What are good sources (literature, internet, etc) on learning to model real-world problems using mathematical formulations? In particular, I would like to know sources which establish the relationship between the meaning of a mathematical construct and its real-world counterpart. For example:

  • quantities are usually represented through variables or parameters

  • equations represent causal-effect relationships between concepts

  • inequations represent limits

  • etc.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ How about some of the books introduced in this question about "practical applications of OR in the industry"? $\endgroup$
    – EhsanK
    Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 20:14
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The relationship between original problem and mathematical model, and indeed the ingredients that go into the mathematical model, will be tied to the nature of the model (optimization, discrete simulation, continuous simulation, Markov process, ...). $\endgroup$
    – prubin
    Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 21:11

2 Answers 2


I have found MOSEKs modelling cookbook particularly useful: https://docs.mosek.com/MOSEKModelingCookbook-letter.pdf


In my case I found these two sources to be very helpful for mathematical modelling:

  1. AMPL: A Modeling Language for Mathematical Programming
  2. Model Building in Mathematical Programming

The first one is free and very simple to understand.


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