Welcome to the 2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting!
eNews Daily :: DAY 4 :: WEDNESDAY :: OCTOBER 17
Good-bye and Thank You
Today's Key Events
Addendum to Schedule
Exhibits Open Today 9am-1pm
Blog of the Day
Wagner Prize Presentations to Be Offered On Demand After Meeting
Tuesday's Interactive Session Winner
Wednesday's Tutorials
INFORMS Job Placement Service Closes Today at 3pm
Three Finalists Selected For Innovation in Analytics Award
Models and Algorithms for Passenger Railway Optimization Problems
O.R. and the Revolution in Aggregate Economics
Modeling and Analyzing Military Ops and Systems
Principles to Successfully Navigate the Vortex of Innovation
UPS George D. Smith Prize
Personalized and Adaptive Diabetes Management
2012 TutORials Online Book
Engage With Social Networking Tools

Reception We hope you enjoyed your 2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting experience. The staff at INFORMS did; it is always great to see our members in person! We hope to see you at the Analytics Conference (April 7-9, 2013), the Healthcare Conference, (June 23-26),  or the 2013 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (October 6-9). Safe travels.

Plenaries and Keynotes
10-10:50am, Convention Center, West 301A
Caryl Brzymialkiewicz, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

10-10:50am, Convention Center, West 101

2012 Daniel H. Wagner Prize Presentation
Finalists to be announced.

5-5:50pm, Convention Center, West 301A
INFORMS-SMDM Joint Plenary - Panel: What Pilots and the Airline Industry Can Teach Clinicians and Hospitals About Patient Safety
Moderator: Mark Roberts, University of Pittsburgh 


Please click here to download a pdf of the addendum for late changes to the printed program.


Registration will be open from 7am-4:30pm today.


Today is your last chance to visit the Exhibit Hall. 


by Matthew Saltzman
In a remarkable display of synergy, the 2012 COIN-OR Cup award reinforced the theme of the 2012 INFORMS Impact Prize. The Impact Prize was awarded to the entrepreneurs who created the OR modeling language industry. The COIN-OR Cup recipients were the open-source developers (including some of the same people) who created tools linking the modeling language systems to the COIN-OR solver libraries.

Congratulations to the winners: Bjarni Kristjansson for CoinMP; Marcel Hunting and Marcel Roelofs for AIMMSlinks; and Michael Bussieck, Steven Dirkse, and Stefan Vigerske for GAMSlinks. In addition, Pierre Bonami received an Honorable Mention for the Bonmin MINLP package. Keep reading.

If you missed the Wagner presentations, no problem! In just a few weeks, INFORMS will offer meeting attendees and all members a chanorce to see these presentations on demand via the Web. Watch for our announcement or check the INFORMS Video Learning Center.

Congratulations to Sara Shashaani
Sara Shashaani

This study introduces a framework that uses simulation models like agent-based or network based models and differential equations models, along with optimization approaches like Nelder Mead Simplex method recursively, for real-time forecasting of the pandemic curve and measure the predicted peak time, peak count and total attack rate. Confidence intervals are constructed for the forecasts. Results for Seattle, and a few other cities and countries show a good estimation of the disease parameters, as well as good estimation of the epidemic measures using this methodology.


All sessions held in Convention Center, West 207

Introduction to the Data Mining Process
George Runger, Arizona State University

Maritime Shipping Logistics
Stefan Voss, UnInstitut für Wirtschaftsinformatik, Universität Hamburg


9am-3pm, Convention Center, Exhibit Hall
On-site interviews to explore opportunities in academia, industry, and government take place today. Good luck to all!


Thanks to all who participated in this year's Innovation in Analytics Award! The presentations were of very high quality, and the judging was difficult; however, the Judging Committee for the Innovations in Analytics Award has determined the three finalists:

Machine Learning for Power Grid Reliability: Predicting Manhole Events in New York
Presenting author: Cynthia Rudin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Coauthors: Steve Ierome, Con Edison
Delfina Isaac, Con Edison
Rebecca Passonneau, Columbia University
Axinia Radeva, Columbia University

Whole-Hospital Operational Forecasting System
Presenting author: David S. Toledano, GE Global Research Center
Coauthors: Kunter S. Akbay, GE Global Research Center
Onur I. Dulgeroglu, GE Global Research Center
Peter L. Katlic, GE Global Research Center
Bex G. Thomas, General Electric Global Research Center

Insurance Agency Productivity, Efficiency and Prospecting
Presenting author: Mark Grabau, IBM
Coauthor: Elizabeth Riczko, Westfield Insurance

Models and Algorithms for Passenger Railway Optimization Problems

by Kimberly Harms
Paolo Toth All Aboard!!

Paolo Toth provided the IFORS Distinguished Lecture, talking about how to solve problems in railway systems while handling interlinked complexities. He described several optimization problems faced in the management of railways and spent a good part of the lecture walking the audience through the Train Unit Assignment Problem (TUAP). Because of their complexity, railway problems are broken into steps, solvable through iterative analysis.

There is a split in responsibilities for railways, referring to Europe, where the government manages railway infrastructure while the private sector is tasked with operating the trains. Toth described a sequence of steps involved in the organization of railways: line planning and then timetabling, which leads to train platforming, rolling stock circulation, and crew planning.

TUAP was developed to solve resource allocation problems for the developed timetable. The presentation summarized the solutions from the "Diving," "Lagrangian," and "Peak Period" heuristic methods. Objectively, the target is to minimize the costs of assigning train units while covering trips and offering enough seats for passengers. The output of these methods is a quantity of each unit type to assign. An assignment problem is then used to find the best sequencing of trips for a particular train unit type. The process is iterative, continuing until all trips are covered by a train unit.

The results of the Diving heuristic were good but very time consuming to process problems. The Lagrangian heuristic, on the other hand, was faster, but the quality of the solution deteriorated for larger problems. Peak Period offered very good results quickly. Comparing the three methods, a final solution was found that offers quality customer service, as well as organized scheduling and resource allocation. The steps outlined by Toth show that complex, real-world problems can be broken into manageable stages to achieve improved solutions.

O.R. and the Revolution in Aggregate Economics

by Timothy Hopper
Edward Prescott In the Omega Rho Distinguished Lecture held Tuesday morning, Nobel laureate Edward Prescott reflected on his experience as an economist, statistician, and operations researcher. Prescott was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2004 along with Finn Kydland for "their contributions to dynamic macroeconomics: the time consistency of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles."

Prescott notably received a master's degree in operations research from the Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) in 1963. The speaker went on to earn a PhD in economics at Carnegie Mellon University in 1967. However, he attributes much of his success in economics to his earlier training in operations research.

At Case, Prescott studied queuing theory under Maurice Sasieni; in this course, he learned the recursive methods of dynamic programming that he would later apply to macroeconomics. Prescott noted that his economic work demonstrates that "[economic] policy is a game, not a control problem." Unlike earlier Keynesian models that indicated that the economy can be controlled by a central agent, Prescott and Kydland showed that rational agents respond to economic policy in a dynamic fashion, thus inducing a game-theoretic problem for policy makers.

Prescott also lauded operations researchers for their efforts in developing better production procedures. He noted that, despite their value to firms, operations researchers are often counted as expenses, not capital, in economic measures such as the gross domestic product. Prescott paraphrased Albert Einstein by saying, "Some things that count can't be counted." For Edward Prescott, operations research is one field that indubitably counts.

Modeling and Analyzing Military Ops and Systems

by Rachel Ramirez
[Left to right] Professor Thornburg, Professor Arney, and Cadet Szablowski of West Point
The Modeling and Analyzing Military Operations and Systems 1 session had three United States Military Academy (West Point) POCs: "Network Cooperation Models for Irregular Warfare" by Dr. Chris Arney, "Packing Steiner Trees" by Eric Thornburg, and "Social Media and Its Future in the Army" by Cadet Evan Szablowski. Arney's research focuses on cooperative behavior as a variable to mission success. He is creating altruistic and selfish agent players with different value functions and controls of varying levels that associate with different quadrants of cohesive and sensible values. He used a limited cellular communications network example, stating it would be good for a couple cellphone nodes to go to the top of a mountain to extend the line of sight to where it was needed, a somewhat altruistic behavior; but if all the nodes went up the mountain, you'd have a very cooperative but ineffective network. So what's the right mix of altruistic skills in a good military team? If one could get a model of the elements, it might help decision makers pick the right mix.

Arney's vision for such a model would be one that looks on the edges for the most unlikely situations - the ones with the most impact but are hard to find. He wants to be able to use a model like this to ultimately form an irregular warfare model with insurgency and counterinsurgency elements, with U.S. and coalition players, to see whether measures of attributes such as cooperation and altruism have an effect.

Eric Thornburg is also a professor at West Point and had an impressive research partner listed on his first slide: Philip McCord Morse Lecturer William Pulleyblank. Thornburg was interested in the effectiveness of different ways to build and pack Steiner trees to minimize the distance between points. He noted that Steiner trees are used for very-large-scale integration design on chips but could also have military applications such as resupply points for forward operating bases or reducing the number of patrols.

I didn't know anything about Steiner trees going into this brief, so unfortunately, all I can say with confidence after the brief is that (1) they are hard to build and (2) they are hard to pack. Thornburg suggested an algorithm that used a planar cut on a rectilinear grid of 16 nodes with three terminals for which he was seeking a closed path. Through a series of planar cuts and connectivity cuts and relaxing the conditions to allow an objective value with a noninteger solution, he was able to "name that tune" in 25 cuts. Using the same grid but adding colored terminals and not allowing for any congestion, he used a Benders' constraint to pack the Steiner trees. The professor wants to pursue further research in looking at the trade-off between length and congestion and in expanding his model beyond rectilinear movements to look at all diagonal movements.

Szablowski's presentation discussed how "Generation 2.0" has new expectations that will be important for the Army to consider. Generation 2.0 are those currently in high school or about to graduate; social media has been in existence for the majority of their lives. Szablowski gave his perspective as a Generation 2.0 guy, and as a soon-to-be Army officer, on what the Army should do to meet his generation's expectations.

First, Generation 2.0 expects to have a lot of competitive options and to be able to make their own decisions. Second, they must have the ability to look at a large amount of information and be able to process it quickly. Third, conversations are not limited to the direct recipient as it used to be with emails. Fourth, it is very important that they have the ability to voice their own opinions.

To tie this into the Army, Szablowski spoke of a mentor master sergeant's recent experience in Afghanistan. The Army's 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan was doing a patrol of a village. They wanted the village to feel safe and protected, so they would bring food and water and come back weekly to see how the village was doing. Unbeknownst to the 10th Mountain Division, another division had received intel that the village was stockpiling a weapons cache and went on a raid of the village the next day. They didn't find anything. Worse yet, a third division had just got the same intel almost a week later and also went on a raid and, of course, didn't find anything either. So a week later, the 10th Mountain Division came back to the village not knowing all the prior events the village just endured and started to ask the normal questions. The village leaders started yelling at the division that they had no weapons and to leave them alone.

Szablowski drew the parallel between Facebook and an Afghanistan village raid: "Why don't we have a page for this village and have someone update its status?" He concluded with several insightful ways the Army can implement social media effectively to avoid repeating intel failures like the above, without jeopardizing the vertical hierarchy of the Army.

Principles to Successfully Navigate the Vortex of Innovation

by Rachel Ramirez
Christopher Lofgren Christopher B. Lofgren is a paradigm for the common practitioner who dreams of one day becoming the President and CEO of their own company - in this case, a very large complex logistics company that operates across the country. He graduated with a BS and MS in industrial and systems engineering (ISE) from Montana State University, and he earned his doctorate in ISE from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He applied his book smarts in a few different IT companies until eventually joining Schneider Logistics in 1994 to help manage the vehicle routes for thousands of truck drivers. There he first encountered more of a human element to operations, and he realized that all the expertise in the world didn't matter unless he could get people to use his solutions.

In this presentation Lofgren shared stories that gave him insight on the principles needed to get his workers to implement his non-intuitive computer optimizations over their own intuition and yield profitable results. These people skills and other sage words were given as the key to "successfully navigate the vortex of innovation." Here are some of the key takeaways from Lofgren's presentation.

Most of the time and pain isn't in figuring out the model, but in getting people to use it: He and his colleague Michael Trick had developed a program in three months that solved a customer's problem, but they continued to work another eight months tailoring it just so their clients could use it.

There are two ways of being relevant: You can focus on the present and correctly solve the problem, or you can focus on the future and solve the right question.

A fruitful place to find things to improve is where you find people pushing you back because "you don't understand": When people tell you that you won't understand and can't help, there are probably a lot of things to fix that they are holding back.

"One shouldn't assume malice where it could simply be ignorance": This refers to instances where people do not understand what you are doing and thus may ignore you, which ties into the next point.

"People act not in accordance with the truth, but in accordance with the truth as they believe it to be": He gave an example of a man, Cliff Johnson, who decided to run a five-day marathon against some world-class runners. On race day he showed up to the line wearing his overalls. When asked how he planned to keep up during the long run, Johnson stated, "I sometimes have to run all night to get my livestock back towards the barn." Lo and behold, Johnson won the race - and not only did he win, but he finished an entire day early. Apparently, no one told Johnson he was expected to run for 18 hours and sleep for 6 hours, so he ended up running for 96 hours straight! Lofgren used this example to illustrate how sometimes the "truth" can get in our way, saying sometimes the truth as we understand it, not as it is, can cause us to lose sight of the possible or miss a breakthrough.

"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care": This should be kept in mind as you try to sell people on "doing things better" and make sure they know it will help them out in the long run.

"What got you here isn't going to get you to the next place": Apple's profit was mostly from Macintosh revenue in 2003; the iPhone and other innovations are predicted to be the greatest area of profit in 2013. If Apple had continued to improve upon the Macintosh and not focus on innovations and creating other products, they would not have experienced today's skyrocketing revenues.

Use what little time you have to decide whether to make things better, or make better things. Both are highly important, but you must balance them.


by Rachel Ramirez
WORMS For anyone that was wondering where all the women disappeared to today at 12:30, I'm here to tell you that most of them were at the sold-out Women in Operations Research/Management Sciences luncheon. I can't honestly inflate my experience and tell you how "amazing" it was to be in a room with such successful women, because it's normal for me to experience mentorship from smart women (I'm in the military). Yet while I was watching the presidential debates, I was reminded about how we are still living in a time when women's rights are still in contention. The presidential candidates addressed a number of concerns from a mixed audience; quite a few of these focused on women's issues: female workers still only earn 72% for the same level of work as male workers; not as many qualified women are being hired or considered as are men; and of course, the sensitive issue of government's role in abortion and contraceptive policy. Granted, these are all very important issues, and an indicator of some positive progression over the last 50 years, but, hearing these issues again and again in normal conversations can make me feel like sometimes we're stuck or regressing backwards. In short, watching the presidential candidates publicly spar to showcase how they will help women's rights more than the other made me consider how precious our progress to this point is. I realize I have been taking these past accomplishments for granted, and it is important to me now to keep supporting these seemingly "old-notion" goals and push for equal rights. On that note, I'm proud that there are men and women that already realize that importance and consciously try to make a positive difference for me; one such person is the INFORMS 2012 Award winner Vicki Sauter. She and others are continually bettering the environment for women entering and working in the O.R. community.

UPS George D. Smith Prize

by Timothy Hopper
Lawrence Seiford This year, INFORMS introduced the UPS George D. Smith Prize to annually recognize an academic department or program for "effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of O.R., management science, or analytics." This prize is "named in honor of the late UPS Chief Executive Officer who was a champion of operations researchers at a leading Fortune 500 corporation." The inaugural award was granted to the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan.

This unique program is a collaboration between the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business and College of Engineering to train business and engineering graduate students for leadership positions in operations and manufacturing. The program functions as an overlay for students' primary course of study in business or engineering. Students participating in this program take cross-disciplinary courses, participate in specialized leadership training, and complete a 14-week summer project with an industry partner.

The 33 companies sponsoring student projects in 2011 reported a total savings of $600 million over three years as a result of these projects, and 40% of the program's participants take jobs with sponsoring companies after graduation. The leadership training program includes modules in Six Sigma, value stream mapping, and project management. The Tauber program emphasizes development of both analytic and soft skills. In the award ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, Tauber Goff Smith Co-Director Lawrence Seiford and Managing Director Diana Crossley shared their views on the vision and success of the program over the last 20 years.

Personalized and Adaptive Diabetes Management: A Robust Optimization Approach

by Kimberly Harms
Allison O'Hair The upward trend of obesity in the United States has continued for decades and has a future of continued growth, so it is no surprise diabetes is occurring more frequently. Obesity rates of more than 30% exist in many states, with no state having less than 20%. Type II diabetes constitutes 90% of the diabetic population and is the leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputation, and kidney failure. This population faces the daily challenge of controlling blood glucose through diet, exercise, and medication.

Allison O'Hair of the Operations Research Center at MIT presented an adaptive diabetes management system. The personalized program begins by comprehensively learning food preferences through adaptive questionnaires. Background operation to the program includes applications of prospect theory, conditional value at risk (CVaR), and mixed integer optimization. O'Hair addressed the model's ability to handle complex model challenges by balancing robustness with optimality. The program also has built-in redundancies to self-correct in cases of inconsistent or incorrect responses.

The system is formatted into an online user interface where the diabetic can input general information; complete breakfast, lunch, and dinner questionnaires; and view a calendar with meal plans and suggested recipes. Additionally, a bar graph of the expected glucose levels for the day is generated from the fasting glucose level, food consumed, and exercise performed. Food restrictions can be selected for users with special dietary requests, and recommended recipes can be sent to a "blacklist" by the user if found undesirable. A comparison of ranks of real users demonstrates the success of the model.

The program addresses both dietary adherence and individuals desiring prepared foods. Initial testing has begun. There are many upcoming features of the system, including a mobile device application and restaurant assistance. This advancement in diabetes management offers to help prevent serious complications and lower medication dependence.


TutORials in OR 2012 All attendees receive free exclusive early access to the INFORMS 2012 TutORials in Operations Research online book concurrently with the meeting. Entitled "New Directions in Informatics, Optimization, Logistics, and Production," the 2012 volume is the perfect complement to the series of talks. For access, visit here and log in using your INFORMS username and password. Nonmember meeting attendees: use the username and password you selected as part of the online registration process. NOTE: your username and password also appears on the receipt in your registration envelope. All INFORMS 2013 members receive access on January 1, 2013. You can order the 2012 book or previous volumes (CDs 2005 - 2009) through the TutORials website or visit the INFORMS Booth #58.


INFORMS is using the latest in social networking technology to keep you informed and connected at the Annual Meeting.

Send Us a Video, Get a T-shirt
We want your videos taken at the INFORMS Annual Meeting. All suitable videos will be posted on the Annual Meeting website and on the INFORMS YouTube channel. Show us INFORMS in your eyes and help us build our video library. For more information and where to upload your video, click here.

We want your photos, too. Take photos and send them to photosandvideo@mail.informs.org, and we'll post them on the Annual Meeting website.

Check out the INFORMS Annual Meeting Board on Pinterest for interesting places to visit, eat, and enjoy in Phoenix. Follow the board for updates.

Visit the Annual Meeting website during the meeting for commentary from your friends and colleagues. Blogs will be posted to the website before, during, and after the meeting. Be sure to check back frequently for new posts.

All attendees are invited to share what they are doing and seeing in real time. Remember to add hashtag "#informs2012" to your tweets, and they will appear on the Annual Meeting homepage during the meeting. Tweets will be displayed in real time in a large video monitor at Registration. Stop by the INFORMS booth and pick up your "Tweeter" ribbon. Also "follow" the official conference twitter feed, INFORMS2012, to receive important conference announcements.

Connect with other attendees on the Annual Meeting LinkedIn Group to discuss key topics. Click here to join the Annual Meeting LinkedIn group.

"Like" INFORMS on Facebook and let other INFORMS members know you are attending the 2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting by RSVP'ing.

Liven up your downtime with an INFORMS podcast. Download a podcast.

Free Wireless Internet
It's easy to stay connected. The Phoenix Convention Center features free wireless Internet located in the Exhibit Hall in the Convention Center. Hyatt: Wireless access is available on the second floor.


Reserve your advertising space now in Annual Meeting eNews Daily, the official news source of the INFORMS Annual Meeting. Each morning, attendees will receive Annual Meeting eNews Daily in their in-boxes. eNews Daily provides a preview of the day's key events and a recap of the previous day's happenings; 60% of the 4,000+ attendees open and read eNews Daily. Click here for more information.

It's membership renewal time!
Click for Phoenix weather
See the movie!
Click to view large map
Visit INFORMS at booth 58

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View our profile on LinkedIn
Apply now for the 2013 Edelman Prize
Apply now for the 2013 UPS George D Smith Prize
Nominations being accepted for INFORMS Prize
Watch videos at the INFORMS Video Learning Center








The Seth Bonder Foundation

U Arizona


UT Dallas

Iowa State U

Texas AM


AIMMS (Paragon Decision Technology)
American Optimal Decisions
AMPL Optimization, Inc.
AnyLogic North America
Cambridge University Press
Cengage Learning/South-Western Publishing
Darden Business Publishing
Dynamic Ideas
Emerald Group Publishing
Forio Online Simulations
Frontline Systems, Inc.
GAMS Development Corp.
Gurobi Optimization
IBM Optimization
Imagine That, Inc.
INFORMS Future Meetings
JMP Software from SAS
LINDO Systems, Inc.
LINKS Simulations
Lumina Decision Systems, Inc.
Maximal Software, Inc.
Now Publishers
Oracle Crystal Ball
Palgrave Macmillan
Palisade Corporation
Provalis Research
Responsive Learning Technologies
Salford Systems
SAS Global Academic Program
SAS Books
Singapore University of Technology and Design
Spry, Inc.
Sulum Optimization
Syncopation Software, Inc.
Tableau Software
Taylor & Francis Group LLC-CRC Press
University of Michigan
Ziena Optimization LLC


2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting2012 Annual Meeting
Oct 14-17, 2012
Click here for more info

2013 Analytics Conference2013 Analytics Conference
Apr 7-9, 2013
Click here for more info

Read the current issue of ORMS Today
September Analytics
IAOR Database

You'll always find INFORMS ready to give you the fullest measure of assistance, so make your professional needs our business. Please feel free to contact us at (800) 446-3676, 443-757-3500, or informs@informs.org. Submit E-News announcements to barry.list@informs.org. This message was sent to the INFORMS-MEMBERS list of INFORMS Online.

This is an informational posting sent to members of INFORMS by the INFORMS office. To remove yourself from this list, simply send an e-mail with the message "unsubscribe eNews" to informscentral@informs.org. If you have any difficulty with the automatic system, send us an e-mail at informs@informs.org for special handling. This message was sent under the INFORMS Mass E-Mailings Guidelines.