Operations Research


Many a time we speak of the word decision, as if we know much about decision. But what is decision? What it consists of? What are its characteristics? Let us have brief discussion about the word decision, as much of our time we deal with decision-making process in Operations Research.

Decision making:

“A decision is the conclusion of a process designed to weigh the relative uses or utilities of a set of alternatives on hand”, so that decision maker selects the best alternative which is best to his problem identify the most optimal or preferred choice among the available alternatives.

Basic requirement of decision making:The basic requirements of decision-making are

a)      A set of goals or objectives,

b)      Methods of evaluating alternatives in an objective manner,

c)       A system of choice criteria and a method of projecting the repercussions of alternative choices of courses of action.

  •          The evaluation of consequences of each course of action is important due to sequential nature of decisions.
  •         The necessity of making decisions arises because of our existence in the world with variousneeds and ambitions and goals, whose resources are limited and sometimes scarce.
  •         Every one of uscompetes to use these resources to fulfill our goals.
  •          Our needs can be biological, physical, financial, social, ego or higher-level self-actualization needs.
  •         One peculiar characteristics of decision making is the inherent conflict that desists among various goals relevant to any decision situation (for example, astudent thinking of study and get first division and at the same time have youth hood enjoyment withoutattending classe.
  • The process of decision-making consists of two phases:

         The first phaseconsists of formulation ofgoals and objectives, enumeration of environmental constraints, identification and evaluation of alternatives.

The second stagedeals with selection of optimal course of action for a given set of constraints.

        InOperations Research, we are concerned with how to choose optimal strategy under specified set of assumptions, including all available strategies and their associated payoffs.

Classification of decision:

1.       Depending upon the purpose

a)      Strategic Related to external Environment

b)      Administrative Resource utilization

c)       Operational Related to day –to-day

2.       Depending upon the nature

a)      Programmed decision

b)      Non-programmed decision

3.       Depending upon the person involved

a)      Individual

b)      Managerial

4.       Depending on the Sphere of interest

a)      Economic

b)      Social

c)       Business

d)      Political

5.       depending on the time horizon

a)      static

b)      dynamic