What are the favorite books that are about Operations Research or Management Science. It could be any book. I am interested to see what is a good read for OR related topics.

asked 23 Jun '10, 18:27

larrydag%201's gravatar image

larrydag 1 ♦
accept rate: 9%

Good idea! I'm also interested to hear about any good books containing stories or case studies where optimization was used successfully.

(23 Jun '10, 19:56) DC Woods ♦

(Not to hijack your question!)

(23 Jun '10, 20:05) DC Woods ♦

It may be even more informative to read stories or case studies where optimization was used unsuccessfully, especially if insights are provided as to why.

(18 Apr, 14:54) Mark L Stone

There's a significant cultural bias against publishing failures. But a couple of good sources for stories in general (including some failures) are the practitioner columns in OR/MS Today (currently, the ORacle column by Doug Samuelson) and the late Gene Woolsey's Fifth Column feature of Interfaces from back when he was Editor in Chief.

(18 Apr, 15:05) Matthew Salt... ♦

12next »


This is the book that is always in my desk drawer.

Model Building in Mathematical Programming by H. Paul Williams

alt text


answered 24 Jun '10, 12:49

larrydag%201's gravatar image

larrydag 1 ♦
accept rate: 9%

Amen. It may be the most practice-oriented math programming book I've seen.

(24 Jun '10, 15:40) Paul Rubin ♦

amen... I am reading the book for some time now. I definitely recommend it.

(24 Jun '10, 16:26) Venky

Excellent book, there should be more books with such a nice practical view.

(19 Jul '10, 08:56) Bo Jensen ♦

Shameless plug: If you like that book you'll love this set of OPTMODEL examples: http://support.sas.com/documentation/cdl/en/ormpex/66104/HTML/default/viewer.htm#titlepage.htm

(26 Oct '13, 21:27) Leo

Bradley, Hax, and Magnanti, "Applied Mathematical Programming". We need a new book just like this! http://web.mit.edu/15.053/www/


answered 24 Jun '10, 00:38

Michael%20Trick's gravatar image

Michael Trick ♦♦
accept rate: 20%

edited 24 Jun '10, 15:11

Great link Michael.

(24 Jun '10, 12:44) larrydag 1 ♦

Network Flows: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications, by Ravindra K. Ahuja,Thomas L. Magnanti, James B. Orlin

here is the link

alt text


answered 23 Jun '10, 20:56

Mark's gravatar image

Mark ♦
accept rate: 10%

This book is the most comprehensive coverage of a topic I have ever seen, which makes it the absolute standard book for network flows. Just see the very rich extra assignments after each chapter, amazing amount of effort put into this. It is still on my work table..

(19 Jul '10, 08:58) Bo Jensen ♦

Actually all the network optimization books has one minor draw back, they often over-focus on the graph approach, since it is easy to visualize and explain. One of my favorite papers is Helgason & Kennington "Primal Simplex Algorithms for Minimum cost Network Flows", because they show exactly the relation between standard simplex and network simplex (though of course a bit harder for students to grasp).

(19 Jul '10, 09:15) Bo Jensen ♦

Chvatal's Linear Programming (Freeman, 1986) was a revelation for me. It was the first book I saw that presented the simplex method without tableaux, which (IMHO) are a serious impediment to gaining any intuition about what's going on.

The first five chapters are a readable and intuitive description of the LP problem, the simplex method (using dictionaries--the written out systems of equations solved for the basic variables) and the nicest motivation for duality I've ever read. The next group of chapters revisits those ideas in matrix form, with the revised and bounded variable simplex methods, the dual simplex method, and post-optimality. The rest is various special topics from a wide variety of areas, including the network simplex method and even sparse basis factorization and update methods.

Some recent developments are missing (it covers the ellipsoid method but came before modern interior-point methods, for example), but it's still a great read.


answered 24 Jun '10, 02:43

Matthew%20Saltzman's gravatar image

Matthew Salt... ♦
accept rate: 16%

Matthew: I've been thinking of buying this book for a long time and your comments have convinced me once and for all. However, when I search for this book at Amazon and B&N both sites say it was published in 1983. Do you know if there's been an updated edition in 1986? or is that the exact same book? Thanks, Tallys.

(17 Oct '10, 16:27) Tallys Yunes ♦

There's no updated version that I'm aware of. So it can't be a current reference--it appeared before the whole interior-point revolution. But that doesn't make it less of a classic.

(11 Nov '10, 20:13) Matthew Salt... ♦

Sadly, W. H. Freeman recently dropped this Chvatal's book from its catalog. I'm hoping that perhaps Dover will pick it up for a reprint edition.

(10 Apr '11, 18:24) Brian Borchers

I strongly recommend the book The Traveling Salesman Problem: A Computational Study by David L. Applegate, Robert E. Bixby, Vasek Chvátal & William J. Cook

This book covers over fifty years of improvements in OR theory, algorithms, and practical heurstics in the solution of large-scale TSP instances. It is fascinating to see how creative and experimental solutions to this classic OR problem came about and evolved. It is a great read for anyone interested in operations research.


answered 29 Jul '10, 14:01

Justin%20Melvin's gravatar image

Justin Melvin
accept rate: 0%


answered 31 Aug '10, 13:38

Mostafa%20Eslahi's gravatar image

Mostafa Eslahi
accept rate: 0%

One of my favorites as well.

(31 Aug '10, 14:46) Paul Rubin ♦

At the introductory/undergrad level, my favorite is "Introduction to Operations Research" by Hillier and Lieberman. It covers a wide variety of topics with clear and easy-to-follow explanations.


answered 23 Jun '10, 20:48

Tallys%20Yunes's gravatar image

Tallys Yunes ♦
accept rate: 11%

This one is also a great read. It does not need any paper and pencil (unless you want to work out all the details) but I found it a great read before going to bed

50 Years of Integer Programming 1958-2008: From the Early Years to the State-of-the-Art

And here is the Amazon link it is also available for free on Springer website if you are a student

alt text


answered 23 Jun '10, 20:59

Mark's gravatar image

Mark ♦
accept rate: 10%

edited 19 Jul '10, 08:34

Thanks for the link, I have not read it but it looks interesting.

(19 Jul '10, 09:00) Bo Jensen ♦

Bradley, Hax and Magnanti is my favorite too. Another one I really like is "Urban Operations Research" by Larson and Odoni.


answered 21 Jul '10, 17:35

Jay%20Rajgopal's gravatar image

Jay Rajgopal
accept rate: 0%

A (HTML-formatted) web edition of "Urban Operations Research", accompanied by some course materials, is available via http://web.mit.edu/urban_or_book/www/ http://web.mit.edu/urban_or_book/www/book/

(27 Oct '13, 04:16) fbahr ♦

Mine has to be Tabu Search by Glover and Laguna. It has more great ideas and original thinking packed into one book that any others I've found.

It covers the Tabu Search family of metaheuristics, but they really define this to include a lot more than just TS: adaptive memory programming, scatter search and path relinking, and lots more.


answered 23 Jun '10, 19:40

DC%20Woods's gravatar image

DC Woods ♦
accept rate: 5%

Do you have some other special favorite book about metaheuristics in general?

(24 Jun '10, 10:50) mare

The "Handbook of Metaheuristics" is great as an overview of most common types of metaheuristic. Articles on each metaheuristic by big names in that field.

(25 Jun '10, 03:03) DC Woods ♦

Thanks for the tip, I will give it a try.

(25 Jun '10, 15:51) mare
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 23 Jun '10, 18:27

Seen: 15,942 times

Last updated: 18 Apr, 15:05

OR-Exchange! Your site for questions, answers, and announcements about operations research.