Operational Research

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 737–745 | Cite as

Implementation of F.W. Lanchester’s combat model in a supply chain in duopoly: the case of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in Greece

  • Miltiadis Chalikias
  • Michalis Skordoulis
Original Paper


The purpose of this study is to investigate the possibility of applying some of the most widely known mathematical theories of war in the case of firms. In this research, Frederick William Lanchester’s combat models, that seemed to be particularly useful to the U.S. Army at the Pacific campaign against the Japanese fleet during World War II, were examined. These mathematical models were based on differential equations and their main purpose was to predict the outcome of battles. After the appropriate theoretical assumptions were set, the examined models were applied to the case of Coca-Cola™ and Pepsi™ supply chains in the Greek market. These models have been applied to these firms by other researchers too. The results of the implementations have led to the conclusion that the theoretical models are almost identical to the reality, which means that they are applicable in business under the right conditions.


Operations research Frederick William Lanchester Mathematical theories of war Differential equations Supply chain Duopoly 

Mathematics Subject Classification

90B06 93A30 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Economic Statistics and Operations Research Lab, Department of Business Administration, School of Business and EconomicsPiraeus University of Applied Sciences (T.E.I. of Piraeus)PiraeusGreece
  2. 2.Management Information Systems and New Technologies Lab, Department of Business Administration, School of Business and EconomicsPiraeus University of Applied Sciences (T.E.I. of Piraeus)PiraeusGreece

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