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Applications Of Operations Research

The optimization techniques of Operations Research can be used to solve various real life problems.

Defence application:

Defence requires precision and accuracy. Hence it requires scientific decision making techniques. Techniques like shortest path problems, scheduling algorithms, allocation techniques can be used in defence forces.

Industrial applications:

An industry or an organization has to manage four areas: production, marketing, personnel and finance. Let us see various operational problems that can be applied to these four areas:

Production:

  •  linear programming for overall production planning
  • Integer programming for in-depth scheduling
  • Network based techniques for event management
  • Inventory control techniques for organizing material arrival and departure
  • Replacement analysis for equipment condition study
  • Queuing theory for deciding on buffer units

Marketing:

  • Linear programming for  product mix problems
  • Game theory for tender decisions
  • Distance network related techniques for transportation of items

Personnel:

  • linear programming for manpower allocation
  • queuing theory for scale of maintenance team required
  • Scheduling techniques for planning workers

Finance:

  • Integer programming for budgetary planning
  • Linear programming for break-even analysis
  • Integer programming for investment options selection

Applications in public system:

Operations research can also be employed in public services for more efficient and scientific approach to the system. Techniques like goal programming for management policy making and integer programming for funding can be used. Public enterprises like postal services can use techniques like vehicle scheduling & manpower planning. Banks need queuing theory for finalizing the number of counters required. The also need goal programming for banking policy formulation.

Maintenance or construction works like managing highways requires integer programming for zeroing in on the optimum project and finalizing the best contractor for the same, who could implement the project in the optimum way adhering to all standards. The also need integer programming for preparing traffic system. Similarly railways also need integer/linear programming but for different requirements like cargo loading. The need scheduling techniques for traffic plan, queuing theory for number of platforms required. The same applies for airways too. It needs various techniques for simulating the air traffic and runway design.

Review questions:

  • Which optimization technique best suites for identifying the number of platforms required in a station?
  • List some of the optimization techniques that can be employed in defence system.



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