In this paper we describe how computer systems can provide planners with active planning support, when these planners are carrying out their daily planning activities. This means that computer systems actively participate in the planning process by automatically generating plans or partial plans. Active planning support by computer systems requires the application of mathematical models and solution techniques. In this paper we describe the modeling process in general terms, as well as several modeling and solution techniques. We also present some background information on computational complexity theory, since most practical planning problems are hard to solve. We also describe how several objective functions can be handled, since it is rare that solutions can be evaluated by just one single objective. Furthermore, we give an introduction into the use of mathematical modeling systems, which are useful tools in a modeling context, especially during the development phases of a mathematical model. We finish the paper with a real life example related to the planning process of the rolling stock circulation of a railway operator.

Planning, mathematical models, modeling process, optimization, planning support
Econometric Modeling: Other (jel C59), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Production Management (jel M11), Transportation Systems (jel R4)
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Kroon, L.G, & Zuidwijk, R.A. (2003). Mathematical models for planning support (No. ERS-2003-032-LIS). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from