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Operations Research Models and Methods
Models Section

The operations research analyst has a wide variety of methods available for problem solving. For mathematical programming models there are optimization techniques appropriate for almost every type of problem, although some problems may be difficult to solve. For models that incorporate statistical variability there are methods such as probability analysis and simulation that estimate statistics for output parameters. In most cases the methods are implemented in computer programs. It is important that at least some member of an OR study team be aware of the tools available and be knowledgeable concerning their capabilities and limitations.

In this section we include a number of topics that relate to the methods of operations research. The contents of this section are arranged by problem type. This Methods section includes the documentation for the teaching add-ins.

Unit Teach OR Add-ins

Central to our discussion of OR Methods is the Teach OR collection of Excel add-ins. These add-ins concentrate on the Mathematical Programming algorithms. This page links to complete instructions for each add-in.

Unit Linear Programming

We provide three units to demonstrate and teach linear programming solution algorithms.
  • Primal Simplex Demonstrations are implemented using Flash to illustrate basic concepts of the primal simplex technique.
  • The Teach Linear Programming Add-in implements three different algorithms for solving linear programming models.

We provide five units to demonstrate and teach network flow programming solution algorithms.
  • The Teach Network Add-in implements the network primal simplex method for both pure and generalized minimum cost flow problems.
  • A graphical demonstration using Flash illustrates and contrasts algorithms for finding the minimal spanning tree and shortest path tree.
  • The Transportation primal simplex method is implemented in the Teach Transportation Add-in.
  • A graphical demonstration using Flash illustrates the network primal simplex method.

The Teach IP Add-in implements three methods for solving linear integer programming problems. The add-in provides demonstrations and hands-on practice for the branch and bound method, the cutting plane method and Benders' algorithm.

The Teach NLP Add-in demonstrates direct search algorithms for solving nonlinear optimization problems.


The Teach Dynamic Programming Add-in has features that allow almost any system appropriate for dynamic programming to be modeled and solved. The program includes both backward recursion and reaching.

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Operations Research Models and Methods
by Paul A. Jensen
Copyright 2004 - All rights reserved