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Carraway, Robert L.

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Analyzing Uncertainty: Probability Distributions and Simulation

This note introduces simulation as a tool to analyze uncertainty in business decisions. It first observes the limitations of single point or simple range estimates of key uncertainties, thereby motivating the need to create a risk profile for any alternative that characterizes the full range of possible outcomes and their relative likelihoods. A simple example involving both a discrete and a conti ...

Buckeye Power & Light Company Supplement (Excel Solver)

Buckeye Power & Light Company (BP&L) has recently retained the services of a consulting firm to analyze aspects of its operations. This supplement contains the consultant's report, which includes an optimized linear-programming (LP) spreadsheet model using the Excel Solver. The supplement also provides a detailed explanation of the model, written for someone with no prior LP experience. See also t ...

Colonial Downs (A)

In this case, the protagonist is trying to decide which of the three horses running in the final race of the day at Colonial Downs horseracing track to bet on. He has $10 to bet, not enough to affect the odds in the track's pari-mutuel wagering system given the total amount of money being wagered. Data on each of the horse's previous 10 races is provided, including date, type of track, condition o ...

Colonial Downs (B)

In this case, the protagonist's uncle calls him just before betting closes on the same race and asks him to place a $500 bet for him. The $500 is clearly enough to affect the odds, but since the protagonist determines he is apt to be the final bettor, he reasons he can figure out how the odds will change based on how he bets the money. ...

Dow Chemical U.S.A.: Capacity Expansion

Dow Chemical U.S.A. is faced with the decision of where to locate a new chemical reactor. Three current plants sites are being considered. Economic planner John Lewis has been charged with analyzing the impact of the reactor location on distribution costs. Though not suggested in the case, it is possible to construct a linear programming model to assist him in his analysis. ...

East Georgia Construction Company (A)

A construction company that serves a 20-county area of eastern Georgia has as its main source of revenue the manufacture and placement of asphaltic concrete used in road construction. Thanks to a new, multiyear, state-funded highway program, the company is considering the purchase of a new nonportable drum-mix plant needed to expand its asphaltic-concrete manufacturing capacity. Students can explo ...

Exercises in Decision Making (I)

Used in conjunction with Exercises in Decision Making (II) (UVA-QA-0608). This exercise asks four questions around which people make cognitive mistakes. ...

Exercises in Decision Making (II)

Used in conjunction with Exercises in Decision Making (I) (UVA-QA-0607). This exercise contains four questions around which people make cognitive mistakes. ...

Foulke Consumer Products, Inc.: Supplement

This supplement is meant to accompany Foulke Consumer Products, Inc. (UVA-QA-392), and should be accompanied by a spreadsheet file of the model described herein, using the supplement precludes students having to build their own LP model thereby permitting the students more time to actually analyze the case itself. By manually selecting different plant configurations and using LP to determine the o ...

Foulke Consumer Products, Inc.: The Southeast Region

At the core of this case is a distribution, or sourcing, problem that can be modeled and solved using linear programming (LP). There are also issues of whether to build (a) new plant(s)--and if so, what the capacity should be--and whether to expand or close one or more of the existing plants. These latter issues can be analyzed using a 0/1 LP facility-location model. Alternatively, because the num ...

Interview Scheduling

This is an exercise in building a mathematical programming model to schedule students to interview with an interviewer, given that both have conflicts and the students have expressed preferences. The problem is sufficiently small that it can be solved with most small integer (0/1) linear programming packages. The problem has a more involved second level, where each student must interview with more ...

Introduction to Analytical Probability Distributions

This technical note provides a mostly nontechnical introduction to analytical probability distributions. The distributions covered are: uniform, triangular, normal, Poisson, exponential, lognormal, and binomial. ...
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