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Operations Research: My New Passion

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Recently I have been studying Operations Research as a primary subject. Well, to be honest, I am currently considering to study my masters degree in this field. So, long story short, I fell in love with this course from the first day that I participated in the class.
So I was thinking about working on some software projects (mostly academic) in the field of mathematical optimization, e.g. Linear/Non-linear/Integer/Binary Programming, Transportation Problems, Assignment Problems, Goal Programming. There are plenty of libraries and even packaged software ready for usage; COIN-OR as an example (written mainly in C++). However:
  • These kinds of libraries are either pure C or if they are written in C++, the code seems far from what is considered standard/good from a programming point of view. Also, some of them were written many years ago and those days, the core C++ language provided less features than what we have today.
  • The packaged applications (not the programming libraries) of Operations Research are mostly difficult to work with. Well, it's certainly not difficult for me or many of you but it is difficult for those who have a non-programming background and just want to use these methods for real-life applications.
  • I am very interested to finally put my programming knowledge into work, after all these years of doing nothing useful.

Based on these facts, and also my passion for this field of study, I decided to work on software packages for Operations Research from now on, ranging from implementation of algorithms and writing libraries, to standardization of available (open)source code and also writing software solutions for real-life problems.

Bottom line, I believe Operations Research is in great need of code standardization/update.

P.S. I don't know if there is anyone here who has worked in this field before. So let me know about it.

3 Comments On This Entry

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CTphpnwb Icon

12 January 2014 - 05:08 PM
Since the mathematical models we work on are primarily for cost effective research is I suppose I work in this field. Our department tends to use packages like TreeAge or MATLAB for our less complicated models and C/C++ for our more complex models.

I agree with your points, but I think point 2 is going to remain valid until computers are self aware, if that ever happens. That's the nature of the research.
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Anarion Icon

13 January 2014 - 11:46 AM

CTphpnwb, on 13 January 2014 - 03:38 AM, said:

Since the mathematical models we work on are primarily for cost effective research is I suppose I work in this field. Our department tends to use packages like TreeAge or MATLAB for our less complicated models and C/C++ for our more complex models.

I agree with your points, but I think point 2 is going to remain valid until computers are self aware, if that ever happens. That's the nature of the research.

That's right, too much simplicity can cut down the capabilities. I strongly believe that this area of work needs to attract more programmers to improve the available code... maybe it's just a dream-like vision that I am having. Guess I'll have to spend more time thinking about such things!
There was also a notable software package named QSB, which was suggested to me by one of my professors. It was more of an academic-purposed software and featured many different subjects; the only problem was that it became a dead software: the programmer had dropped it ages ago and there was no source-code available. The only package file that I could find was only compatible with Win98!
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Hybrid SyntaX Icon

21 January 2014 - 01:45 PM
Hey bro, I've been thinking about "I need more DIC in my life" and saw you had posted here! REVELATION!
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