Operations Research or Operational Research (OR) is the use of advanced analytical techniques to improve decision making. OR’s history can be traced back to World War II. The Allied forces deployed a group of scientists and mathematicians to solve their complex wartime problems. After the war the attention was turned to possibility of applying same principles to business problems and civilian use.
Some OR methods and techniques are,
- Computer simulation for testing ideas for improvement before going for field trials.
- Optimization is choosing the best, optimal solution when many feasible options are available.
- Probability and statistics helps in measuring risk, and make reliable forecasts.
- Problem structuring for complex decisions
- Linear programming, Dynamic programming, network analysis
- Queuing models
- Inventory models
OR on Indian Railways
OR on Indian Railways is a continuous process, mainly carried out by traffic Department for improving the train operations. In Railway Board there was a Special Directorate LRDSS (Long Range Decision Support System)set up in early nineties which was assigned the job of OR to facilitate decision making on IR to improve and optimize the use of Railway network to carry more traffic. Recently a new IT application SATSANG has been developed for optimization of paths on various routes on IR network.
There are many areas in which OR can be deployed on IR. Shri Rajnish Kumar Prof. (IT) at NAIR BRC has written an article on the use of OR on IR which is available on following Link.
Applying Operations Research To Railway Operations – Rajnish Kumar