Combinatorial Optimization under Uncertainty (09w5097)


Michel Gendreau (Polytechnique Montreal)

(The Ohio State University)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Combinatorial Optimization under Uncertainty" workshop next week, November 29 - December 4, 2009.

Optimizing decision-making in a variety of key application contexts, ranging from the design of telecommunications or logistics networks to the staffing of call centers, involves solving complex optimization models that include discrete decisions (e.g., should a bridge be constructed in this location or not?). More often than not, all the information relevant to the decision-making process is not known with complete certainty and the impact of this uncertainty on the best decisions in the context may be critical. This realization has prompted researchers from many disciplines (applied probabilities, computer science, engineering, operations research, etc.) to start developing specialized solution approaches to tackle these difficult combinatorial optimization problems under uncertainty.

Unfortunately, these research streams have largely evolved independently and there is a pressing need for the researchers involved to share results, ideas, and concerns. The main objective of this workshop is to address this need by getting together some of the top researchers of the various communities involved in combinatorial optimization under uncertainty. Researchers from key application areas, such as stochastic vehicle routing, revenue management and call centers optimization will also participate in the workshop.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologí­a (CONACYT).