Leader of the group Networks and Optimization: Guido Schäfer.

In today’s society, complex systems surround us. From transport and traffic, to behavioral economics and operations management, real-world applications often demand that we identify simple, optimal solutions among a huge set of possibilities. Our research group Networks and Optimization (N&O) does fundamental research to tackle such challenging optimization problems. 

We develop algorithmic methods to solve complex optimization problems efficiently. Our research provides efficient algorithms to some of the most challenging problems, for example, in planning, scheduling and routing. To come up with the best optimization algorithms, we combine and extend techniques from different disciplines in mathematics and computer science. 

N&O covers a broad spectrum of optimization aspects. Our expertise ranges from discrete to continuous optimization and applies to centralized and decentralized settings. We focus on both problem-specific methods and universal toolkits to solve different types of optimization problems. The key in our investigations is to understand and exploit combinatorial structures, such as graphs, networks, lattices and matroids. Our research is of high scientific impact and contributes to various fields.

In several cooperations with industry partners, the algorithmic techniques that we develop in our group have proven useful to solve complex real-world problems. We are always interested in new algorithmic challenges arising in real-world applications and are open to new cooperations.


Watch our group video to get a glimpse of our activities.






Postdoc in the research project "Approximation Algorithms, Quantum Information and Semidefinite Optimization"

The research project “Approximation algorithms, quantum information and semidefinite optimization” aims to explore the limits of efficient computation within classical and quantum computing, using semidefinite optimization as a main unifying tool. The position involves research into the mathematical and computer science aspects of approximation algorithms for discrete optimization, quantum entanglement in communication, and complexity of fundamental problems in classical and quantum computing. More information about the project can be found at this website.


Current events

Highlights of Algorithms 2018 (HALG 2018)

  • 2018-06-04T00:00:00+02:00
  • 2018-06-06T23:59:59+02:00
June 4 Monday

Start: 2018-06-04 00:00:00+02:00 End: 2018-06-06 23:59:59+02:00

Main Building of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1105 De Boelelaan, Amsterdam

The 3rd Highlights of Algorithms (HALG 2018) conference is designed to be a forum for presenting the highlights of recent developments in algorithms and for discussing potential further advances in this area. For more information and registration please visit the website.

6th SDP Day - Workshop Day on Applications of Semidefinite Optimization

  • 2018-04-05T00:00:00+02:00
  • 2018-04-05T23:59:59+02:00
April 5 Thursday

Start: 2018-04-05 00:00:00+02:00 End: 2018-04-05 23:59:59+02:00

CWI, Science Park 123, Amsterdam: room L16

Everyone who is interested is welcome to attend the 6th SDP Day at CWI. There is no registration fee. If you like to participate, please send an email to Susanne van Dam ( before 25 March so that we can plan the coffee and lunch breaks.

For more information, please check the website.





Associated Members


Current projects with external funding

  • Networks
  • New Frontiers in Lattice Algorithms and Design
  • Verbeteren van de efficiency en prestatie van logistieke processen in de binnevaart
  • Wiskundecluster DIAMANT
  • Approximation Algorithms, Quantum Information and Semidefinite Optimization (AQSO)
  • Combining Machine Learning and Game-theoretic Approaches for Cluster Analysis (CoMGA)
  • Mixed-Integer Non-Linear Optimisation Applications (MINOA)
  • Societal Impact Games (SocialACT)

Related partners

  • Alma Mater Studiorum-Universita di Bologna
  • Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
  • CNR Pisa
  • CNRS
  • CTVrede
  • IBM
  • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelmus Universitaet Bonn
  • Stanford University
  • Technische Universität Dortmund
  • Tilburg University
  • Radboud Universiteit
  • Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
  • Universiteit Leiden
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam