Thursday, April 21, 2011

Notable E-Book: Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Good quality reference books on the operational aspects of business organizations are surprisingly difficult to find. But we recently added one that we hope will prove very useful. The Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science (EORMS) is the first multi-volume encyclopedia devoted to advancing the areas of operations research and management science. We bought the online version to make it easier for distance users to make use of the content. And this resource, the equivalent of eight volumes, is available 24/7.

The publisher claims that their "unparalleled undertaking....has been designed for academic researchers and advanced students as well as professionals looking for timely and authoritative review-type information in this field. The encyclopedia features contributions from diverse and international contributors from academia, industry, business, government and the military."

The contributors truly are from a global community and wide-ranging expertise. And the way the information is presented is also diverse. There are Introductory Articles that provide a broad and moderately technical treatment of core topics. While Advanced Articles review key areas of research in a citation-rich format similar to that of leading review journals. Technical Articles provide more detailed discussions of key concepts addressed in related articles. And Case Studies/Historical Interludes present successful and/or interesting examples of operations research and management science methodology in practical or historical contexts.

Topics cover anything from Linear Programming (LP) and Nonlinear Programming (NLP) and Global Optimization (GO) to Decision and Risk Analysis and Game Theory to Data Mining and Forecasting. One section details specific applications and their histories. These include Retail and Service Applications, Supply Chain Management, Applications with Societal Impact (like Anti-Terrorism and Homeland Security) and Industrial Applications (like High-Tech Industries). All told, there are over 600 articles (on over 6400 pages) with contributions from over 1,000 authors from around the world.

The publisher's promotional page can be found here. And a quick overview of the table of contents can be found here. And here is a sample article on Operations Research to Improve Disaster Supply Chain Management. However, to explore the entire content of the Encyclopedia, you'll want to use our proxyized link, either through the online catalog (OPAC) or as provided here.

Once you click on the link to the set in the OPAC, there are two ways to easily explore the content. In the left frame, you can look "For Articles" by Title or by Topic. (See arrows above.) When you click one of those links, the display in the middle of the screen changes and you can browse and then select appropriate items. There is also a search box to the right. But DON'T just put keywords in the search box and hit enter unless you want to search the entire Wiley Online Library, which is mostly journals. Instead, as circled above, click on the link to "Search in This Book." When you click that link, search boxes just for this encyclopedia will open up mid-screen.

Take advantage of this very sophisticated encyclopedia when you are looking for basic background information on a wide variety of topics related to operations research and management science theory, methodology, and applications.

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