Applications

OR has had an enormous impact on the management of modern organisations.

  • LP has found extensive acceptance; an example of this is the regular use in planning the operations of an Oil Refinery.
  • Financial Modelling, a central tool of modern decision processes, is often the domain of the OR practitioner.
  • Queueing Theory is used to design various service facilities; for instance, in Post Offices and banks we have over recent years found ourselves directed into a multi-server single queue.
  • Simulation has become a standard tool to assist in the design of many facilities where the layout is too complex to be analysed by analytical queueing theory.

Following is a selection of specific examples taken from proceedings of ASOR National Conferences and Bulletins.

  • The Shell co. of Australia utilises a mixed integer linear programme with special ordered sets of type 1 to take account of quantity discounts when selecting tenders for the purchase of additives for its range of lubricants.
  • Telstra offers as a service a model to determine the number of operators and incoming circuits to meet practical delay and loss standards in an automatic Call Distributor involving post-call activity for the operator. Such systems are common in booking offices, public utilities and the TAB.
  • BHP is developing a new approach to the scheduling of ships by utilising artificial intelligence and knowledge engineering techniques. This gives an interactive system of great flexibility.