2023-2024 / MQGE0001-6

Operations Research


45h Th

Nombre de crédits

 Bachelier en ingénieur de gestion5 crédits 
 Cours supplémentaires destinés aux étudiants d'échange - Erasmus5 crédits 
 Bachelier en sciences mathématiques6 crédits 
 Master en sciences mathématiques, à finalité5 crédits 


Jérôme De Boeck

Langue(s) de l'unité d'enseignement

Langue anglaise

Organisation et évaluation

Enseignement au premier quadrimestre, examen en janvier


Horaire en ligne

Unités d'enseignement prérequises et corequises

Les unités prérequises ou corequises sont présentées au sein de chaque programme

Contenus de l'unité d'enseignement

Operations research relies on mathematical modeling to formulate and to analyze complex decision problems faced by individuals or organizations. OR models and techniques are found at the core of numerous IT tools used in everyday life and in managerial decision support systems, e.g., GPS-based routing systems, airline reservation and pricing software, production planning and scheduling systems, financial investment optimization systems, etc. In order to make a sensible use of OR tools, the manager needs to understand their full potential as well as their limitations. By getting the most out of these tools, companies may be able to develop innovative solutions and to improve their competitive position.

As such, the course directly relates to one of the main intended learning outcomes of the bachelor's programme in business engineering, namely, the ability to use analytical and IT tools in order to address management problems.

The course offers an introduction to some of the most successful models and techniques used in operations research:

  • linear programming: modeling, simplex method, sensitivity analysis, duality;
  • integer progamming: modeling, branch-and-bound algorithms;
  • queueing theory: basic features, arrival and service processes, M/M/c models;
  • network models; shortest paths, project scheduling.
As time allows, other topics (e.g., simulation) may also be touched upon.

The course is illustrated by numerous examples and applications from logistics, production management, finance, arising in various profit or non-profit service industries.

Acquis d'apprentissage (objectifs d'apprentissage) de l'unité d'enseignement

Key Learning Outcomes addressed by the course:

  • Establish a strategy in order to optimize the value chain of an organization, taking into account its scientific and technological context, and demonstrating a critical mind and scientific precision.
  • Take charge of the everyday management of a company, an organization or a project, taking into account its scientific, technological and entrepreneurial dimensions, ensuring a good interface between its technological and managerial aspects, and capitalizing on the characteristics of a digitalized world.
  • Plan and implement the performance and quality control in a company, an organization or a project, using the appropriate analytical tools.  
More specifically, the students are expected to
  • Acquire familiarity with the mathematical modeling approach to decision-making, and with fundamental models and methods used in operations research.
  • Be able to reconstruct and to interpret the output of simple models.
  • Be able to recognize situations where OR techniques can be successfully applied and to formulate simple models.
  • Gain some understanding of the inherent limitations of the mathematical modeling approach.

Savoirs et compétences prérequis

Mathematics (linear algebra, matrix algebra), probability theory and statistics (concept of random variable, classical distributions, expected value, variance, etc.).

Activités d'apprentissage prévues et méthodes d'enseignement

A1. Lectures.
A1. Readings (lecture notes and case studies).
A2. Numerical exercises. A2. Computer labs.
A3. Computer-based project: formulation and solution of a small case.

Mode d'enseignement (présentiel, à distance, hybride)

Face-to-face lectures and practice sessions.

Lectures recommandées ou obligatoires et notes de cours

Lecture notes:
Y. Crama, Operations Research, ULiège, 2020.

Additional material to be found on the virtual campus Lol@:

  • articles: A Business Executive's Guide to Modern OR, OR The Productivity Engine, Queueing at Vancouver Airport, etc.
  • slides
  • exercises

Modalités d'évaluation et critères

Examen(s) en session

Toutes sessions confondues

- En présentiel

évaluation écrite

Travail à rendre - rapport

Explications complémentaires:

In January, the assessment is based on 
- a written examination with open-ended questions (for 90% for the grade);
- a group project assigned during the course (for 10% of the grade).

In August-September, the assessment is based on a written examination only. The grades obtained for the group project cannot be carried over to the August-September session, nor from one academic year to the next.


Remarques organisationnelles et modifications principales apportées au cours

The course is taught in English .


Instructor: Jérôme De Boeck, jerome.deboeck@uliege.be
HEC Liège (Building N1) Room 301

Teaching assistant: Marie Baratto
HEC Liège (Building N1)  Room 334

Association d'un ou plusieurs MOOCs