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.


Video about our collaboration with ProRail (in Dutch)




PhD students / Early Stage Researchers on the subject of Polynomial Optimization, Efficiency through Moments and Algebra.

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) has vacancies in the Networks and Optimization research group for two talented PhD students / Early Stage Researchers on the subject of Polynomial Optimization, Efficiency through Moments and Algebra. The vacancies are within the research consortium POEMA (Polynomial Optimization, Efficiency through Moments and Algebra).


Current events

PhD defence Pieter Kleer (N&O)

  • 2019-09-09T15:45:00+02:00
  • 2019-09-09T17:15:00+02:00
September 9 Monday

Start: 2019-09-09 15:45:00+02:00 End: 2019-09-09 17:15:00+02:00

Auditorium VU, Boelelaan 1105 in Amsterdam

Everyone is welcome to attend the public defence of Pieter Kleer, of his thesis 'When Nash met Markov: Novel results for pure Nash equilibria and the switch Markov chain'.

Promotors: Prof.dr. Guido Schäfer and Prof.dr. Lex Schrijver

CWI-Inria Workshop

  • 2019-09-17T13:00:00+02:00
  • 2019-09-18T16:00:00+02:00
September 17 Tuesday

Start: 2019-09-17 13:00:00+02:00 End: 2019-09-18 16:00:00+02:00

Room L120 at CWI, Science Park 123 in Amsterdam

Everyone is welcome to attend the third annual workshop of the CWI-Inria International Lab. For registration, please visit the website. Also to see the full program.

PhD defence Sander Gribling (N&O)

  • 2019-09-30T13:30:00+02:00
  • 2019-09-30T15:00:00+02:00
September 30 Monday

Start: 2019-09-30 13:30:00+02:00 End: 2019-09-30 15:00:00+02:00

Portrettenzaal, Tilburg University, Warandelaan 2, Tilburg

Everyone is welcome to attend the public defence of Sander Gribling of his thesis 'Applications of optimization to factorization ranks and quantum information theory'.

Promotors: Prof.dr. M. Laurent (CWI/Tilburg University) and Prof.dr. R.M. de Wolf (CWI/UvA)


Associated Members


Current projects with external funding

  • Continuous Methods in Discrete Optimization ()
  • Wiskundecluster DIAMANT ()
  • Smart Heuristic Problem Optimization
  • Approximation Algorithms, Quantum Information and Semidefinite Optimization (AQSO)
  • Mixed-Integer Non-Linear Optimisation Applications (MINOA)
  • Polynomial Optimization, Efficiency through Moments and Algebra (POEMA)
  • Vóórkomen en voorkómen van incidenten op het spoor (PPS Prorail)
  • Towards a Quantitative Theory of Integer Programming (QIP)

Related partners

  • Alma Mater Studiorum-Universita di Bologna
  • Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
  • CNR Pisa
  • CNRS
  • Dassault Systèmes B.V.
  • IBM
  • Prorail
  • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelmus Universitaet Bonn
  • Technische Universität Dortmund
  • Tilburg University
  • Tromsø, Norway
  • Universita degli Studi di Firenze
  • Universität Konstanz
  • University of Birmingham