OS as a computational infrastructure for Operations Research (OR)
Operations Research, as a branch of applied mathematics, has its foundations in mathematics, computing and economic theories, on which basic tools in optimization and simulation are built. We apply these tools to model problems in such areas as manufacturing, distribution, finance, and marketing.
The above figure shows a hierarchy of operations research activities. The highest level in the hierarchy is concerned with modeling and is the part that directly interfaces to consumers who use models for daily analysis. The level of “Underlying Tools” comprises such core areas as mathematical programming, simulation, and statistics. This level is typically regarded as what uniquely defines Operations Research.
Optimization Services’ position is in the middle of the Operations Research hierarchy. It is concerned with things like communication infrastructures, modeling languages and systems. It is an interface part that bridges OR modeling with OR tools. When implemented smoothly, it is the part that is not noticed by modelers or users.