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Foundations of O.R: Optimisation and (Meta-) Heuristics (London)

  Ref. 419  
  Victor Podinovski
  30 September 2016, London
  £575 + VAT Members
  £625 + VAT Non-members


   Foundation NA

GORS London Courses

The purpose of the series of ‘Foundations of O.R.’ courses is to help practitioners to understand the role of Operational Research in management; understand the requirements for successful Operational Research interventions; have knowledge of a range of Operational Research techniques; be able to identify the suitability of a technique for a problem situation and be able to apply those techniques.

Civil Servants / Members of the Government O.R. Service need to book these courses through the Civil Service Learning portal. (Go to

Foundations of O.R: Optimisation and (Meta-) Heuristics

Many complex real-life decision problems involve some form of optimisation of the use of resources, production profiles, services, schedules, investment decisions and so on. Depending on the task, different optimisation approaches have been developed in the field of O.R. to address these needs.

This session looks primarily into linear programming, which is the most commonly used optimisation methodology. We also briefly discuss several other optimisation techniques. The focus of this session is on the modelling side of linear programming and practical solution of LP models.

The objectives for the day are to:

  • Understand the main principles of optimisation and, in particular, linear programming.
  • Understand different types of decision situations in which linear programming and other optimisation techniques can be applied.
  • Obtain practical experience in the formulation of LP models and their solution using Excel Solver.
  • Appreciate the advantages and limitations of optimisation methodologies, and the extent to which they can contribute to practical decision making.

The topics covered during the day are:

  • Linear programming models, objective functions, constraints
  • Assumptions (simplifications) accepted in LP
  • Using Excel Solver to solve an LP
  • Interpretation of the optimal solution, sensitivity analysis
  • Other optimisation techniques, including heuristic methodologies.



09.00 - 10.30   Introduction to Linear Programming, building a simple LP

10.30 - 11.00   Break

11.00 - 12.30   Exercise: a case study, discussion

12.30 - 13.30   Lunch

13.30 - 15.00   Solving an LP using Excel Solver. Sensitivity Analysis.

15.00 - 15.30   Break

15.30 - 17.00   An overview of other optimisation techniques.

Course Tutor

Victor Podinovski is Professor of Operational Research at School of Management and Economics of Loughborough University. Victor’s background is in applied mathematics and operational research, and he has previously worked as Professor of Operational Research at Warwick Business School. Victor’s academic interests are in the areas of optimisation, decision making and efficiency analysis of firms. He has published extensively on these topics in many international journals, including top European and US journals. Recently Victor was a principal co-investigator of a large EU-funded research project aimed at the development of a range of quantitative tools to help EU decision makers to simulate policy scenarios in the field of common agricultural policy. He is a co-editor of Journal of Productivity Analysis and co-director of the Centre for performance and productivity analysis at Loughborough University.

If you are interested in further information, have any requirements (e.g. an alternative course date), or have difficulty booking a course online then please contact Jennie Phelps. It is recommended that courses are booked online. If this is not possible, then please print off, fill and fax or post the Training Course Booking Form.

Jennie Phelps   Address:  The OR Society, Seymour House, 12 Edward Street, Birmingham, B1 2RX, UK
  Tel: +44 (0)121 233 9300
  Fax: +44 (0)121 233 0321