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Published bySelina Angier Modified over 2 years ago

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Operational Research (O.R.) case studies

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What’s the problem?

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You are a manager in a school… You are particularly concerned about evacuating the children from the two canteens You are planning fire evacuation procedures

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You want to get all the children out of the buildings in 2 minutes But there are several small doorways they need to go through to get outside

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At the busiest time there are 550 children in the two canteens Is it possible to get them all out in time?

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What do we need? A plan of the buildings

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Something like this… Outside Area 1 Outside Area 2 Outside Area 3 Canteen 1 Canteen 2 A B C D

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and information about the capacity of each doorway (how quickly we can get the children through safely)

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Then we are ready to consider how long it will take to get the children out

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Let’s summarise the problem We need to evacuate 550 children from the school canteens We need the children to pass safely through a series of doorways with limited capacity

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Is it possible to get all the children out in two minutes?

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This is an example of finding the maximum flow through a network

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Other examples of where this might be used - Pipelines (oil, gas, water) - Transport networks - Delivery or distribution systems

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Over the next few lessons, we will look at ways of approaching problems of this type… What next?

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