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smu mba solved assignments for mb0048 Q. What is a model in OR? Discuss different models available in OR.


Answer: A model is an idealised representation or abstraction of a real-life system. The objective of a model is to identify significant factors that affect the real-life system and their interrelationships. A model aids the decision-making process as it provides a simplified description of complexities and uncertainties of a problem in a logical structure. The most significant advantage of a model is that it does not interfere with the real-life system.

A broad classification of OR models
You can broadly classify OR models into the following types.

a. Physical Models include all form of diagrams, graphs and charts. They are designed to tackle specific problems. They bring out significant factors and interrelationships in pictorial form to facilitate analysis. There are two types of physical models:
I. Iconic models
II. Analog models
Iconic models are primarily images of objects or systems, represented on a smaller scale. These models can simulate the actual performance of a product. Analog models are small physical systems having characteristics similar to the objects they represent, such as toys.

b. Mathematical or Symbolic Models employ a set of mathematical symbols to represent the decision variable of the system. The variables are related by mathematical systems. Some examples of mathematical models are allocation, sequencing, and replacement models.

c. By nature of Environment: Models can be further classified as follows:
I. Deterministic model in which everything is defined and the results are certain, such as an EOQ model.

II. Probabilistic Models in which the input and output variables follow a defined probability distribution, such as the Games Theory.

d. By the extent of Generality Models can be further classified as follows:
I. General Models are the models which you can apply in general to any problem. For example: Linear programming.

II. Specific Models on the other hand are models that you can apply only under specific conditions. For example: You can use the sales response curve or equation as a function of only in the marketing function.

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