It now is 33 years since the first edition of this book was published in 1967. We have been humbled by having had both the privilege and the responsibility of introducing so many students around the world to our field over such a long span of time. With each new edition, we have worked toward the goal of meeting the changing needs of new generations of students by helping to define the modern approach to teaching the current status of operations research effectively at the introductory level. Over 33 years, much has changed in both the field and the pedagogical needs of the students being introduced to the field. These changes have been reflected in the substantial revisions of successive editions of this book. We believe that this is true for the current 7th edition as well.
The enthusiastic response to our first six editions has been most gratifying. It was a particular pleasure to have the 6th edition receive honorable mention for the 1995 INFORMS Lancaster Prize (the prize awarded for the year’s most outstanding English-language publication of any kind in the field of operations research), including receiving the following citation. “This is the latest edition of the textbllk that has introduced approximately one-half million students to the methods and models of Operations Research. While adding material on a variey of new topics, the sixth edition maintains the high standard of clarity and expositional excellence for which the authors have long been known. In honoring this work, the prize committee noted the enormous cumulative impact that the Hillier-Lieberman text has had on the development of our field, not only in the United States but also around the world through its many foreign-language editions.”
As we enter a new millennium, the particular challenge for this new edition was to revise a book with deep roots in the 20th century so thoroughly that it would become fully suited for the 21st century. We made a special effort to meet this challenge, especially in regard to the software and pedagogy in the book.