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This programme examines the process involved in mathematical modelling. The National Coal Board stock control model is used to illustrate these processes.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: M101, Mathematics: a foundation course
Item code: M101; 21; 1986
First transmission date: 03-08-1986
Published: 1986
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:15
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Producer: David Saunders
Contributors: Elsie Cropper; Stewart Gartside; C.L. Templeman
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Calculus; National Coal Board; Order quantity; Stock control
Footage description: This programme is the second in the Foundation Course which investigates how mathematics can be applied to solve problems in the real world. The people with the problem are the National Coal Board, and the problem is to control the level of stocks in the NCB's stores in particular to choose the size of order quantity to minimise the total cost of the operation. An analysis of the problem suggests that there are two costs involved: the cost of placing an order, and the cost of keeping items in stock. The total cost is the sum of these costs, and the minimum cost can be found by calculus. The reorder quantity is found, surprisingly, to be proportional to the square root of the demand for each item. The particular mathematical techniques used by the NCB take this model a stage further and consider the effect of uncertainties in demand.
Master spool number: HOU5344
Production number: FOUM248T
Videofinder number: 2481
Available to public: no