„During this period I was able to carry out only one project of real interest to me. Pure Oil was a fully integrated oil company in the sense that they engaged in exploration for oil, construction of oil wells, production of crude oil, transportation to refineries, distribution of refinery products to company owned storage facilities and to gas stations. We developed a linear programming model of the whole network hoping to discover the optimum allocation to and from connected nodes in order to meet required deliveries at minimum cost. Then we collected all the data needed by our model and ran the model. The computations took several days and the results were disappointing: The optimum allocations were not significantly different from their current practices. Is it possible that we had discovered a system of human beings in which everyone knew the payoff functions and constraints, and, over time, had evolved behavior patterns that enabled them to achieve near optimum performance? Or was it possible that our model was not detailed enough as it was based so closely on current practice that no new behavior could emerge? Or was our data incorrect? This was disappointing but great experience.“

Systems Movement: Autobiographical Retrospectives (2004)

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A. Wayne Wymore фото
A. Wayne Wymore13
American mathematician 1927 - 2011

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„After earning the PhD degree and acquiring some relatively extensive experience in digital computers… It was time to leave the University. The result of an extensive search for the right job was a family move to Arlington Heights, Illinois, where it was a short commute to the Research Laboratories of the Pure Oil Company at Crystal Lake. I was given the title of Mathematical and Computer Consultant. The Labs were set in a beautiful campus, the professional personnel were eager to learn what I had to teach and to include me in many interesting projects where my knowledge and skills could be put to good use. I was encouraged to initiate my own program of research. I went to work with enthusiasm.
The corporate headquarters of Pure Oil were located in down town Chicago. Pure Oil had been trying to install an IBM 705 computer system for all their accounting needs including calculation of all data necessary for the management of exploration, drilling, refining and distribution of oil products and even royalties to shareholders in oil wells. Typical for those early days, the programming team was in deep difficulties and needed help; they lacked adequate resources and suitable training. The Executive Vice President of Pure Oil, when he heard that there was a computer expert already on the payroll at the Crystal Lake lab, ended our family blissful dream and I was reassigned to the down town office.“

—  A. Wayne Wymore American mathematician 1927 - 2011

Systems Movement: Autobiographical Retrospectives (2004)

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„Now the salient characteristic of the decision tools employed in management science is that they have to be capable of actually making or recommending decisions, taking as their inputs the kinds of empirical data that are available in the real world, and performing only such computations as can reasonably be performed by existing desk calculators or, a little later electronic computers. For these domains, idealized models of optimizing entrepreneurs, equipped with complete certainty about the world - or, a worst, having full probability distributions for uncertain events - are of little use. Models have to be fashioned with an eye to practical computability, no matter how severe the approximations and simplifications that are thereby imposed on them…
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