The Science of Business Optimization
Operations Research [OR] explained (from Wikipedia) –
“Employing techniques from other mathematical sciences, such as mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization, operations research arrives at optimal or near-optimal solutions to complex decision-making problems. Because of its emphasis on human-technology interaction and because of its focus on practical applications, operations research has overlap with other disciplines, notably industrial engineering and operations management, and draws on psychology and organization science. Operations Research is often concerned with determining the maximum (of profit, performance, or yield) or minimum (of loss, risk, or cost) of some real-world objective. Originating in military efforts before World War II, its techniques have grown to concern problems in a variety of industries”
OSI specializes in bringing OR capabilities to our clients of all sizes. Typically, this entails the following steps
1. Define the problem [State The Goal(s), Constraints, Decision Variables, and Related Data];
2. Conduct data analyses to aid framing the solution;
3. Formulate the solution as a mathematical model – either as a simulation model or as an optimization model;
4. Implement the solution in an appropriate software application tool;
5. Validate the solution provided by the math model embedded in the software application;
6. Deploy the software application for use by end-users.
The generality and the power of OR has made it applicable to solving a wide range of problems – from planning logistics for a war effort to scheduling the production of cookies.
Note that not all OR problems are necessarily posed as rigorous math-programming / optimization problems. A significant class of problems can be solved using modeling, analysis, simulation, and other OR concepts and tools.
The Modeling - Optimization Continuum
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