Summary and Info
The standard view of Operations Research/Management Science (OR/MS) dichotomizes the field into deterministic and probabilistic (nondeterministic, stochastic) subfields. This division can be seen by reading the contents page of just about any OR/MS textbook. The mathematical models that help to define OR/MS are usually presented in terms of one subfield or the other. This separation comes about somewhat artificially: academic courses are conveniently subdivided with respect to prerequisites; an initial overview of OR/MS can be presented without requiring knowledge of probability and statistics; text books are conveniently divided into two related semester courses, with deterministic models coming first; academics tend to specialize in one subfield or the other; and practitioners also tend to be expert in a single subfield. But, no matter who is involved in an OR/MS modeling situation (deterministic or probabilistic - academic or practitioner), it is clear that a proper and correct treatment of any problem situation is accomplished only when the analysis cuts across this dichotomy.