IE 525 - System Synthesis and Design

Brief Course Description

Production and other systems can be modeled as networks of transmission links interconnecting sources, processing points, and destinations. Additionally, many problems, such as scheduling, machine replacement, distribution systems, and even roller coaster design, can be formulated as network problems. Such a formulation can vastly reduce the time required to find an answer. For example, one recent graduate student reduced the solution time for one problem from 1054
years (much longer than the estimated life of the Universe) to about half an hour.

IE 525 focuses on modeling situations as networks, using computers to find results, then interpreting those results. In addition, students will gain skill in choosing appropriate models and algorithms in a variety of situations.

Course Objectives

Students successfully completing IE 525 will:

Main Topics

The course material is organized into four units:

Within each unit, the following topics will be addressed.


Instructor: John Mullen, Tel: (575) 646-2958,
Texts: Network Flows: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications, by R. K. Ahuja, Thomas L. Magnanti, and
James B. Orlin. Prentice Hall, 1993, ISBN 0-13-617549-X. We will use parts of chapters 1 through 9 and 11 through 13. Additional resources are available through the WebCT site.
  • Web-CT Site:
  • MatLab

Note: Your primary computer tool in this course will be MatLab. In addition, you will do a few problems in LINDO and LINGO. All of these are are commercial problem-solving tools which are available in the IE computer lab. If you want to install these programs on your own computer, moderately-priced student versions are available. See the WebCT site for details. You can also download free evaluation copies of LINDO and LINGO which are not as capable as the student version, but adequate for IE 525.

Revision Date: November 13, 2008 by jpm.