Although this article is based largely on some of the authors’ experiences and views of European OR/MS, it is of direct importance to the worldwide OR/MS community. The field is better known in Europe as Operational Research or OR, and it occupies itself with quantitative methods for the analysis and solution of management problems. Its origins lie in military organizations during World War II: first the Royal Air Force (U.K.) preparing for the Battle of Britain and later on the U.S. Navy fighting German U-Boote (submarines). After the war, there was a general feeling that OR/MS could also be helpful to managers in industry, government, public services, and financial institutions. The logic was obvious: industrial activities such as production planning, inventory control, and physical distribution were quite suitable for model building and other forms of abstraction that lead to challenging mathematical problems, and trained OR workers (analysts) were available. But soon...
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