Data-Driven Ranges of Near-Optimal Actions for Finite Markov Decision Processes

Markov decision process (MDP) models have been used to obtain non-stationary optimal decision rules in various applications, such as treatment planning in medical decision making. However, in practice, decision makers may prefer other strategies that are not statistically different from the optimal decision rules. To benefit from the decision makers’ expertise and provide flexibility in … Read more

Computational Simulation as an organizational prototyping tool

This case study deals with a redesign effort to face the overcrowding issue in an Emergency Department (ED). A multidiscinary group of healthcare professionals and engineers worked together to improve the actual processes. We integrate the simulation modeling in a humancentered design method. We use the simulation technique as a learning and experimentation tool into … Read more

Hybrid Rebalancing with Dynamic Hubbing for Free-floating Bike Sharing Using Multi-objective Simulation Optimization

For rebalancing problem of free-floating bike sharing systems, we propose dynamic hubbing (i.e. dynamically determining geofencing areas) and hybrid rebalancing (combining user-based and operator-based strategies) and solve the problem with a novel multi-objective simulation optimization approach. Given historical usage data and real-time bike GPS location information, dynamic geofenced areas (hubs) are determined to encourage users … Read more

Algorithms and Software for the Golf Director Problem

The golf director problem introduced in Pavlikov et al. (2014) is a sports management problem that aims to find an allocation of golf players into fair teams for certain golf club competitions. The motivation for the problem is that club golf competitions are recreational events where the golf director wants to form teams that are … Read more

NeatWork, a tool for the design of gravity-driven water distribution systems for poor rural communities

NeatWork is an advanced optimization and simulation tool for the design of purely gravity-driven water distribution systems aiming at delivering clean water to poor rural communities. The exclusion of any adjustable devices, such as pumps and valves, for controlling pressures and flows is motivated by two main reasons: firstly, the system should be as simple … Read more

Flexible Solutions to Maritime Inventory Routing Problems with Delivery Time Windows

This paper studies a Maritime Inventory Routing Problem with Time Windows (MIRPTW) for deliveries with uncertain disruptions. We consider disruptions that increase travel times between ports and ultimately affect the deliveries in one or more time windows. The objective is to find flexible solutions that can withstand unplanned disruptions. We propose a Lagrangian heuristic algorithm … Read more

Line search methods with variable sample size for unconstrained optimization

Minimization of unconstrained objective function in the form of mathematical expectation is considered. Sample Average Approximation – SAA method transforms the expectation objective function into a real-valued deterministic function using large sample and thus deals with deterministic function minimization. The main drawback of this approach is its cost. A large sample of the random variable … Read more

Nonconvex Robust Optimization

We propose a novel robust optimization technique, which is applicable to nonconvex and simulation-based problems. Robust optimization finds decisions with the best worst-case performance under uncertainty. If constraints are present, decisions should also be feasible under perturbations. In the real-world, many problems are nonconvex and involve computer-based simulations. In these applications, the relationship between decision … Read more

Project Scheduling

Nowadays, construction projects grow in complexity and size. So, finding feasible schedules which efficiently use scarce resources is a challenging task within project management. Project scheduling consists of determining the starting and finishing times of the activities in a project. These activities are linked by precedence relations and their processing requires one or more resources. … Read more

Global Optimization of Non-Linear Systems of Equations by Simulating the Flight of a Projectile in the Conformational Space

A new heuristic optimization algorithm is presented based on an analogy with the physical phenomenon of a projectile launched in a conformational space under the influence of a gravitational force. Its implementation simplicity and the option to enhance it with local search methods make it ideal for the optimization of non-linear systems of equations. The … Read more