What is Operations Research? Definition
The terminology "Operations Research" is somewhat unfortunate or even funny,
since it is not any more concerned with operations, nor does its application
involve any research in the traditional sense. Some good Operations Research
definitions are:

Operations Research is the discipline of applying advanced analytical
methods to help make better decisions. By using techniques such as mathematical
modeling to analyze complex situations, operations research gives executives
the power to make more effective decisions and build more productive systems.

O.R. is the professional discipline that deals with the application of
information technology for informed decisionmaking. It aims to provide
a rational bases for decision making by seeking to understand and structure
complex situations and to use this understanding to predict system behavior
and improve system performance. Much of this work is done using analytical
and numerical techniques to develop and manipulate mathematical and computer
models of organizational systems composed of people, machines, and procedures.

O.R. draws upon ideas from engineering, management, mathematics, and
psychology to contribute to a wide variety of application domains; the field
is closely related to several other fields in the "decision sciences" 
applied mathematics, computer science, economics, industrial engineering,
and systems engineering.

O.R. is the science of rational decision making and the study, design
and integration of complex situations and systems with the goal of predicting
system behavior and improving or optimizing system performance. It encompasses
managerial decisionmaking, mathematical and computer modeling and the use
of information technology for informed decisionmaking.
As a science, O.R. traces its roots back to World War II, when military
planners such as Frederick Lanchester and Patrick Blackett looked for ways
to bring scientific calculations to Allied warfare against Nazi Germany.
Compare also:
Scientific Management.
Typical Operations Research methods and techniques

Simulation. Giving you the ability to try out approaches and test
ideas for improvement.

Optimization. Narrowing your choices to the very best when there
are virtually innumerable feasible options. And comparing them.

Probability and statistics. Helping you measure risk, mine data
to find valuable connections and insights, test conclusions, and make reliable
forecasts.

Mathematical models.

(Complex) algorithms.

Visualization.

Neural networks.

Pattern recognition.

Data mining, Data Warehousing.
O.R. can be used for supporting an indefinite number of business decisions.
Typical applications of Operations Research

Capital budgeting.

Asset allocation.

Portfolio selection.

Fraud prevention, AntiMoney Laundering.

Benchmarking.

Marketing channel optimization, Customer segmentation.

Direct marketing campaigns, Predicting customer response, Campaign optimization.

Supply Chain Planning.

Distribution, Routing, Scheduling, Traffic flow optimization.

Resource allocation, Staff allocation.

Inventory planning.

Retail planning, Merchandize optimization.

Product mix and blending, Industrial waste reduction.
Synonyms
The Americans use "Operations Research', the British/Europeans use: "Operational Research". Sometimes you can also the following terms: "Management Science", "Industrial Engineering" and "Decision Science" being used to indicate the same discipline.

Operation Research Case
A shopkeeper has a uniform demand of an item X items per month. He buys from a supplier at a costs are RS.6 per item and the cost of ordering is RS10 each time. If the stock holding costs are 20% per year of stock value, how frequently should he repl...








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Compare with Operations Research:
Business Intelligence
 Simulation
 Benchmarking 
Regression Analysis 
Exponential Smoothing
 CAPM 
Real Options 
Game Theory 
Data Warehousing
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