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MAT3201 Operations Research 2

Semester 1, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Maths and Computing
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Trevor Langlands
Moderator: Ron Addie


Pre-requisite: MAT1200 or USQIT16


Decision making under conditions of uncertainty, or in competitive environments, or in situations in which variables of interest evolve through time is enhanced by the application of specialised operations research techniques. This course emphasises the applications of deterministic, probabilistic and simulation techniques to problems which arise in complex decision making. The course is of special interest to those concerned with management, organizational systems, production/manufacturing systems and communication networks.


This course requires students to be capable of applying managerial control techniques to the outputs of projects; to understand the implications of decision making under uncertainty; to formulate and solve dynamic programming models; to model and solve queueing and inventory problems. Concepts in simulation are developed through the design of probabilistic simulation models for inventory and queueing problems. This course is normally offered only in odd years.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of deterministic, probabilistic and stochastic processes (Assignment 1, Exam);
  2. develop models and apply the necessary analytical techniques for inventory, queueing and Markov process problems (Assignment 1 and 2, Exam);
  3. understand and apply the technique of dynamic programming to various problems (Assignment 3, Exam);
  4. recognise problems which may require simulation in their solution (Assignment 3, Exam);
  5. demonstrate understanding of the key concepts and stages in simulation modelling (Assignment 3, Exam);
  6. show increasing awareness of the consequence of decision making in complex systems (All assessment items).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Deterministic Inventory Models - deterministic and probabilistic processes - structure of inventory systems - formulations of inventory models - the basic Economic Order Quantity Model - effect on optimality of discounts - continuous-rate EOQ Models - EOQ models with back orders allowed 16.00
2. Probabilistic Inventory Models - single period decision models - discrete and continuous demand models - EOQ models with uncertain demand 16.00
3. Markov Processes - stochastic processes and definition of a Markov chain - systems defined as Markov processes - formulation of Markov process model - transition probabilities - steady state probabilities - absorbing chains - queueing problems as Markov processes 16.00
4. Queueing Theory - the structure of queueing systems - modelling arrival and service processes - probability distributions in queueing models - single server queueing models - multi server queueing models - finite queue length models - finite source models 16.00
5. Dynamic Programming - elements of the DP model - system states - recursion - applications 16.00
6. Fundamentals of Systems Simulation - functions and classification of simulation models - structure of system models, simulation model formulation, implementation and performance appraisal - generation of random variates - model formulation and execution of inventory problems - model formulation and execution of a probabilistic queueing problem - validation and sensitivity analysis 16.00
7. Implementation - roles of manager and OR specialists in decision making - factors affecting successful implementation of OR recommendations - phases of implementation and review 4.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Introductory Book 2013, Course MAT3201 Operations Research 2, USQ Distance and e-Learning Centre, Toowoomba.
  • Study Book 2013, Course MAT3201 Operations Research 2, USQ Distance and e-Learning Centre, Toowoomba.
  • Winston, W.L 2004, Operations Research: Applications and Algorithms, 4th edn, Duxbury Press, Belmont CA.
  • A scientific calculator.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Ecker, J. & Kupferschmid, M 1991, Introduction to Operations Research, Krieger, Malabar, FL.
  • Hillier, F & Lieberman, G 2001, Introduction to Operations Research, 7th edn, McGraw-Hill, New York.
  • Ravindran, A., Phillips, D. & Solberg, J 1987, Operations Research, Principles and Practice, 2nd edn, John Wiley, New York.
  • Taha, H.A 2003, Operations Research - an introduction, 7th edn, MacMillan, New York.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 15.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 155.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 15 29 Mar 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 15 10 May 2013
ASSIGNMENT 3 100 15 07 Jun 2013
2HR RESTRICTED EXAMINATION 100 55 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to Examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment will apply for each working day late.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the available weighted marks for the summative assessment items.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    “The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); calculators which do not hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination). ); one A4 sheet of paper, written or typed on one or both sides with any material the student wishes to include (students are required to submit this sheet of paper with the examination paper, but it will not contribute to marks for the course). Students whose first language is not English, may take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.”

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request to do so.The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.