Welcome to the 2013 INFORMS Annual Meeting
eNews Daily :: DAY 4 :: WEDNESDAY :: OCTOBER 9
Goodbye & Thank You
Congratulations to Our Fun Run Winners
Today's Key Events
Addendum to the Schedule
Blog On: Title
Congratulations to the Wagner Prize Winners.
Tuesday's Interactive Session Winner
Wagner Prize Presentation Videos On Demand
Wednesday's Tutorials
INFORMS Career Center
Management of Power System
Opportunities in Behavioral Operations: Different Perspectives
Despite a Perceived Shortage, Enthusiasm in Undergraduate INFORMS Analysts
Computational Disaster Management: The Role of OR/MS
2013 Wagner Prize Winner: Distributing Print Magazines and Newspapers In Israel
In Healthcare, a New Role for Operations Research
2013 TutORials Online Book
Engage with Social Networking Tools

We hope you enjoyed your 2013 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 (March 30-April 1), the Big Data Conference, (June 22-24),  or the 2014 Annual Meeting in San Francisco (November 9-12). Safe travels.







10-10:50am, Convention Center, Auditorium 2, level 1
Reprise of 2013 UPS George D. Smith Prize Award-Winning Presentation

Naval Postgraduate School: Robert Dell, Walter DeGrange, Ronald Fricker

10-10:50am, Convention Center, Auditorium 3, level 1

Pricing and Product Design in a Data-Driven Economy
Guillermo Gallego, Columbia University



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



Registration will be open from 7:30am-3:30pm today.
Additionally, there will be lost and found at the registration desk.  


BLOG ON: INFORMS Minneapolis - A Feast for the Mind and the Soul

By Anna Nagurney

Those of us who are lucky enough to be at INFORMS in Minneapolis can't help but be inspired - from the plenary talks at which we have tasted and savored the latest research from the likes of OR/MS superstars Professor Larry Wein of Stanford, Professor Dimitris Bertsimas of MIT, and our INFORMS President, Dr. Anne Robinson, of Verizon, to mention just a few, to the invited sessions as well as contributed ones. The professionalism of the talks has been great.


Our minds are percolating with new research ideas and how we can put OR/MS and analytics into practice.


Read more



Retsef Levi, Wagner Prize Chair C. Allen Butler, and Yale Herer
Congratulations to Yale T. Herer, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Assaf Avrahami, Yedioth Group, and Retsef Levi, MIT for their paper Matching Supply and Demand via Delayed 2-Phase Distribution at Yedioth Group - Models, Algorithms and IT.



Congratulations to Mehrnaz Abdollahian for winning the Interactive Session on Tuesday with her poster, "Women with BRCA1/2 mutations have higher risk for breast and ovarian

Women with BRCA1/2 mutations have higher risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Available intervention actions include prophylactic surgeries and breast screening, which vary significantly in cost and effectiveness. We develop a model to obtain effective intervention strategies for mutation carriers
between ages 30 and 65.    
A Markov decision process (MDP) model is developed that considers state transitions for mutation carriers from one year to the next and state dependent intervention actions. State is defi ned as a vector comprising mutation type, health states, prior intervention actions, and age. A discounted cost
value iteration algorithm is used to solve the MDP model.  
The results from MDP model show that for 30 year old women with BRCA1 mutation and no prior intervention history, the optimal strategy is a combination of prophylactic mastectomy (PM) and prophylactic oophorectomy (PO) at age 30 with no screening afterwards. For BRCA2 mutation carriers of age 30, the optimal strategy is PO at age 30, PM at age 40, and yearly screening only after age 56. Strategies for all other ages are obtained and presented. We also demonstrate that the strategies derived from the MDP model offer near maximum survival rate and near minimum cancer incidence rates by age 70, when compared to a number of ad-hoc strategies.


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



Designed for students, faculty, and practitioners, TutORials in Operations Research provides in-depth instruction on significant operations research specialties and practices.


All sessions held in Convention Center, Room 101I.


Efficiency Concepts in MCDM, DEA and Finance
Andrea Lodi, University of Bologna 
Pekka Korhonen, Aalto University School of Business

Superquantiles and their Applications to Risk, Random Variables and Regression
R. Tyrrell Rockafellar, University of Washington Johannes O. R´┐Żyset, Naval Postgraduate School

Portfolio Optimization: Models and Solution Approaches 
John Beasley, Brunel University


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

Management of Power Systems
By Amy Pielow 
Power systems operations is a topic of extensive research and the focus of many sessions at this year's annual meeting. The Contributed cluster features several sessions on the topic, including Tuesday morning's presentations on management of power systems.

Geoffrey Pritchard of the University of Auckland spoke first on modeling uncertainty from inflows for use in hydrothermal scheduling. The model must consider seasonal variations, serial dependence, and heavy right tails of week-to-week water inflows. Autoregressive general linear models with different structures for the errors were among those fit. Outputs can be used as scenarios for scheduling optimization models as shown with a test problem. The resulting energy prices from an SDDP optimization varied significantly depending on the source of scenarios.

The second presentation on storage technology choices in electricity systems was delivered by PhD student Santhosh Suresh, University of Michigan. His work focused on the interaction between battery storage losses, transmission losses, and renewable utilization. Local storage mitigates losses from transmission, but centralized storage may benefit from increased efficiency; thus, the trade-off between options leads to different decisions given the realities of the system. In general, the researchers found that it is better to pool with increased efficiency of transmission or storage.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory research scientist Marissa Hummon presented work on accelerating unit commitment and dispatch models. Presently, solving their rolling 48-hour optimization for an entire year may take several weeks of computation. Instead of solving the year sequentially, the researchers parallelized optimization of shorter time horizons then compared the results of the single optimization to the simultaneous computations. Because unit commitment involves long-term decisions, there may be optimality loss with weekly or monthly simulations. Despite this, the researchers found overlapping the shorter simulations by only two days was sufficient to reasonably emulate the annual simulation results.


Opportunities in Behavioral Operations: Different Perspectives
By Pelin Cay  
Tuesday morning's session presented three speakers discussing the impact of behaviors on operations management.  
The first speaker, Gad Allon, professor from Northwestern University, spoke about the opportunities in behavioral service operations. He began with big opportunities in service operations starting in 1900s. After he gave the definition of behavioral operations, he continued with the impact of customers as decision makers in queueing models. Allon continued his talk with the approaches that have been used to measure the effect of behavior in systems. He also shared a specific example on the effect of delay announcements on customers. He concluded his talk with the opportunities in this field through understanding customer behavior in details.

The next speaker, Anita Tucker, associate professor from Harvard Business School, spoke about how standardized work processes lead process improvements in healthcare systems. She began her talk with the challenges in healthcare: access to care, quality, and efficiency. She continued by giving two examples that focus on the importance of well-defined processes to improve the treatment process in hospitals. Tucker then shifted the topic on what kind of individual factors are affecting system performance. She summarized the research dilemmas in the healthcare context as the importance of "oriented process improvement" and "process improvement as learning" with respect to clinical and operational viewpoints.

The final speaker, Gerard Cachon, professor from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, discussed how the newsvendor problem can change with respect to different behavioral aspects. First, he defined the problem in simple structure. He explained that the tendency of the decision makers is ordering the quantity as expected demand. However, this approach does not result as desired. In that sense, the main observation is "pull to center" effect. He continued his talk with the robustness of results, the explanation of bias, and explanation of individual heterogeneity at "pull to center" effect by explaining other papers in the literature. After he mentioned the newsvendor problem with unknown demand, he focused on the context matters in this problem.


Despite a Perceived Shortage, Enthusiasm in Undergraduate INFORMS Analysts
By Justin Fung 
As a 2012 McKinsey report predicting a future worldwide shortage of analysts currently makes the rounds on the Internet, INFORMS is doing its part to support and recognize the achievements of the next generation of operations researchers and management scientists. The four finalists of the Undergraduate OR Prize, representing the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Turkey, were invited on Tuesday afternoon to present their work in a session chaired by Vincent Slaugh of Carnegie Mellon University.

"It was good to meet people ...  it's both a networking opportunity for us and a chance of seeing (other) education and cultures," said Basak Kepir of Bilkent University after her group's presentation. Winners of the Undergraduate OR Prize, Kepir and her group -  accompanied by their advisor  - traveled from Ankara, Turkey to present their flight scheduling optimization decision support system that was eventually adopted by AnadoluJet.

Rebecca Swaszek made the trip from Lehigh University to discuss her research on the utilization of decision trees in healthcare applications, designing a dynamic program for medication management. "It's overwhelming," she said, in regards to the number of proceedings available to first time attendees. Whether a shortage of analysts comes to fruition, the 2013 INFORMS Undergraduate OR finalists appear enthusiastic and well-positioned to follow the lead of their senior counterparts. Kepir also stated, "We've met a lot of professors ... it's been a great influence."


Computational Disaster Management: The Role of OR/MS
By Pelin Cay 
Pascal Van Hentenryck, Optimization Research Group Leader, National ICT Australia and professor at University of Melbourne, gave an IFORs Distinguished Lecture in disaster management and computational approaches. He started his talk with the impact of natural disasters like Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, San Diego Blackout, Tohoku Tsunami, and Black Saturday. He mentioned that OR/MS tools are important for preparation and response to the disasters, and continued with a recent implication of OR/MS tools for disaster management. He noted that good understanding of the aftermath disasters is important for disaster prediction. He continued his talk with the characteristics of disaster management and explained decisions are often used in the disaster management. He pointed out the challenges of the problems of disaster management such as complex, joint combinatorial optimization problems, fast response time, stochasticity, and nonstandard objectives and multiobjectives. He also indicated the computational challenges which are complex infrastructures in uncertain environments such that off-the-shelf packages cannot solve the disaster management problems in even small instances. Van Hentenryck then described three case studies.

The first case study is scheduling and planning evacuations in flood management. He showed that GIS, flood simulation, planning, and scheduling evacuations must be dealt with. He focused on scheduling evacuations in practice. The decisions to be made are when, where, and how to evacuate the residents. The objective can be selected as maximizing the number of evacuated people. Secondly, he studied relief distribution in disaster management. The decisions should be defined as where to store the relief before the disaster and delivery plans for the recovery phase. The objective in this case can be minimizing unsatisfied demand, latest delivery time, or storage costs in worst case scenarios. The last case study is based on power flow optimization. The objective is finding how much power to generate and the phase angles to maximize the service lead. He explained three-step approaches with hybrid optimization to solve this problem. He concluded his talk by identifying the essential research topics for OR/MS studies in disaster management.


2013 Wagner Prize Winner: Distributing Print Magazines and Newspapers In Israel
By Amy Pielow 
Solving real-world problems is at the heart of operations research and practitioners who successfully implement mathematical theory in innovative and practical ways should be recognized. The Daniel H. Wagner Prize is awarded every year to researchers employing operations research methodology to practical problems. Applicants are judged based on both the analytical content and quality of exposition of their research. The 2013 winners, announced during Tuesday afternoon's keynote address, are researchers working on a newsvendor problem for the Yedioth Ahronoth weekly newsletter. Allen Butler, chair of the 2013 award committee, introduced Yale T. Herer, who presented the work.

The classic newsvendor problem served as the motivation for the work. Production decisions must be made before demand is realized, so choosing the optimal level of papers to print must consider stochastic sales levels. In reality, up to 25% of papers produced are returned unsold, so better production decisions can lead to greatly reduced costs of both production and salvage. The proposed model implements mid-week redistribution of unsold papers based on demand in the model's first subperiod. Mathematically, the delayed two-phase distribution becomes a cost-minimizing stochastic planning problem with recourse and two subperiods.

La'isha magazine (owned by Yedioth Ahronoth media) was used as a pilot case study for 10 weeks and 50 retailers to test the model. After collecting data, the researchers suggested producing fewer copies of the magazine than before. Despite lower quantities available, similar sales numbers were realized, leading to decreased costs. Additionally, fewer stock-outs occurred. The pilot's success led to model implementation for more than 15 magazines and 400 retailers with cost savings up to $250,000 per year, depending on the day of redistribution. Future work will focus on applying the model to weekend newspapers and combining the model with data generated from RFID tags on the magazines to test if RFID tracking is worthwhile.


In Healthcare, a New Role for Operations Research
By Justin Fung 
In an age when "interdisciplinary" has become a popular buzzword, Professor Dimitris Bertsimas of MIT is furthering the extant interdisciplinary nature of operations research. An academic with industry experience and an industry man with an education, Professor Bertsimas has spearheaded two innovations in healthcare analytics that are expanding the definition of what it means to be "interdisciplinary."

To that end, during Tuesday's plenary, intrigued attendees looked on as Bertsimas gave an on-screen demo of Lifestyle Analytics (LiA), a web-based application that uses OR analytics to design food and exercise plans tailored to the user's preferences to control blood glucose - an ideal tool for persons at risk of diabetes, and just as accessible as any social-networking mobile app.

Professor Bertsimas has not limited the scope of healthcare analytic tools to patients, however. He outlined an OR/health initiative aimed at healthcare professionals in which a combination of statistical modeling and optimization is employed in predicting clinical trial outcomes and designing treatment regiments for gastric and gastroesophageal cancers, with important, exciting inference for cancer of all types.

Perhaps spurred by his personal investment in the projects (Bertsimas dedicated the presentation to his parents, both of whom were victims of cancer), he does not stop the bridge-building at the research stage. Utilizing business acumen and advances in the social technology revolution, Bertsimas puts the research in the hands of the end-user, pushing the OR envelope and "adding value" to interdisciplinary problems.



2013 TutORialsAll attendees receive free exclusive early access to the INFORMS 2013 TutORials in Operations Research online book concurrently with the meeting. Entitled "Theory Driven by Influential Applications," the 2013 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 appear on the receipt in your registration envelope. All INFORMS 2014 members receive access on January 1, 2014. You can order the 2013 book or previous volumes (CDs 2005 - 2009) through the TutORials website or visit the INFORMS Booth #55-57. 

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

We want your photos! Take photos and send them to [email protected], 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 Minneapolis. 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 "#informs2013" to your tweets, and they will appear on the Annual Meeting homepage during the meeting. Tweets will be displayed in real time on a large video monitor at Registration. Stop by the INFORMS booth and pick up your "Tweeter" ribbon. Also "follow" the official conference Twitter feed, @INFORMS2013, 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 2013 INFORMS Annual Meeting by RSVP'ing.

Liven up your down time with an INFORMS podcast. Download a podcast.

Free Wireless Internet
It's easy to stay connected. The Minneapolis Convention Center features free wireless Internet located in Exhibit Hall D.



Finally, some TV worth watching! Tune in to INFORMS TV during the meeting to catch the latest conference highlights, enjoy "behind the scenes" interviews with meeting speakers and INFORMS leaders, and hear reactions and interviews with attendees like you. See INFORMS TV on video displays in the registration area and Exhibit Hall D, Interactive Session foyer, INFORMS Booth, and in the Hilton, channel 18, and Hyatt, channel 40. Or, click here to watch videos on YouTube.

INFORMS President 2013, Anne Robinson
INFORMS President 2013, Anne Robinson

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