Operations research, or operational research in British usage, is a discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. It is often considered to be a sub-field of mathematics. The terms management science and decision science are sometimes used as more modern-sounding synonyms.
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.
Famous quotes containing the words operations and/or research:
“There is a patent office at the seat of government of the universe, whose managers are as much interested in the dispersion of seeds as anybody at Washington can be, and their operations are infinitely more extensive and regular.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Men talk, but rarely about anything personal. Recent research on friendship ... has shown that male relationships are based on shared activities: men tend to do things together rather than simply be together.... Female friendships, particularly close friendships, are usually based on self-disclosure, or on talking about intimate aspects of their lives.”
—Bettina Arndt (20th century)