Ortec team awarded second place in AIMMS/MOPTA optimization modeling competition

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The final stage of the AIMMS modelling competition reached its conclusion at the 2011 MOPTA conference and the Ortec team, from Gouda in the Netherlands, was awarded second place. Rianne Langenberg, one of the Ortec team members, comments on this fantastic result: "It's an honor to reach the finalist stage and to come second out of a group of very competent fellow competitors." The Ortec team is also made up of Harwin de Vries and Arno Witte, and advised by Cindy de Groot. All graduates are currently engaged in projects at the Ortec Consulting Group, part of the Ortec Group.

The modeling competition aims to encourage people with a passion for Operations Research and Optimization to deal with challenges and/or real world problems. Rianne Langenberg describes the team's involvement: "We are really pleased that Ortec provided us with the opportunity to participate in the competition, which is open to contestants across the globe. This year's problem was not only interesting but it also really challenged us as a team." Harwin de Vries comments further: "We really enjoyed the combination of mathematical modeling and the design of a graphical user interface. This competition was the perfect way to familiarise ourselves with the AIMMS platform."

Complex challenge
This year's competition required each team to model a solution for the localization of ad hoc sensor networks. The challenge was to find the location of sensors in rough terrain given pair wise distances between them and to use that information to approximate a temperature profile over the field. In the first stage of the competition, participating teams had to submit a complete solution to the problem, including: details of the mathematical model used; implementation of the model in AIMMS; selection of appropriate solvers; and a report describing the model, the implementation and the results. In the second stage of the competition, finalists were invited to present their work at a dedicated session of the 2011 MOPTA conference. The three finalists, Team ISE-NUS (National University of Singapore), Team RANDOM (University of Twente, the Netherlands) and Team Ortec (Gouda, the Netherlands) presented their final results on during the conference, which took place between 17-19 August 2011 at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, in the USA.

Improving accuracy
Arno de Witte: "When we heard that we had been selected as one of the finalists we were very excited. The judges were really pleased with our graphical user interface, particularly because it makes it easy for the user to tune the model. The panel encouraged us to use the remaining competition time to improve the accuracy of our methods as much as possible and we really enjoyed working on enhancing our solution during the final stage of the project."

About the contestants:

  • Rianne Langenberg is currently working on an Operational Risk Model to finish her masters degree in Applied Mathematics at the Technical University of Delft.
  • Arno Witte is currently working on a project to finish his masters degree in Econometrics and Management Science, specializing in Operations Research and Quantitative Logistics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).
  • Harwin de Vries is finishing his masters Econometrics degree at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. For his master's thesis, he is developing an investment optimization tool for ORTEC's North Star Alliance partner.

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