Problem Statement and Literature Review — Guidelines

SA475A Spring 2016

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Your goal: write a report that clearly describes your capstone project problem and briefly summarizes previous related work. This will eventually become the introduction of the final report you will submit at the end of the semester.

What should this report contain?

Problem statement

Describe your problem and its significance in words.

The aim of this project is to determine how to transport cargo and passengers with a given aircraft fleet over a given network in a way that minimizes the number of late deliveries, subject to appropriate physical and policy constraints such as...
We will model this problem as an integer linear program. To solve this model, we will implement the model in GMPL and...
We build a simulation of the system in SimPy. To determine an effective strategy, we will evaluate and analyze different scenarios...

There is no one right way to write your problem statement: just make sure to address the points above in a clear, organized fashion. For an example, take a look at the "Introduction" section in the following article:

D. P. Morton, R. E. Rosenthal, L. T. Wang. Optimization modeling for airlift mobility. Military Operations Research 1(4):49-67, 1996. [pdf]

Literature review

Describe previous work related to your problem.

For an example, take a look at paragraphs 2-4 in the "Introduction" section of the following article:

H. D. Sherali, P. J. Driscoll. Course scheduling and timetabling at USMA. Military Operations Research 4(2):25-43, 1999. [pdf]

References and citations

Use this reference and citation style guide.


How will you be evaluated?

Your report will be evaluated based on the following criteria: