Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Operations Research Related Abstracts

7 Employing Operations Research at Universities to Build Management Systems

Authors: Abdallah A. Hlayel


Operations research science (OR) deals with good success in developing and applying scientific methods for problem solving and decision-making. However, by using OR techniques, we can enhance the use of computer decision support systems to achieve optimal management for institutions. OR applies comprehensive analysis including all factors that affect on it and builds mathematical modeling to solve business or organizational problems. In addition, it improves decision-making and uses available resources efficiently. The adoption of OR by universities would definitely contributes to the development and enhancement of the performance of OR techniques. This paper provides an understanding of the structures, approaches and models of OR in problem solving and decision-making.

Keywords: Decision Making, Operations Research, Decision Support System, best candidates' method

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6 From Shop-Floor to Classroom and from Classroom to Shop-Floor: A Way to Bridge Gap between Industry and Academy

Authors: Muhammad Haris Aziz, Shoaib Sarfraz, Chanchal Saha


The basic functions of a university are research and education. Research develops theories and education provides the link between the theory and the practical. Being an applied science, the link between theory and practice needs to be strong in engineering disciplines. But there remains a gap between industry and academy due lack of understanding and awareness from both sides. This gap is been shorten with an industrial engineering graduate class composed of a mix of students from industrial background and from theoretical background. Results are four industrial case studies which are the outcome of group projects in a course on operations research.

Keywords: Industrial Engineering, Operations Research, Engineering Education, industrial-academia linkage

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5 Review of the Model-Based Supply Chain Management Research in the Construction Industry

Authors: Aspasia Koutsokosta, Stefanos Katsavounis


This paper reviews the model-based qualitative and quantitative Operations Management research in the context of Construction Supply Chain Management (CSCM). Construction industry has been traditionally blamed for low productivity, cost and time overruns, waste, high fragmentation and adversarial relationships. The construction industry has been slower than other industries to employ the Supply Chain Management (SCM) concept and develop models that support the decision-making and planning. However the last decade there is a distinct shift from a project-based to a supply-based approach of construction management. CSCM comes up as a new promising management tool of construction operations and improves the performance of construction projects in terms of cost, time and quality. Modeling the Construction Supply Chain (CSC) offers the means to reap the benefits of SCM, make informed decisions and gain competitive advantage. Different modeling approaches and methodologies have been applied in the multi-disciplinary and heterogeneous research field of CSCM. The literature review reveals that a considerable percentage of CSC modeling accommodates conceptual or process models which discuss general management frameworks and do not relate to acknowledged soft OR methods. We particularly focus on the model-based quantitative research and categorize the CSCM models depending on their scope, mathematical formulation, structure, objectives, solution approach, software used and decision level. Although over the last few years there has been clearly an increase of research papers on quantitative CSC models, we identify that the relevant literature is very fragmented with limited applications of simulation, mathematical programming and simulation-based optimization. Most applications are project-specific or study only parts of the supply system. Thus, some complex interdependencies within construction are neglected and the implementation of the integrated supply chain management is hindered. We conclude this paper by giving future research directions and emphasizing the need to develop robust mathematical optimization models for the CSC. We stress that CSC modeling needs a multi-dimensional, system-wide and long-term perspective. Finally, prior applications of SCM to other industries have to be taken into account in order to model CSCs, but not without the consequential reform of generic concepts to match the unique characteristics of the construction industry.

Keywords: Modeling, Simulation, Optimization, Operations Research, construction supply chain management

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4 Supply Chain Optimization for Silica Sand in a Glass Manufacturing Company

Authors: Ramon Erasmo Verdin Rodriguez


Many has been the ways that historically the managers and gurus has been trying to get closer to the perfect supply chain, but since this topic is so vast and very complex the bigger the companies are, the duty has not been certainly easy. On this research, you are going to see thru the entrails of the logistics that happens at a glass manufacturing company with the number one raw material of the process that is the silica sand. After a very quick passage thru the supply chain, this document is going to focus on the way that raw materials flow thru the system, so after that, an analysis and research can take place to improve the logistics. Thru Operations Research techniques, it will be analyzed the current scheme of distribution and inventories of raw materials at a glass company’s plants, so after a mathematical conceptualization process, the supply chain could be optimized with the purpose of reducing the uncertainty of supply and obtaining an economic benefit at the very end of this research.

Keywords: Supply Chain, Optimization, Operations Research, Inventory Management

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3 Optimization of Personnel Selection Problems via Unconstrained Geometric Programming

Authors: Vildan Kistik, Tuncay Can


From a business perspective, cost and profit are two key factors for businesses. The intent of most businesses is to minimize the cost to maximize or equalize the profit, so as to provide the greatest benefit to itself. However, the physical system is very complicated because of technological constructions, rapid increase of competitive environments and similar factors. In such a system it is not easy to maximize profits or to minimize costs. Businesses must decide on the competence and competence of the personnel to be recruited, taking into consideration many criteria in selecting personnel. There are many criteria to determine the competence and competence of a staff member. Factors such as the level of education, experience, psychological and sociological position, and human relationships that exist in the field are just some of the important factors in selecting a staff for a firm. Personnel selection is a very important and costly process in terms of businesses in today's competitive market. Although there are many mathematical methods developed for the selection of personnel, unfortunately the use of these mathematical methods is rarely encountered in real life. In this study, unlike other methods, an exponential programming model was established based on the possibilities of failing in case the selected personnel was started to work. With the necessary transformations, the problem has been transformed into unconstrained Geometrical Programming problem and personnel selection problem is approached with geometric programming technique. Personnel selection scenarios for a classroom were established with the help of normal distribution and optimum solutions were obtained. In the most appropriate solutions, the personnel selection process for the classroom has been achieved with minimum cost.

Keywords: Operations Research, non-linear programming, geometric programming, personnel selection

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2 An Information-Based Approach for Preference Method in Multi-Attribute Decision Making

Authors: Serhat Tuzun, Tufan Demirel


Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) is the modelling of real-life to solve problems we encounter. It is a discipline that aids decision makers who are faced with conflicting alternatives to make an optimal decision. MCDM problems can be classified into two main categories: Multi-Attribute Decision Making (MADM) and Multi-Objective Decision Making (MODM), based on the different purposes and different data types. Although various MADM techniques were developed for the problems encountered, their methodology is limited in modelling real-life. Moreover, objective results are hard to obtain, and the findings are generally derived from subjective data. Although, new and modified techniques are developed by presenting new approaches such as fuzzy logic; comprehensive techniques, even though they are better in modelling real-life, could not find a place in real world applications for being hard to apply due to its complex structure. These constraints restrict the development of MADM. This study aims to conduct a comprehensive analysis of preference methods in MADM and propose an approach based on information. For this purpose, a detailed literature review has been conducted, current approaches with their advantages and disadvantages have been analyzed. Then, the approach has been introduced. In this approach, performance values of the criteria are calculated in two steps: first by determining the distribution of each attribute and standardizing them, then calculating the information of each attribute as informational energy.

Keywords: Operations Research, literature review, multi-attribute decision making, preference method, informational energy

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1 Resource Allocation and Task Scheduling with Skill Level and Time Bound Constraints

Authors: Salam Saudagar, Ankit Kamboj, Niraj Mohan, Satgounda Patil, Nilesh Powar


Task Assignment and Scheduling is a challenging Operations Research problem when there is a limited number of resources and comparatively higher number of tasks. The Cost Management team at Cummins needs to assign tasks based on a deadline and must prioritize some of the tasks as per business requirements. Moreover, there is a constraint on the resources that assignment of tasks should be done based on an individual skill level, that may vary for different tasks. Another constraint is for scheduling the tasks that should be evenly distributed in terms of number of working hours, which adds further complexity to this problem. The proposed greedy approach to solve assignment and scheduling problem first assigns the task based on management priority and then by the closest deadline. This is followed by an iterative selection of an available resource with the least allocated total working hours for a task, i.e. finding the local optimal choice for each task with the goal of determining the global optimum. The greedy approach task allocation is compared with a variant of Hungarian Algorithm, and it is observed that the proposed approach gives an equal allocation of working hours among the resources. The comparative study of the proposed approach is also done with manual task allocation and it is noted that the visibility of the task timeline has increased from 2 months to 6 months. An interactive dashboard app is created for the greedy assignment and scheduling approach and the tasks with more than 2 months horizon that were waiting in a queue without a delivery date initially are now analyzed effectively by the business with expected timelines for completion.

Keywords: Operations Research, Scheduling, assignment, deadline, Hungarian algorithm, greedy approach

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