Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Operations Research: Some Experimental Applications

Tyabji, Nasir (1976): Operations Research: Some Experimental Applications. Published in: Economic and Political Weekly , Vol. 11, No. 48 (27 November 1976): M-108-M-111.


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It was in the late 1930s that the Royal Air Force, while experimenting with new radar stations,made the revolutionary discovery that the scientific placing of radar stations was a problem quite distinct from the technological one of making individual stations work reliably. What was even more revolutionary was the choice of leading physical and biological scientists to solve the problem. This use of the scientific method of enquiry to solve an operational as opposed to a theoretical problem came to be known as Operational Research. Despite the circumstances of its origin and growth, OR has come to be seen as merely a way of tackling problems by breaking them into smaller problems to make them analytically tractable; the larger institutional causes of these problems are considered outside the ken of OR. The present paper questions these assumptions and proposes some alternative applications of OR.

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