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{ Category Archives } Computing

The American Scientist Magazine Understands Nothing about the Traveling Salesman Problem

I like to think there are some solid foundations to my life. I will be able to do the Monday New York Times crossword and I will not be able to do the Thursday version. My dental hygienist will not be satisfied with the amount of flossing I do. I will get my favorite spaghetti […]

Quantum computing and operations research

Quantum computing is one of those weird ideas out there that will either change the world or go the way of  cold fusion, so I periodically think I need to learn more about the area. I am by no means an expert (or even knowledgeable) in the area.  My expertise comes from reading Scott Aaronson’s blog, […]

Registries To Avoid Publication Bias

I have been thinking about the issue of how a field knows what they know.  In a previous post, I wrote about how the field of social psychology is working through the implications of fraudulent research, and is closely examining the cozy interactions between journals, reviewers, and famous researchers.   And any empirical field based on statistical […]

Benchmarks: Coloring, Sports and Umpires

I have always felt strongly that operations research needs more libraries of instances for various problem classes, along with listings of current best solutions.  By tracking how well we solve problems over time, we can show how we advance as a field.  It also makes it easier to evaluate new work, making both authors and […]

Call for Challenging MIP Problems

MIPLIB is a collection of instances of Mixed Integer Programs.  Versions of MIPLIB have been around since 1992, and these have been invaluable as we see how we have advanced in solving difficult MIP instances. Some instances that were essentially unsolvable twenty years ago can now be solved in a fraction of a second.  We […]

Eating Better and Better Routing

For the last year or so, my wife and I have decided to eat better by doing more “real” cooking.  A great help in this has been a magazine “Real Simple“.  Every month, the magazine publishes a series of recipes, each generally requiring only 20-30 minutes of preparation time.  We like these recipes because they […]

Solver Foundation Version 2 Announced

Just in time for the INFORMS Meeting in San Diego, the Microsoft Solver Foundation folks have announced Solver Foundation Version 2. I am particularly excited about this since I have promised (and have been negligent about) a new course this year entitled “Operations Research Implementations” aimed at our MBA students. The idea is to go […]

Mittelmann’s Benchmarks CPLEX verus Gurobi

Hans Mittelmann has some new benchmarks comparing CPLEX 12.1 with GUROBI 1.1.2 on various mixed integer linear programming instances (I last wrote on these benchmarks last January with earlier versions of both codes:  be sure to check out the comments from that post since many of those comments apply to this also).  He covers both […]

Careful with Wolfram|Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha is an interesting service. It is not a search engine per se. If you ask it “What is Operations Research” it draws a blank (*) (mimicking most of the world) and if you ask it “Who is Michael Trick” it returns information on two movies “Michael” and “Trick” (*). But if you give it […]

A Better Random Number Generator?

In operations research, we often use “random” numbers.  Whether we are doing a simulation of a manufacturing facility, generating future economic scenarios in financial optimization, or creating “random” instances to test our algorithms, we use up lots of random numbers.  Terry Pratchett might wonder whether we are using up all the randomness in our need […]