Q1. What are the essential characteristics of Operation Research? Mention different phasesin an Operation Research study. Point out some limitations of O.R? Ans. Characteristics of Operations ResearchOperations research, an interdisciplinary division of mathematics and science, uses statistics, algorithms and mathematical modeling techniques to solve complex problems for the best possible solutions. This science is basically concerned with optimizing maxima and minima of the objective functions involved. Examples of maxima could be profit, performance and yield. Minima could be loss and risk. The management of various companies has benefited immensely from operations research.Operations research is also known as OR. It has basic characteristics such as systems orientation,using interdisciplinary groups, applying scientific methodology, providing quantitative answers, revelation of newer problems and the consideration of human factors in relation to the state under which research is being conducted.Systems Orientationo This approach recognizes the fact that the behavior of any part of the system has an effect on the system as a whole. This stresses the idea that the interaction between parts of the system is what determines the functioning of the system. No single part of the system can have a bearing effect on the whole. OR attempts appraise the effect the changes of any single part would have on the performance of the system as a whole. It then searches for the causes of the problem that has arisen either in one part of the system or in the interrelation parts.Interdisciplinary groupso The team performing the operational research is drawn from different disciplines. The disciplines could include mathematics, psychology, statistics, physics, economics and engineering. The knowledge of all the people involved aids the research and preparation of the scientific model.Application of Scientific Methodologyo OR extensively uses scientific means and methods to solve problems. Most OR studies cannot be conducted in laboratories, and the findings cannot be applied to natural environments. Therefore, scientific and mathematical models are used for studies. Simulation of these models iscarried out, and the findings are then studied with respect to the real environment.New Problems Revealed
o Finding a solution to a problem in OR uncovers additional problems. To obtain maximum benefits from the study, ongoing and continuous research is necessary. New problems must be pursued immediately to be resolved. A company looking to reduce costs in manufacturing might discover in the process that it needs to buy one more component to manufacture the end product. Such a scenario would result in unexpected costs and budget overruns. Ensuring flexibility for such contingencies is a key characteristic of OR.Provides Quantitative Answerso The solutions found by using operations research are always quantitative. OR considers two or more options and emphasizes the best one. The company must decide which option is the best
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- Summer '16