This module aims to introduce the student to the main deterministic techniques that are used in operational research, namely linear and integer programming, dynamic programming, machine scheduling, project networks, and heuristics. The process of modelling problems of a practical nature as a linear or integer program will be developed. Following an explanation of a standard version of the simplex method, some of its variants will be introduced. The main ideas of linear programming duality
will also be explained. A computer workshop session trains students in the use of commercial linear programming software. The branch and bound approach for solving integer programming problems will also be developed. Dynamic programming will be introduced as a technique for tackling problems in which decisions can be made sequentially. For machine scheduling, the main focus will be to introduce the main problem types, and develop solution procedures for selected models. For project networks, the representation of projects as networks and methods for analysing such networks will be covered. Following a discussion of the reasons for using heuristic methods for complex problems, a
discussion of the properties of good heuristics will be given. Some of the design principles for heuristics will be explained, and local search heuristics will be discussed.
One of the pre-requisites for MATH6158