MISTA 2011: Special Sessions

LANCS Initiative

The LANCS Initiative is a collaboration between four UK universities (Lancaster, Nottingham, Cardiff and Southampton). It represents a £5.4 million investment, by one of the UK's research councils (EPSRC), to support the development of Operational Research. With the additional investment from the four universities, the total investment is £13 million. The initiative is organised around six clusters.

  1. Transport and Logistics
  2. Healthcare
  3. Stochastic Modelling
  4. Optimisation
  5. Heuristic Understanding
  6. Systems to Build Systems

We are very pleased to have the director of the LANCS initiative (Prof. Kevin Glazebrook) as one of the plenary speakers at the conference.

At MISTA 2011, there are four special sessions arranged around four of the LANCS clusters. Please note, these special sessions are open to everybody, not just members of the LANCS initiative.

1) Transport and Logistics

Chair: Chris Potts (email: C.N.Potts@soton.ac.uk)

There are a variety of scheduling and related problems arising in passenger transport and logistics systems. Some examples of widely-studied problems are:

  • Scheduling landings and take-offs of aircraft
  • Designing timeables and routes for buses
  • Scheduling and timetabling for railways
  • Rescheduling as a result of disruptions
  • Vehicle routing and scheduling
  • Scheduling pick-ups and deliveries of cargo in shipping
  • Scheduling operations in supply chains
Papers on these topics or on other applications of scheduling in transport and logistics are welcome.


2) Healthcare

Chair: Jonathan Thompson (email: ThompsonJM1@cardiff.ac.uk)

Healthcare is a huge industry and a significant consumer of resources. There is an increasing interest in employing Operational Research methods to decrease waste and to improve efficiency. There are a variety of scheduling and related problems arising in the area of Healthcare including:

  • Employee rostering - including nurse rostering, doctor scheduling etc.
  • Scheduling of appointments
  • Scheduling of operations, treatments etc.
  • Rerostering as a result of sick leave, last minute changes etc.
  • Medical student scheduling
  • Workforce planning and scheduling based on forecasted demand
  • Exact, heuristic and hybrid methods for scheduling problems in the healthcare field
We would welcome papers on these topics or on any other applications of scheduling in the area of healthcare.


3) Decision-making Under Uncertainty

Chair: Stein W. Wallace (email: stein.w.wallace@lancaster.ac.uk)

Call for Papers:

When a decision-maker faces uncertainty, and that is most of the time, several questions may arise:

  • How to describe the uncertainty?
  • What are the dynamics of the problem (when do you know what)?
  • What does the new model look like?
  • Will the solution to the corresponding deterministic problem behave well in light of the uncertainty?
  • How do you solve (approximately) the model involving uncertainty?

In this session we will focus on what uncertainty does to a problem, its formulation, the structure of its solution, and the tools needed to solve it. Modelling-oriented papers are particularly welcome.


4) Systems to Build Systems

Chairs: Edmund Burke (email: ekb@cs.nott.ac.uk) and Ender Ozcan (email: exo@cs.nott.ac.uk)

Sophisticated bespoke systems which are designed by human experts frequently provide successful results in solving specific computationally difficult problems. The expert involvement might still be (in general is) required for the application of such problem tailored systems to unseen problem instances or new/other problem domains. This situation arises due to the substantial range of system design choices such as the values for the system parameters. It is an extremely challenging task for researchers, as well as practitioners, to develop effective decision support systems or search methodologies which are capable of automatically building (selecting/generating/tuning) systems. This special session focuses on hyper-heuristics in scheduling. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • heuristic generation methodologies (e.g. genetic programming, grammatical evolution, and others) for scheduling
  • adaptive/(heuristic/parameter) selection/self-tuning methodologies (e.g. evolutionary algorithms, multi-meme algorithms, adaptive operator selection, dynamic algorithm portfolios, reactive search, experimental design methods and others) for scheduling
  • comparison of hyper-heuristics for scheduling
  • multi-objective hyper-heuristics for scheduling
  • theoretical or empirical analysis of hyper-heuristics in scheduling
  • hyper-heuristic design issues in scheduling

Submission to Special Sessions

Your paper/abstract should be submitted in the usual way (see call for papers and paper submission), but in coordination with the special session chair(s) (i.e. ensure the chair knows that you have submitted to their session and provide them with the paper code and title). Once the deadline has passed, we will discuss/review the papers in conjunction with the special session chair(s), but the papers/abstracts will be subject to the usual review procedures. The decision on the papers will be communicated to the authors in the same way as other papers (i.e. via easychair), but, again, in conjunction with the special session chair(s). All accepted papers for these special sessions will be presented in a LANCS session at the conference.

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact the conference chairs (see the contact page). If you have any questions about the specila session you are interested in, please contact the relevant special session chair.