Publications, Keynotes, and New Grants

Jun 9, 2015 | Atlanta, GA

A few highlights of papers published, keynotes, and new grants from our esteemed ISyE faculty.


Shabbir Ahmed, Dean's Professor and Stewart Faculty Fellow, co-authored the paper Large scale Decentralized Unit Commitment that was published in the International Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems along with Mohammad Javad Feizollahi, ISyE Ph.D. student, Santiago Grijalva, associate professor at the School of Electrical Engineering (ECE), and Mitch Costley, an ECE Ph.D. student. Their paper focuses on a method for formulating and solving a decentralized unit commitment problem. The method, which extends the alternating direction method of multipliers, is presented along with several heuristics and refinements to mitigate oscillations and traps in local optimality that result from the nonconvexity of unit commitment.

Shabbir Ahmed, Santanu Dey, Fouts Family Associate Professor, Gustavo Angulo, ISyE Ph.D. student, and Volker Kaibel,  Chair for Mathematical Optimization at the Institute for Mathematical Optimization co-authored the paper Forbidden Vertices that was published in Mathematics of Operations Research, vol.40  In this work, they introduce and study the forbidden-vertices problem and provide additional tractability results and extended formulations when P has binary vertices only. Some applications and extensions to integral polytopes are discussed.

Shabbir Ahmed, George Nemhauser, A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Institute Professor, and Qie He, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, co-authored the paper Minimum Concave Cost Flow Over a Grid Networkthat was published inMathematical Programming vol.150. They studied the minimum concave cost network flow problem over a grid network with a general nonnegative separable concave cost function and showed that this problem is polynomially solvable when all sources are in the first echelon and all sinks are in two echelons, and when there is a single source but many sinks in multiple echelons.

Santanu Dey, Fouts Family Associate Professor, had his paper, Analysis of MILP Techniques for the Pooling Problem, published in the INFORMS Journal of Operations Research. In this paper, we prove that the ratio of the upper bound obtained by solving piecewise-linear relaxations (objective function is maximization) to the optimal objective function value of the pooling problem is at most n, where n is the number of output nodes.

Paul Griffin, Virginia C. and Joseph C. Mello Chair and Professor, and ISyE Ph.D. student Nathanial Bastian published two papers. The first one, Multi-criteria Logistics Modeling for Military Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Aerial Delivery Operations, is on a supply network design model that was developed for the military for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief for their work with USAID that is published in Optimization Letters.  The second one, The AMEDD Uses Goal Programming to Optimize Workforce Planning Decisions, is a workforce planning model they built for the army medical system that is published in Interfaces.  The results and models in both of these papers are already in practice.

Spyros Reveliotis, professor, had his paper Coordinating Autonomy: Sequential Resource Allocation Systems for Automation published in the June issue of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine. The paper is an invited tutorial overviewing a theoretical framework that is developed in an effort to support effective and efficient resource allocation in the context of many complex technological applications; these applications range from automated production and other workflow management systems, to intelligent transportation systems, to multi-threaded software and the quantum computing paradigm that is currently explored for the future computing systems. A large part of the presented results are coming from the author’s research program and his collaborations with other researchers in the relevant area.

Edwin Romeijn, ISyE School Chair, co-authored the paper Optimization Approaches to Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy Planning that was published in Medical Physics. In this paper, the authors review the state-of-the-art in volumetric modulated arc therapy planning from an algorithmic perspective.

Craig Tovey, David M. McKenney Family Professor, published two papers within the Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Autonomous AgentsTowards Completely Decentralized Mustering for StarCraft was co-authored with Zach Suffern, undergrad research assistant at Georgia Tech, and Sven Koenig, professor at the University of Southern California. The paper studied decentralized agent coordination with performance guarantees by developing a primitive for mustering teams of agents of minimum acceptable team sizes for StarCraft using randomization to accurately estimate the size of the team. His second paper,Probabilistic Copeland Tournaments,was co-authored with Sam Saarinen, undergrad research assistant at the University of Kentucky and Judith Goldsmith, professor at the University of Kentucky. In this paper, they consider a probabilistic model of round-robin tournaments, or equivalently, Copeland voting, where candidates are the voters.

Keynotes, Panels, and Presentations:

Shabbir Ahmed, Dean's Professor and Stewart Faculty Fellow, gave the keynote on Scenario Decomposition of Stochastic 0-1 Problems at the Barbaros Tansel Memorial Lecture held at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey on May 8. He presented a scenario decomposition algorithm for stochastic 0-1 programs. The algorithm recovers an optimal solution by iteratively exploring and cutting-off candidate solutions obtained from solving scenario subproblems. Ahmed was also the keynote speaker on Stochastic Integer Programming at the CUSO Summer Seminar held in Zinal, Switzerland June 7. He gave four lectures: stochastic integer programming, exploiting submodularity in stochastic integer programming, and lastly scenario decomposition of stochastic integer programs.

Professor Spyros Reveliotis gave a plenary talk Real-Time Management of Complex Resource Allocation Systems: Necessity, Achievements and Further Challenges at the 5th International Workshop on Dependable Control of Discrete Systems.  To effectively support and manage the extensive levels of concurrency and operational flexibility that are contemplated for these environments, and the ensuing complexity, there is a substantial need for Formal models and tools that will enable the modelling, analysis and eventually the control of aforementioned resource allocation function so that the resulting dynamics are, both, behaviorally correct and operationally efficient. His talk gave an overview of a research program that seeks to address the aforementioned need by using the unifying abstraction of the resource allocation system and supporting modelling frameworks.

Martin Salvesbergh, James C. Edenfield Chair and Professor, gave the plenary lecture Supporting Innovations in Transportation: Research Opportunities at the 4th Meeting of the EURO Working Group on Vehicle Routing and Logistics Optimization on June 9 held in Vienna, Austria. His lecture focused on the ever-increasing digital connectivity, automotive technology advances, and societal changes that have resulted in a proliferation of disruptive and innovative transportation services, for both passengers and freight. Salvbergh reviewed some of these transportation services and highlight how they can lead to new, interesting, and challenging routing and scheduling problems.

Valerie Thomas, Anderson Interface Professor of Natural Systems, presented Solar Air Heaters: Enhancing Heat Transfer with Artificial Roughness with co-author Professor Abdul-Malik E. Momin, of Sana’a University, Yemen, at the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST), in Dearborn Michigan on May 20. ISSST is the premier conference for research related to the sustainability of science and technology systems. The program covers the spectrum of issues for assessing and managing products and services across their life cycle, and the design, management, and policy implications of sustainable engineered systems and technologies.

Tim Brown, managing director of the Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, moderated the panel Igniting Innovation through Incubation at the APEC Global Supply Chain Event for SMEs on June 8.  The panel discussed how incubated process coordinated with academic institution creates better global export opportunities and financing technical capability training that can be provided to SMEs. The panel included: Tod R. Burwell, president and CEO at the Bankers’ Association for Finance and Trade, David J. Closs, John H. McConnell Chaired Professor of Business, at Michigan State University, and Marcos Vaena, International Trade Centre.

Professor Xiaoming Huo was invited to be a panelist at the Statistical Challenges in Assessing and Fostering the Reproducibility of Scientific Results Workshop. The panel was organized by the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, originally established by the National Research Council. Other panelists and speakers included Giovanni Parmigiani from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Lida Anestidou from the National Research Council, Tim Errington from the Center for Open Science, and Roger Peng, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Chip White, Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics, was selected to moderate the panel on “Strategies to Identify and Manage Supply Chains” at The 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit Summit on March 23-24, in Washington, DC. The topic of discussion focused on how the U.S. offers access to strong networks of small and medium-sized suppliers and the opportunities for connecting with innovative U.S. suppliers, including access to resources, programs, and case studies. Included on the panel was The Honorable Steve Beshear, Governor of Kentucky, Reginaldo Ecclissato, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain at Unilever North America, Cindi Marsiglio, Vice President of U.S. Manufacturing at Walmart, and Michael McNamara, Chief Executive Officer of Flextronics.

Chip White, Tim Brown and Carole Bennett, SCL marketing and administrative manager, were largely involved with organizing the APEC SME Global Supply Chain Event. This event provides a unique opportunity for U.S. SMEs to engage with other SMEs from the Asia-Pacific region while learning about multinational corporation requirements, government regulations, supply chain financing, cold chain technology, smart chain and logistics management, and IT chain solutions.

ISyE Ph.D. student Amelia Musselman presented Analyzing Wind Location Options for the Southwest Power Pool at the 2015 ISERC Conference in Nashville, Tenn. She is co-advised by Valerie Thomas, Anderson Interface Professor of Natural Systems,and Dima Nazzal, executive director of academic administration and student experience.

New Grants:

Alan Erera, associate chair for graduate studies and Coca-Cola Professor, and Martin Salvesbergh, James C. Edenfield Chair and Professor, jointly received a foundation research grant from GrubHub for a 12-month research effort.  They will work on methodology and algorithms for optimizing their meal delivery processes, with the intent of maximizing the diner delivery experience and improving utilization of their independent delivery driver contractors.

Mathworks, the leading developer of mathematical computing software for engineers and scientists, has awarded a grant to ISyE for the development of computational tools to support undergraduate education in material flow systems.  Leon McGinnis, Professor Emeritus, and Dima Nazzal, executive director of academic administration and student experience, are leading the design effort, with George Thiers, post-doc, and Tim Sprock, ISyE Ph.D. student, leading the implementation. The goal is to enable students to use standard analytical approximations as well as discrete event simulations to evaluate and design a wide variety of flow processes, developing not only analytical skills but also intuition about the roles and limits of engineering approximations.  In addition, the project will explore the potential for students to use Mathworks' Notebook to create a digital archive containing, in an executable form, the models they have learned and used in their homework and projects.

For More Information Contact

Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering