPERATIONAL RESEARCH IN PRACTICE Operational research is spread across various streams and domains like manufacturing. The process begins by carefully observing and formulating the problem including formulating the relevant problem. financial planning . Based on the experiments. health care . Operational Research requires creative scientific research the fundamental properties of operation. water pollution. Suitable experiments are conducted to prove the validity of the hypothesis. space exploration. OR. transportation. OR also has a broad point of perspective to all the factors involved and leaves behind the myopic . brides.

optimal design of naturalgas pipelines. Also. optimal testing plans for reliability. ‡ Provides solution for various business problems. computer network design. The following list is not intended to be all-inclusive. project management with CPM/PERT/GERT. minimizing waste in the steel industry. economic inventory levels. production planning. bidding models for offshore oil leases. optimal marketing-price strategies. . optimizing waste treatment plants. feedlot optimization.approach to any specific factor. demand forecasting. ‡ Enables proper deployment of resources. communication network design. Operation Research is generally done by a team of statistician. ‡ Enables the management to decide when to buy and how much to buy? ‡ Assists in choosing an optimum strategy. risk analysis in capital budgeting. mathematician and Engineers or a collection of all the concerned teams. the best solution is obtained unlike in mathematical analysis where a range of feasible solution may be obtained. ‡ Renders great help in optimum resource allocation. ‡ Helps in minimizing waiting and servicing costs. air-traffic-control simulations. SCOPE OF APPLICATION There are numerous areas where operations research has been applied. simulation of computer time-sharing systems. classroom size mix to meet student demand. optimal strategies in sports. optimal staffing of medical facilities. The team also needs to have the necessary experience and variety of skill to give appropriate consideration to the necessary areas of the problem. but is mainly to illustrate the scope of applications: optimal depreciation strategies. water resource project selection. optimal space trajectories ADVANTAGES ‡ Provides a tool for scientific analysis. electric utility fuel management.

does not take into consideration the intangible factors ‡ O.ac. LIMITATIONS ‡ The inherent limitations concerning mathematical expressions ‡ High costs are involved in the use of O.doc.R.htm . ‡ Management can know the reactions of the integrated business systems.orms-today. ‡ Helps a lot in the preparation of future managers.R.R.org/classifieds/ http://www.pdf http://www. is only a tool of analysis and not the complete decision-making process ‡ Other limitations ‡ Bias ‡ Inadequate objective functions ‡ Internal resistance ‡ Competence ‡ Reliability of the prepared solution REFERENCES http://www.org/what/index. techniques ‡ O.‡ Facilitates the process of decision making.ic.scienceofbetter.uk/~br/berc/linearprog.