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The University of Southampton

MANG6046 Optimisation and Decision Modelling

Module Overview

This module will provide you with a sound foundation in the application of the many tools and techniques of management science. You are expected to learn the tools and the applications of modelling, optimization, computing and programming in solving practical problems drawn from many functional areas (operations, finance, marketing, and human resources, etc.) in different organizations (industry, finance, public sector, etc.).

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • how to model a wide range of business problems using optimisation techniques;
  • how to solve linear programming problems using different techniques;
  • how to obtain sensitive analysis reports, and understand the concept of duality;
  • how to recognise and be able to formulate and solve problems that require integer programming and goal programming;
  • how to use a standard linear programming package.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • apply the principles and techniques to solve practical business problems;
  • critically analyse and interpret the solutions of decision-making.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • problem structuring and solving;
  • decision making;
  • teamwork;
  • computer skills.


• Model building for business problems. Linear programming model formulation and graphical solution • Analysis of special linear programming solutions • Linear programming applications and their computer solution • The Simplex method for solving linear programming • Duality and sensitivity analysis in linear programming, including graphical sensitivity analysis, simplex-based sensitivity analysis, and computer sensitivity analysis • Integer programming: modelling, applications and algorithms, • Transportation, assignment and transhipment problems • Multicriteriai decisions.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Made up of 24 lectures. No seminars or tutorials. Students are allowed to select their own group members, normally 4 students in a group. Since the assignment is about mathematical modelling, students are expected to arrange all meeting themselves, including discussing problems, building up models, solving the models using software arrange, and writing reports. There will be a very brief introduction about group work, which normally occurs during lectures.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

B Render, RM Stair Jr. and N Balakrishnan (2012). Managerial Decision Modelling with Spreadsheets. 

FS Hillier and MS Hillier (2013). Introduction to Management Science: a Modelling and Case Study Approach with Spreadsheets. 

DR Anderson, DJ Sweeney, TA Williams AND M Wisniewski (2010). Introduction to Management Science: Quantitative Approach to Decision Making (Int'l Ed). 

BW Taylor III (2012). Introduction to Management Science. 



Questions and answers


MethodPercentage contribution
Group project  (2000 words) 40%
Individual Coursework 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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