the analysis, usually involving mathematical treatment, of a process, problem, or operation to determine its purpose and effectiveness and to gain maximum efficiency.
Origin of operations research
An Americanism dating back to 1940–45
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British Dictionary definitions for operations research
the analysis of problems in business and industry involving the construction of models and the application of linear programming, critical path analysis, and other quantitative techniquesAlso: operational research
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012