an interdisciplinary branch of applied mathematics which uses methods like mathematical modeling, statistics, and algorithms to arrive at optimal or good decisions in complex problems which are concerned with optimizing the maxima (profit, faster assembly line, greater crop yield, higher bandwidth, etc) or minima (cost loss, lowering of risk, etc) of some objective function. The eventual intention behind using operations research is to elicit a best possible solution to a problem mathematically, which improves or optimizes the performance of the system.
Another definition of OR, given at one of the Plenaries at the last INFORMS Meeting (Seattle 2007).
A path was defined to unify Industrial Engineering, Operations Reaearch, Operations Management, etc as "Operations Engineering". The preferred was "Operations Science and Engineering" but I like the idea of having a distinct name for what is research from what is practice and application.
In a nutshell, operations research (O.R.) is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions.To define our profession is one of the most difficult things - so I've found.
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 based on:
- More complete data
- Consideration of all available options
- Careful predictions of outcomes and estimates of risk
- The latest decision tools and techniques
What is your definition? How do you think we should be "marketed"? Post your comment.