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Transportation Research Institute (IMOB) : project R-4149

Title : COMEX : Combinatorial optimization: Metaheuristics and Exact Methods (R-4149)
Abstract: Combinatorial optimization problems can be characterized as searching for the best element of some finite set of items. Production, distribution, telecommunication, governance, traffic, environmental concerns, health care, finance, it is hard to find an aspect of our modern-day economy of which the design, management and control do not critically rely on the solution of one or more combinatorial optimization problems. Given the pervasiveness of combinatorial optimization problems, the importance of the development of efficient solution methods for such problems cannot be overestimated. There exists a broad spectrum of solution methods for combinatorial optimization problems ranging from exact algorithms to a variety of heuristic approaches. Many combinatorial optimization problems are still not "satisfactorily" solved and pose a strong challenge to current optimization techniques. Rather,, the complexity of modern-day real-life optimization problems requires the development of novel methods that can efficiently exploit the increasing computer power available. As a result, the study of combinatorial optimization problems and the development of effective algorithms for their solution is one of the most active research areas in operations research. The main objectives of this project are to bring together the available Belgian expertise on combinatorial optimization problems, exploit synergies between the partner research groups to create a network and to train young researchers with the main aim to develop new models, algorithmic techniques and implementations for complex, large-scale combinatorial optimization problems. The research teams are highly complementary for what concerns their main expertise. The specificities of the teams arise from the different models they use (linear vs. non-linear, continuous vs. discrete variables, deterministic vs. stochastic, single objective vs. multi-objective ...), from the algorithms they design to solve these problems (the teams are experts on either exact methods or heuristic methods), and from the application domains (supply chain management, telecommunications, transport, scheduling, ...).
Period of project : 1/10/2012to31/12/2017

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