EURO Excellence in Practice Award 2018 - Finalists

The six finalists of the 2018 EURO Excellence in Practice Award are:

Martin Bichler, Technical University of Munich
Douglas Ferrell, Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries Analysis
Vladimir Fux, TUM
Jacob Goeree, Business School, University of New South Wales

A combinatorial exchange for fishery access rights


We present the design and implementation of a combinatorial exchange for trading catch shares in New South Wales (NSW). The market provided a market-based response to a substantial policy problem in fisheries worldwide: the reallocation of catch shares among fishers in a cap-and-trade system designed to prevent overfishing.
The design needed to address several key challenges to overcome a long struggle about the right way to reallocate shares.
Participants wanted to be able to submit all-or-nothing package bids. Also, prices were required to be anonymous and linear such that sellers of two identical packages would get the same payment. These features were crucial for the adoption of the market design but difficult to accommodate in a market design. The requirements led to a computationally challenging allocation and pricing problem that addressed the key concerns of the stakeholders.
The market was organized in summer 2017 by the government and successfully put the shares into the hands of those who needed them most. The design nicely illustrates how computational optimization can provide new policy tools, able to solve complex policy problems that were considered intractable only a few years ago.



Guillermo Durán, Calculus Institute, University of Buenos Aires
Mario Guajardo, Business and Management Science, NHH Norwegian School of Economics
Denis Saure, University of Chile
Scheduling the South American qualifiers to the 2018 FIFA World Cup by integer programming


Every four years, the 10 national teams of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) compete for a slot in the final phase of the FIFA World Cup. The competition consists of a double round robin tournament. The matches are scheduled in 9 closely spaced pairs known as double rounds. Every team plays twice in each double round. The tournament is spread over 2 years, so the double rounds are months apart. After using the same mirrored schedule for about twenty years, and persistent complaints from its members, CONMEBOL decided to change the schedule for the 2018 World Cup. We used integer programming to construct schedules that overcome the main drawbacks of the previous approach. After exploring many design criteria, we proposed a candidate schedule that considerably improved the balance (usually perceived as fairness) of the schedule. In particular, it satisfies that every team plays once at home and once away on each double round, a feature that we show is impossible to capture in the format used by practitioners before. In addition, our schedule resembles symmetric features of long-lasting tradition. Our proposal was unanimously approved by CONMEBOL members and was used in the qualifier tournament for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The tournament was arguably one of the tightest in history, with the majority of the teams keeping chances to qualify until the last match. Contents of this application have been disseminated widely, helping promote OR as an effective tool for approaching practical problems through activities that have reached thousands of students and media users.


Valentina Ferretti, Department of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science
Elisa Gandino, Higher Institute on Territorial Systems for Innovation

Operational research as a driver for rural regeneration


This intervention deals with the development of an integrated analytics approach designed and deployed to support planning and management of a new World Heritage site, the vineyard landscape of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato in the Piedmont Region (Italy). The stunning landscape of the area is the result of a strong commitment to the land by countless generations of winemakers and centuries of constant hard work, necessary for the implementation of an agrarian transformation of exceptional size. Nevertheless, local marginalized communities are at risk due to recent strong migration trends from rural villages towards big cities. Unfortunately, this phenomenon leads to the abandonment of many buildings and infrastructures worldwide. Regeneration strategies are thus becoming a key priority for governments and local authorities at the global level.
This project integrates soft analytics with hard ones and participative methodologies to facilitate structuring and blending of human judgment with formal mathematical models. In particular, the project combines problem structuring tools, visualisation analytics and behavioural decision analytics to support all phases of territorial management in a challenging and unstructured decision environment. The obtained results illustrate the importance of integrated approaches for the development of accountable public decision processes and consensus policy alternatives.



Martina Fischetti, Vattenfall BA Wind
Jesper Runge Kristoffersen, Vattenfall BA Wind
Michele Monaci, DEI, University of Bologna
David Pisinger, DTU Management, Technical University of Denmark

The OR revolution in Vattenfall BA Wind 


Wind energy is a fast evolving field, that has attracted a lot of attention and investments in the last decades. Being an increasingly competitive market, it is very important to minimize establishment costs and to increase production profits already in the design phase of new wind parks. Our project uses state-of-the art Operational Research (OR) techniques in the design phase of a new offshore park. This work is based on 4 years of close collaboration between the academic world and Vattenfall, a leading wind energy developer and wind power operator. In particular, Vattenfall defined the problem, tested the models and nowadays routinely uses our software for turbine allocation and cable routing. Our project was the first (and very successful) attempt for Vattenfall to use OR in the wind farm sector. OR techniques are, indeed, not yet common in this new market. Our project proved that millions of Euros can be saved in practice, by a smarter use of resources (i.e., using sound optimization techniques) compared to the traditional and more manual approach. 


David Lane, Prof of Business Informatics, Henley Business School
Eileen Munro, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science
Elke Husemann, Henley Business School

Blending systems thinking approaches for organisational analysis: reviewing child protection in England


This work concerns the innovative use of a blend of systems thinking ideas in the ‘Munro Review of Child Protection’, a high-profile examination of child protection activities in England, conducted for the Department for Education of the UK Government.
We present the legislative and organisational framing of child protection and discuss the inherent risk balance of ‘child rescue’ and ‘family preservation’. We describe the environment from which the Munro Review emerged. We then show how a blend of different systems thinking approaches was used to consider public policy questions, concentrating on three specific contributions that systems thinking made to the Review.
First, the systems-based analysis and visualisation of the ‘compliance culture’ that had grown up in the sector; we describe how this was created, what it revealed about the sector and what the response was to the diagnosis that it offered. Second, we describe the use of System Dynamics Modelling-based group model building to develop a large, complex systems map of current operations; this dealt with the intended and unintended consequences of previous policies and helped us to identify the drivers of the sector. Third, we describe how this OR work gave structure to the many concerns that the Review had to deal with and how it lead to a set of recommendations that aimed to be systemically coherent, thereby avoiding problems that were seen to have arisen as a result of previous policies.
These recommendations were accepted by the UK Government and continue to be implemented via changes to a range of policy and inspection guidelines and changes to the laws of the country. We therefore close by outlining the main implementation steps taken so far to create a child protection system with the critically reflective properties of a learning organisation. We also touch on the broader consequences, both in the UK, and on how the findings of the Review have influenced child protection thinking and policy, and improved the lives of children in a range of countries internationally. 


Sascha Wörz, Chair of Agricultural Systems Engineering, Technical University of Munich
Michael Schmid, Chair of Agricultural Systems Engineering, Technical University of Munich
Heinz Bernhardt, Technical University of Munich

An efficient algorithm for milk transport logistic optimization developed for the dairy industry enterprise Zott SE & Co. KG


Zott SE & Co. KG, an enterprise in dairy industry, has to process in a 48 h time and operation horizon about 2900 dairy farmers in at least 5 and at most 30 different milk draw areas. Up to now, the milk was collected and brought to the dairy by various process variants, whereby their applications planning was triggered manually with the major drawback that the overall milk transport logistic cost were more or less optimized. For this purpose, Zott SE & Co. KG ordered us to develop an eļ¬ƒcient algorithm that finds an optimal solution with probability one, does not require any commercial optimization software as e.g. CPLEX and is anyway capable to reduce the overall milk transport logistic cost and to make savings between 5 and 15 percentage of the overall cost become reality.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

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