37

In addition to what others have shared, in my experience, the following can cause industry OR projects to fail or can at least cause big issues and/or delays: 1) Quickly changing problem specification. The problem specification often changes very rapidly (e.g. hard constraints become soft), as the client gets a better idea of what optimisation can offer. If ...


28

Not solely dedicated to transportation, but Model Building in Mathematical Programming by Williams is a very good start for every beginner in modeling as it contains the theories on mathematical programming modeling as well as numerous examples. AFAIK, this is one of the best books on modeling as it does not concern itself with solution methodologies and the ...


27

To go beyond prototyping a model, you will need a programming language. Here is a non-exhaustive list : Sometimes simply modeling and calling the solver won't suffice to handle complex problems. To develop custom algorithms, heuristics, etc you will need to learn a programming language. Python is a good choice for fast prototyping and C/C++ for developing ...


26

The Helmut Schmidt Universitat contains a list of past, ongoing, and future contests in Operations Research. https://www.hsu-hh.de/logistik/research/challenges For example: Active challenges: ITC 2019 on finding feasible solutions for organising student rooms and times. Past challenges: PACE 2018 on Steiner trees on an undirected edge-weighted graph ...


25

I can immediately think of two reasons, both of which occurred on a consulting project in which I participated. Every project needs one or more "champions", people in the client organization with a vested interest in seeing the analysis completed and the results implemented. If the champions leave the organization or are transferred to some other part of ...


23

Operations Research is still way underutilized in many industries. Even when there exist commercial tools you often find that few organizations have them, and out of the ones that have them, it might only be a few who really utilizes the full capabilities. For an optimization tool to be successful it needs to: Create significant value Fit into the ...


19

In my opinion, programming languages are necessary as an OR practitioner. There are a number of reasons for this: Data Input/Output often requires some programming language. Whether it’s reading in data from an excel spreadsheet, or an SQL database or what have you, you will want to do this programmatically using Python etc. Many companies do not have GAMS, ...


18

Many times the problems people have are similar to, but not identical to, problems that have been solved. So previously employed techniques may still work, but either the model or the solution method may need to be "tweaked" to handle the current stakeholder's problem. In the context of optimization, this may mean adding new constraints and/or new variables, ...


18

Your examples of "technical skills" are centered on optimization. An understanding of at least some aspects of probability models (especially Markov chains and queues) may be important, depending on the work you do. So might a better-than-minimal understanding of statistical modeling and analysis. Again depending on your work, you might need to be able to ...


17

Over a decade ago, I also had the feeling that pretty much everything is already done. Today, dealing with OR problems every day, I see more opportunities that can fit in a lifetime - or even our team's bandwidth (*). The best way to see great opportunities, is to talk to customers, users, communities, operators. It's hard and time consuming to build up a ...


17

In the following paper Grothendieck inequalities are applied to OR (Grothendieck was one (if not THE) pioneer of algebraic geometry.) Briët, Jop, and Frank Vallentin. "Grothendieck inequalities for semidefinite programs with rank constraint." arXiv preprint arXiv:1011.1754 (2010). Another example where it is the other way around, i.e. where OR is used to ...


17

Surprised that no one has yet mentioned "Applications of optimization with Xpress-mp". Of course it is focused on their Mosel language, but it contains many good applications. Also, a free PDF is available.


17

I personally like Project Euler. This website has mathematical problems that usually require programming to solve them. If you solve a problem you get access to the corresponding problem forum, in which users post their code and discuss their approaches. Admittedly, I consider Project Euler to be more about mathematics and computer science than about ...


17

A great cause would be supply chain in countries/regions with poor infrastructure and/or uncertain supply and high price fluctuations. This is particularly important in many developing countries, because getting supplies to their destination and being able to do so on time is not straightforward. Another amazing cause is to formulate & solve travelling ...


15

Joe Geunes's book Operations Planning does a nice job of teaching MIP modeling in an operations context (production, distribution, facility location, etc.).


15

Since the OP asked for Transportation domain, I recommend the following: Vehicle Routing: Problems, Methods, and Applications by Toth & Vigo: here In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman: Mathematics at the Limits of Computation by William Cook here


15

The French OR society has some interesting OR challenges http://www.roadef.org/challenge/2018/en/index.php


15

Google Hashcode had some optimization challenges in the past. Problem definitions and data from previous years can be found here.


15

There is a competition section held during MOPTA (Modeling and Optimization: Theory and Applications), which is organized annually by Lehigh University. The competition is for students only and usually devoted to a practical problem and sponsored by a solver company.


14

But I wonder if anyone else has come across the logarithmic mean elsewhere in optimization? Optimization is simply the selection of a best element (with regard to some criterion) from some set of available alternatives. (From: "The Nature of Mathematical Programming", by George B. Dantzig). The logarithmic mean has a relationship with other means as ...


14

There's a pretty active research area on incorporating group theory into integer programming (since symmetry can cause a lot of headaches during branch-and-bound). See The Group-Theoretic Approach in Mixed Integer Programming by Richard and Dey, for example.


14

And we also have the DIMACS implementation challenges #ofcourse


14

The INFORMS Transactions on Education is devoted to works about education in OR. There you can find many cases already used by teachers in their courses, along with material for instructors.


14

Last year I attended a presentation by Maria Antónia Carravilla where she gave several case studies of optimisation projects, examining the factors affecting their success or failure. Her main point was that project failures often have nothing to do with the technical aspects of the work and everything to do with non-technical factors, in particular ...


14

I read through the code of several solvers before developing Tulip.jl. To be honest, unless you are yourself developing a solver/interface, or need to reproduce an author's implementation, there is probably a better use of your time than reading solvers' source code. Reading the user guide or, when applicable, the paper(s) that describe the software's ...


13

The AIMMS Optimization Modeling book is freely available and very accessible. There are lots of worked examples going from problem description to example data and model formulation.


13

Here is a link to INFORMS OR and analytics students team competition. You can also find the challenges for previous years and the presentations of the winner team. I believe you need to be registered in INFORMS in order to get the data. https://connect.informs.org/oratc/home Edit: in The Operation Research Challenge (TORCH)'s website, you can find the ...


13

I think domain knowledge is essential if you want to be a good OR practitioner. If you don't know how a supply chain works, designing an optimization model for planning and coordinating a complex supply chain could be difficult and time-consuming. The same goes for healthcare, energy, finance, manufacturing, and other industries. Also, domain knowledge could ...


12

Production Planning by Mixed Integer Programming by Yves Pochet and Laurence A. Wolsey might fit the bill. Panos Padalos says on MathSciNet: "... Practitioners who are interested in using MIP solvers to solve different production planning problems, can use the book to identify the most efficient way to formulate the problems and to choose the most efficient ...


12

Just to add a different flavor, there's a very good case study section in "The Theory and Practice of Revenue Management" by Talluri and Van Ryzin. Among other things, you will find some interesting optimization models. The other obvious choice, is not a book, but rather a journal. INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics (formerly known as Interfaces) is a ...


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