Decision Support Systems Models



QUANTITATIVE MODEL COMPONENTS (refer to Institute for Operations Research and Management Science - INFORMS OR/MS











A major element of a Decision Support System (refer to decision making process) is a Model, a simplified representation of reality.  Models are classified according to the degree of abstraction:

  • Iconic - least abstract, a physical replica of a system
  • Analog model - functional equivalent, but does not look like the system
  • Mathematical/Quantitative - more abstract mathematical or other quantitative models.













  • What if analysis - Observing how changes to selected variables affect other varibales.  Example:  What happens to sales if we cut advertising by 10%?
  • Sensitivity analysis - Observing how repeated changes to a single variable affect other variables. Example:   If advertising is cut by $100 repeatedely, to see how sales change
  • Goal-seeking analysis - Making repeated changes to selected variables until a chosen variable reaches a target value.  Example, Increase advertising until sales reach $5,000,000 USD.
  • Optimization analysis - Finds an optimum value for selected variable given certain constraints:  Example:  What is the best amount of advertising to have, given budget and media choice?










  • Decision variables
  • Un-controllable variables
  • Result variables
  • Mathematical Relationship







DESCRIPTIVE MODELS - Descriptive Models are mathematically-based and include"









"Optimal Results" (as seen in ComputerWorld)
Business Intelligence Pays Dividends
Chicago's Peoples Energy
Intelligent Mathematical Programming System
Operations Research in the e-Business Era
Optimize the Enterprise - article
OR/MS Today
Pilot Software
SAILS Application
Spatial Decision Support Systems
The Integrated Modeling Environment Project
Visualization and Optimization

Virtual Reality for Manufacturing - Case Studies

NASA - Virtual Wind Tunnel

General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS) is a high-level modeling system for mathematical programming problems

GAMS Model Library

The Genetic Algorithms Archive









Interactive Computer Models for Analytical Chemistry Instruction free interactive models for analytical chemistry instruction ... Interactive Computer Models for Analytical Chemistry Instruction Tom O'Haver Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry  The University of Maryland at College Park...


U.S. Corn and Soybean Weather/Production Models (92001) Spreadsheet models to calculate corn and soybean yields, harvested acreage, and the production for states, regions, and the U.S. based on planted acreage, weather, and fertilizer application.

World Mine Cost Data Exchange Download free production data spreadsheets for all mines on the site.

Crystal Ball - Risk Analysis with Excel  
Decisioneering produces Crystal Ball, an Excel-based forecasting and simulation tool that increases your ability to model and identify your business and financial risks.

Easy Crew Schedule Optimization in Excel  
Download simple crew scheduling optimization model and other scheduling examples in Excel. Optimize large scale, custom models with advanced Solvers for Excel - Download free trial versions.

How to Buy Chevy and Avoid Dealer Scams  
Free consumer advocate site is the best of its kind. Reveals dealer scams, negotiating tips, dealer cost, buying & selling used cars, info on financing, leases and free Excel spreadsheets.

Investment Model Excel Templates  
Investment-Calc PRO financial models for cash flows, NPV, IRR and ROI. QuickValue PRO for balance sheets and income proformas for company valuation models.

The Green River Basin Water Plan -  Surface Water Models are now available online at

The spreadsheet models were developed to determine average monthly streamflow in the Green River Basin during  normal, wet, and dry years. In addition, these models aid in validating existing basin uses, assist in determining  timing and location of water available for future development, and help to assess impacts of future water  supply alternatives.







The InvestSmart Market Simulation. This interactive educational stock and mutual fund simulation uses real stock and mutual fund delayed quotes from the major US exchanges such as NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ.  

Iowa Electronic Markets This is an on-line futures market where contract payoffs are based on real-world events such as political outcomes, companies' earnings per share (EPS), and stock price returns. It is run as a non-profit educational and research project by faculty at University of Iowa Henry B. Tippie College of Business. Most of the markets use real money, although there is a free practice market.

Stock Market Game (SMG Worldwide) Provided by a consortium of educational organizations, This is a dedicated educational stock market game. The game can be played using a Javascript-enabled web browser. Games run over set time periods, and there are separate divisions for adults and school teams.

Make Your Own Indicator of Sustainable Economic Welfare The focus of this interactive site is the comparison between GDP and welfare. It allows the user to select and balance several factors to produce a customised indicator. Java is used to plot a graph of this indicator over the second half of the Twentieth Century, with a plot of GDP for comparison.

Virtual Economy A detailed model of the UK Economy, based on the H.M. Treasury model, which puts you in the position of Chancellor, showing you the macro- and micro-economic consequences of your budgets. Users can choose to alter a limited number of variables, or the full set. As well as very professional design and presentation, the site offers background material on macroeconomic theory.

2005: A Game for Macroeconomists (USA) Worth Publishers' companion site to Mankiw's textbook hosts several interactive features using Shockwave. One of them is an online game in which the student takes the role of American President, setting rates of taxes and government spending and viewing the effects on a variety of indicators

National Budget Simulation Anders Schneiderman and Nathan Newman - Center for Community Economic Research, U.C. Berkeley

This simulation challenges the user to balance the 1995 US Budget by making a serious of choices from drop-down menus. There are "short" and "long" lists of choices, so you can choose the level of detail. The site works mostly in text, but has an optional graphing feature.

Virtual Stock Exchange VirtualStockExchange is a simulated securities broker that provides mock trading of all securities listed on the major U.S. exchanges.







Aliah Think!
Applied Intelligence Atelier(AiA), Inc.
Astrokettle Algorithms
Bayesian Analysis Page
Dash Associates: The Optimization Company
Decision Explorer
Decision Makers(tm) Launch Page
DSS Spreadsheet Links
DTIC Home Page
Expert Choice
Formula One 3.1
High Performance Knowledge Bases
High Performance Systems Software
Linear Programming Example
Logistical and Transportation Planning Models
Management Science Resources
Mathematical Programming Glossary
Microsoft Decision Theory and Adaptive Systems Page
Model Management Web Site
MProbe 3.0
Sense and Sensitivity Analysis
Sensitivity Analysis Studies
Siftware: Logistic regression, Bayesian Model Averaging, by C. Volinsky
Simulation Software Survey
Software for Manipulating Belief Networks
Spreadsheet Error Research
The Physics of Queues by Dick Larson of MIT
Timetable Software Worldwide
Which & Why - Library of Models










DSS For Education Decisions

DSS for Financial Decisions

DSS for Health Decisions

DSS for Information Technology Decisions

DSS for Insurance Decisions

  • (alternatives, ratings, guidance)

  • Quotesmith (insurance quotes)

  • MarketTrak (neural net and genetic algorithm forecasts, performance, comparison)

  • NEOS (online demo of portfolio optimizer)

DSS for Natural Resource Decisions

  • Ag Canada (online DSS for manure management)

  • IMP (online DSS for pest management)

DSS for Purchasing Decisions


DSS for Real Estate Decisions


Geographic DSS

  • Leeds (online demo for radioactive waste disposal)

  • SUNY-Buffalo (tutorial, course, materials)








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