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Operations research (operational research in Britain) as understood today is essentially identical to systems analysis. Historically, it was a narrower area of activity that stressed quantitative methods and did not concern itself with TRADEOFFS between objectives and means or with problems of equity. It was defined by the Operational Research Society of Great Britain as follows (OPERATIONAL RESEARCH QUARTERLY, l3(3): 282, l962): Operational research is the attack of modern science on complex problems arising in the direction and management of large systems of men, machines, materials and money in industry, business, government and defense. Its distinctive approach is to develop a scientific model of the system, incorporating measurements of factors such as change and risk, with which to predict and compare the outcomes of alternative decisions, strategies or controls. The purpose is to help management determine its policy and actions scientifically. (IIASA)
(in Great Britain OPERATIONAL RESEARCH). Originally, the use of quantitative techniques in the domain of decision making in management, government, industry and in the military. Now, largely overlapping with systems analysis. It includes among others, optimization techniques, dynamic programming, data analysis including statistics, decision theory, simulation and planning theory. (Krippendorff)
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