operations research (OR)

Popular Terms
Application of mathematical (quantitative) techniques to decision making. In OR, a problem is first clearly defined and represented (modeled) as a set of mathematical equations. It is then subjected to rigorous computer analysis to yield a solution (or a better solution) which is tested and re-tested against real-life situations until an optimum solution is found. OR applies different approaches to different types of problems: dynamic programming, linear programming, and critical path method are used in handling complex information in allocation of resources, inventory control, and in determining economic reorder quantity; forecasting and simulation techniques such as Monte Carlo method are used in situations of high uncertainty such as market trends, next period's sales revenue, and traffic patterns.
Also called decision science, management science, or operational research.

Use 'operations research (OR)' in a Sentence

Scientists and mathematicians use operations research many times when trying to solve complex equations or to find a better alternative to problems.
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We put a lot of money into operations research and that made us really happy, because we were putting money into the right areas.
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Before creating a holding company for the multiple LLCs, Eric suggested everyone take a step back and get better perspective on the problem they felt they needed to solve, with an operations research approach.
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