# Thread: What is the difference between deterministic and stochastic operations research?

1. ## What is the difference between deterministic and stochastic operations research? var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":false};

I am hoping to study operations research and eventually write a thesis. What is the difference between deterministic and stochastic operations research (in the sense of economics)? Is it just non-random vs. random? Also, which would make a better focus for research and eventually a thesis topic?

2. Deterministic means the thing you are studying is not influenced by chance.
Stochastic meast the thing you are studying is influenced by chance.

Example: Calculating the gravitational pull of the earth. You can argue abit about it. But the thing you are studying is a CONSTANT. It doesn't fluctuate at all. It's either 9.81 or 9.80, or something else.

Stochastic example: The diffusion of ink in water. There isn't a state in which you can say "with 100% certainty, ink is going to reach this part of the water", since it's all random motion in water. You can model it though.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stochastic_processes_topics

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