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The University of Southampton

MATH6164 Stochastic OR Methods for Data Scientists

Module Overview

Stochastic OR Methods provides the students with a grounding in the stochastic elements of operational research. Models and examples are given to demonstrate applications of the topics. Discrete event simulation is taught via lectures and computer workshops while Decision Theory and the basics of Queueing Theory are taught in lectures.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts and applications of simulation, decision theory and the basics of queueing theory.
  • demonstrate skills in technical report writing.
  • demonstrate skills in team working.
  • implement and analyse a discrete event simulation model using Simul8 software.
  • demonstrate skills in using computer software and programming.


Simulation: The emphasis is on simulation computing skills, which are developed in computer labs based on the SIMUL8 package. Lectures on simulation cover: the concept of randomness; and sampling from probability distributions including discrete and continuous models. Decision Theory: Bayes’ rule, value of information, Decision trees, and the concept of utility, Queueing Theory: Basic elements of a queue, definition of a Markov Process and applications of queuing systems.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Six 2-hour OR techniques lectures Five 1-hour OR techniques tutorial sessions Two 2-hour simulation lectures Three 1-hour simulation computer sessions

Practical classes and workshops8
Wider reading or practice6
Follow-up work15
Completion of assessment task9
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Total study time75

Resources & Reading list

Nelson, BL. Stochastic Modeling: Analysis & Simulation. 

Winston, WL. Operations Research: Applications and Algorithms. 

Hillier, F. Introduction to Operations Research. 

Ross, SM. Applied Probability Models with Optimization Applications. 


Assessment Strategy

Summative assesments Coursework - on Simulation (one individual assignment & one group assignment)


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Written assessment 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment 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:

Books and Stationery equipment

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

Course texts are provided by the library and there are no additional compulsory costs associated with the module.

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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