MINO project on business decisions starts at CWI in October 2013

The Networks & Optimization research group at CWI in Amsterdam participates in the recently funded EU Initial Training Network MINO for Mixed Integer Nonlinear Optimization. It has eleven academic partners(such as CWI and project coordinator Bologna University) and three commercial partners (IBM, MAIOR and ORTEC).

Publication date: 25-09-2013

The Networks & Optimization research group at CWI in Amsterdam participates in the recently funded EU Initial Training Network MINO for Mixed Integer Nonlinear Optimization. It has eleven academic partners(such as CWI and project coordinator Bologna University) and three commercial partners (IBM, MAIOR and ORTEC). MINO offers a three-years PhD training to eleven researchers, combining a state-of-the-art scientific training and hands-on experience with real-world applications from the industry. On 1 October a PhD student will start at CWI, studying complex decision-making in enterprises. This project is also relevant to, in particular, the top sector Logistics.

Best choice
Complex decision-making in enterprises could benefit greatly from mathematical optimization methods, since a ‘best choice’ has to be made out of a huge number of options. Such problems arise, for instance, in production and transportation planning, routing, scheduling and timetabling, computational biology and network economics.

Approach
A customary approach to solve these problems is to use new discrete variables to deal with structural nonlinearities that arise. However, this leads to optimization problems that are very difficult to solve. The MINO project aims at developing new algorithmic approaches permitting to directly attack the nonlinearity. This might lead to much better results. The new CWI researcher will focus on nonlinearities modelled with polynomial functions, and on applications in molecular and systems biology and in logistics.

Portfolio optimization
The Networks & Optimization group is headed by Monique Laurent. The group investigates fundamental questions in combinatorics, optimization and networks from a broad perspective in mathematics and computer science. Its research is often inspired by questions from society. Examples of other societally-inspired research in the N&O group are portfolio optimization for banks and online advertisement auction design.

More information
- the N&O research group at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)
- the MINO network
- the MINO partners