R-beta: Re:Stats Seminar 18/02/98

Marilyn Gabriel marilyn at stat.auckland.ac.nz
Wed Jan 28 03:06:45 CET 1998

                       DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS
                          DEPARTMENT OF MSIS

                             S E M I N A R

                         Prof. Edward A. Silver
         Professor and Carma Chair in Operations Management
                          Faculty of Management
                        The University of Calgary

                       Wednesday, 18 February 1998
                                Arts 209

                                1.00 p.m.

     Suggested Heuristic Approaches for Dealing with Probabilistic,
                    Combinatorial Decision Problems.

The mathematical representation of several important decision problems can
be described as a combinatorial choice of values of decision variables in
the presence of other probabilistic variables that affect the objective
function and/or the constraints to be satisfied.  The description implies a
very difficult optimization problem.  Some practical illustrations of such
problems will be described.  Then, two solution approaches will be
presented.  One is for the situation where it is practical to obtain the
exact optimal solution given values of the probabilistic variables, while
the other deals with the context where optimisation is not even guaranteed
under such circumstances, thus necessitating some form of search procedure.
Both approaches make use of statistical sampling to estimate the value of
the objective function at any particular solution being investigated.

Biographical Sketch:
Dr Edward A Silver is a Professor and Carma Chair in Operations Management
at The University of Calgary.  He has a Science Doctorate in Operations
Research from MIT, and following 4 years with the international management
consulting firm, Arthur D. Little Inc., spent 12 years as a faculty member
at the University of Waterloo.  He has consulted and provided executive
training for numerous organisations on topics including inventory
management, business process improvement, production planning, and the use
of quantitative modelling to aid in decision making.  He has had over 120
articles published in professional journals.  He is the past president of
the Canadian Operational Research Society and the International Society for
Inventory Research.

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