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A decision-making problem occurs where there are two or more alternative courses of action, each of which leads to a different and sometimes unknown end result. Operations research is also used to maximize the utility of limited resources. The objective is to select the best alternative, that is, the one leading to the best result. Definitions of Operation Research : Definitions of Operation Research Operation Research , rather simply defined, is is the research of operations. An operation may be called a set of acts required for the achievement of a desired outcome. Such complex, inter-related acts can be performed by four types of systems: Man, Machine, Man-Machine unit and any organisation of men, machines, man-machine units. OR is concerned with the operations of the last type of system. Slide 6: Many definitions of OR have been suggested from time to time. On the other hand are put forward a number of arguments as to why it cannot be defined. Perhaps the subject is too young to be defined in an authoriative way. Some of the different definitions suggested are: Slide 7: (1) OR is a scientific method of providing executive departments with a quantitative basis for decisions regarding the operations under their control. -Morse & Kimball (2) Operation research is a scientific approach to problem solving fr executive management. -H.M.Wagner (3) Operation research is the art of winning wars without actually fighting them. -Auther Clark Slide 8: (4) Operations research is the art of giving bad answers to problems, to, which, otherwise, worse answers are given. -Thomas L. Saaty (5) Operation research is an aid for the executive in making his decisions by providing him with the needed quantitative information based on the scientific method of analysis. -C.Kittel The most comprehensive and modern definition of operations research can be summarised as below: Slide 9: (6) O.R. is the application of modern methods of mathematical science to complex problems involving management of large systems of men, machines, materials and money in industry, business, government and defence. The distinctive approach is to develop a scientific model of the system incorporating measurement of factors such as chance and risk to predict and compare the outcomes of alternative decisions, strategies or controls. - J.O.R.Society, U.K Slide 10: Characteristics of Operation Research The various definitions of Operation Research in previous slides bring out the essential characteristics of Operation Research. They are........ : The various definitions of Operation Research in previous slides bring out the essential characteristics of Operation Research. They are........ (1) its system (or executive) orientation, (2) the use of inter-disciplinary teams, (3) application of scientific method, (4) uncovering of new problems, (5) improvement in quality of decisions, (6) use of computer, (7) quantitative solutions, and (8) human factors. System (or executive) Orientation of OR : System (or executive) Orientation of OR One of the most important characteristics of OR study is its concern with problems as a whole or its system orientation. This means that an activity by any part of an organisation has some effect on the activity of every other part. The optimum operation of one of a system may not be the optimum operation for some other part. Therefore, to evaluate any decision, one must identify all possible intetactions and determine their empact on the organization as a whole. The Use of Inter-disciplinary Teams : The Use of Inter-disciplinary Teams The second characteristics of OR study is that it is performed by a team of scientists whose individual members have been drawn from different scientifc and engineering disciplines. For example, one a find a mathematician, statistician, physicist, psychologist, economist and an engineer working together on an OR problem. Application of Scientific Method : Application of Scientific Method The third distinguish feature of OR is the use of scientific method to solve the problem under study. Most scientific research, such as chemistry and physics can be carried out well in the laboratories, under controlled conditions, without much interference from the outside world. However, the same is not true in the system under study by OR teams. For example, no company can risk its failure in order to conduct a successful experiment. Uncovering of New Problems : Uncovering of New Problems The fourth characteristic of operation research, which is often overlooked, is that solution of an OR problem may uncover a number of new problems. Of course, all these uncovered problems need not be solved at the same time. However, in order to derive maximum benefit, each one of them must be solved. It must be remembered that OR is not effectively used if it is restricted to one-shot problems only. In order to derive full benefits, continuity of research must be maintained. Of course, the result of OR study pertaining to a particular problem need not wait untill all the connected problems solved. Improvement in quality of decisions : Improvement in quality of decisions OR gives bad answers to problems, to which, otherwise , worse answers are given. It implies that by applying its scientific approach, it can only improve the quality of solution but it may not be able to give perfect solution. Use of Computer : Use of Computer Another characteristic of Or is that it often requires a computer to solve the complex mathematical model or to manipulate a large amount of data or to perform a large number of computations that are involved. Quantitative solutions : Quantitative solutions OR approaches provides the management with a quantitative basis for decision-making. For example it will give answer like, "the cost of company, if decision A is taken is X;if decision B is taken is Y,etc." Human Factors : Human Factors In deriving quantitative solutions we do not consider human factors, which doubtlessly play a great role in the problems posed. Definitely an OR study is incompelete without a study of human factors. Characteristic of OR : Characteristic of OR 1. O.R. approaches problem-solving and decision-making from the total system's perspective. O.R. does not experiment with the system itself but constructs a model of the system upon which to conduct experiments. 2. O.R. is not necessarily using interdisciplinary teams, but it is interdisciplinary: it draws on techniques from sciences such as biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and economics and applies the appropriate techniques form each field to the system being studied. Slide 21: 3. Model building and mathematical manipulation provide the methodology which has been the key contribution oe O.R. 4. Operation Research is for operation economy. 5. The primary focus is on decision-making and computers are used extensively. Nature of O.R.: Characteristics : Nature of O.R.: Characteristics • Inter-disciplinary team approach • Systems approach • Helpful in improving the quality of solution • Scientific method • Goal oriented optimum solution • Use of models • Require willing executives • Reduces complexity Slide 23: Thank You You do not have the permission to view this presentation. In order to view it, please contact the author of the presentation.