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Past Meetings

Optimisation Methods for Evacuation Planning

Venue: Room G8, Main building, Aston University, Birmingham
Speaker: Dr. Marc Goerigk
Date: Monday, 13 March 2017 at 18:00 - 19:00

Optimisation Methods for Evacuation Planning

Venue: Room G8, Main building, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
Speaker: Dr. Marc Goerigk, Lancaster Business School, Lancaster University
Date: Monday, 13th March at 18:00 - 19:00

Non-members welcome, no charge is made. After the talk, you are welcome to join us and the speaker for a meal. For further information please contact MidlandsORSociety@live.co.uk

Refreshments will be available from 17:30.

Directions: Aston is a short, flat 15 minutes walk away from New Street Station, through the main shopping areas of the city along Corporation Street. Directions to Aston can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/ go to entrance marked E in the campus map (http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/) and follow the signs. The talk will be held in the ground floor of the main building of the University. Signs will be prepared to help direct the visitors to the room from the reception of the building. For any complications, please ask in reception for Room G8.

Abstract

To prepare for an evacuation, optimisation models can give valuable insight and decision support to keep evacuation times as small as possible. In this talk I give a broad overview of methods and successful applications of this kind.

 As public transport plays its important, but relatively little known part in emergency planning, I discuss evacuation planning models with bus transport in particular. Beginning with a very basic approach, this is further extended to also include location planning aspects and uncertainty.


Mathematical models for relief distribution under uncertainty

Venue: Adrian Cadbury Lecture Theatre, Aston Business School, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
Speaker: Dr. Douglas Alem, Federal University of São Carlos
Date: Monday, 11 July 2016 at 18:00 - 19:00

Non-members welcome, no charge is made. After the talk, you are welcome to join us and the speaker for a meal. For further information please contact MidlandsORSociety@live.co.uk

Refreshments will be available from 17:30.

Directions: Aston is a short, flat 15 minutes walk away from New Street Station, through the main shopping areas of the city along Corporation Street. Directions to Aston can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/ go to entrance marked E in the campus map (http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/) and follow the signs. The talk will be held at the ground floor of Aston Business School, which is located in front of the main building.

Abstract

In this study, we consider a dynamic relief distribution problem under demand uncertainty. Distribution among nodes is optimally defined by the flow of emergency aid along the available routes and by determining a suitable fleet size, i.e., types and quantities of each vehicle necessary to carry relief commodities. Uncertainty is modelled using polyhedral uncertainty sets, thus yielding a tractable robust counterpart from the worst-case perspective in the robust optimisation sense. Social concerns are included to avoid shortages of emergency aid in more vulnerable areas when overall resources are not sufficient to meet the victims’ needs in all affected areas. A bi-objective modelling paradigm is used to balance social concerns and logistics costs simultaneously. Preliminary results illustrate the importance of accounting for social concerns in order to achieve better fairness in distribution relief.


Better Queue Management in a Busy Public Hospital of a Developing Country without Appointment System: An Application Using Data Envelopment Analysis

Venue: G8, Main Building, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
Speaker: Komal Aqeel Safdar, winner of the Elsie Cropper Award 2015
Date: Monday, 25 April 2016 at 18:00 - 19:00

Non-members welcome, no charge is made. After the talk, you are welcome to join us and the speaker for a meal. For further information please contact MidlandsORSociety@live.co.uk

Refreshments will be available from 5:30pm.

Directions: Aston is a short, flat 15 minutes walk away from New Street Station, through the main shopping areas of the city along Corporation Street. Directions to Aston can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/ go to entrance marked E In the campus map (http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/) and follow the signs.

Abstract

Queuing is a key efficiency criterion in any service industry, including Healthcare. Almost all queue management studies are dedicated to improving an existing Appointment System. In developing countries such as Pakistan, there are no Appointment Systems for Outpatients, resulting in excessive wait times. Additionally, excessive overloading, limited resources and cumbersome procedures lead to over-whelming queues. Despite numerous Healthcare applications, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) has not been applied for queue assessment. The current study aims to extend DEA modelling and demonstrate its usefulness by evaluating the queue system of a busy public hospital in a developing country, Pakistan, where all Outpatients are walk-in; along with construction of a dynamic framework dedicated towards the implementation of the model.

The inadequate allocation of doctors/personnel was observed as the most critical issue for long queues. Hence, the Queuing-DEA model has been developed such that it determines the ‘required’ number of doctors/personnel. The results indicated that given extensive wait times or length of queue, or both, led to high target values for doctors/personnel. Hence, this crucial information allows the administrators to ensure optimal staff utilization and controlling the queue pre-emptively, minimizing wait times.

The dynamic framework constructed, specifically targets practical implementation of the Queuing-DEA model in resource-poor public hospitals of developing countries such as Pakistan; to continuously monitor rapidly changing queue situation and display latest required personnel. Consequently, the wait times of subsequent patients can be minimized, along with dynamic staff scheduling in the absence of appointments. This expert system has been designed in Excel, requiring minimal training and work for users and automatic update features, with complex technical aspects running in the background.

The proposed model and the dynamic framework has the potential to be applied in similar public hospitals, even in other developing countries, where appointment systems for Outpatients are non-existent.


OR on the NHS front line – experience of being embedded with Great Ormond Street intensive care units

Venue: G8, Main Building, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
Speaker: Christina Pagel, UCL
Date: Wednesday, 16 December 2015 at 18:00 - 19:00

Non-members welcome, no charge is made. After the talk, you are welcome to join us and the speaker for a meal. For further information please contact MidlandsORSociety@live.co.uk

Refreshments will be available from 5:30pm.

Directions: Aston is a short, flat 15 minutes walk away from New Street Station, through the main shopping areas of the city along Corporation Street. Directions to Aston can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/ go to entrance marked E In the campus map (http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/) and follow the signs.

Abstract

Embedding researchers in hospitals could be a powerful way of bringing research and practice together to improve the delivery of care to patients. I have been embedded as a researcher in residence within GOSH’s critical care units for 2 years (50% of my time), as part of a larger infrastructure grant to increase research capacity. Two broad research themes around understanding and improving patient flows through critical care and using bedside information to provide early warning of adverse events were identified. Additionally a more general role supporting clinical teams in their research was envisaged.

 Initial research efforts have focused on understanding and then forecasting demand for the Children’s Acute Transport Service (CATS). However, carving out time for dedicated research while responding to requests for advice from the clinical teams has proved challenging. Equally challenging has been articulating the purpose and nature of the role to disparate clinical teams, academic colleagues and journals. I contrast this experience with previous (and ongoing) traditional collaborations between academia and local hospitals, discuss projects I have worked on there and explore the implications for future closer collaboration between academia and frontline health services

Bio

Christina has a background in both mathematics and physics, with an undergraduate degree in maths and a PhD in space physics. After three years as a post-doctoral physicist in Boston, she decided to make the transition into operational research applied to health care and joined the UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit (CORU) in late 2005. In 2008, she was promoted to the position of Senior Research Fellow and began leading CORU's work on global health. In October 2015, she was appointed to Reader of Operational Research as a joint post between CORU and the UCL Department of Applied Health Research.

Research interests

Her main interest is in using information to help people within the health service make better decisions. Often this will involve mathematical modelling or other operational research techniques, but sometimes it can be just presenting the data in a more intuitive way. Christina wants her work to be relevant to, and used by, those working within the NHS and so she is also very interested in the process of how to get theoretical knowledge into practical application. She currently spends half my week at Great Ormond Street Hospital as an embedded academic researcher within their critical care units.

 She currently focusing on projects around:

* mortality and morbidity outcomes following cardiac surgery in children in the UK;

* understanding the course of a child's stay in paediatric intensive care;

* evaluation of service delivery within hospitals.


What's so special about the Third Sector?

Venue: G8, Main Building, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
Speaker: Ruth Kaufman
Date: Wednesday, 11 November 2015 at 18:00 - 19:00

Non-members welcome, no charge is made. After the talk, you are welcome to join us and the speaker for a meal. For further information please contact MidlandsORSociety@live.co.uk

Refreshments will be available from 5:30pm.

Directions: Aston is a short, flat 15 minutes walk away from New Street Station, through the main shopping areas of the city along Corporation Street. Directions to Aston can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/ go to entrance marked E In the campus map (http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/) and follow the signs.

Abstract

The OR Society’s Third Sector initiative has two main components: a Special Interest Group, and a Pro Bono scheme, matching O.R. volunteers with third sector organisations needing their input. But is there really any difference between doing OR in the third sector and doing it with a government or private sector organisation? Is “it’s for charity” really a good enough reason to work for free? This talk explores these challenges, taking charities as an example of third sector organisations.

It considers three areas of inherent difference between charity, private and public organisations – legal form, governance, and resourcing – and other factors such as organisational size, culture, and business environment. It goes on to consider the implications for practising OR in three broad areas: strategy, efficiency/effectiveness, and profitability. Finally, it explores the rationale for volunteering.


Using Systems Thinking to Undertake a Review of Child Protection in England

Venue: G8, Main Building, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
Speaker: David Lane
Date: Wednesday, 14 October 2015 at 18:00 - 19:00

Non-members welcome, no charge is made. For further information please contact MidlandsORSociety@live.co.uk

Refreshments will be available from 5:30pm.

Directions: Aston is a short, flat 15 minutes walk away from New Street Station, through the main shopping areas of the city along Corporation Street. Directions to Aston can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/ go to entrance marked E In the campus map (http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/) and follow the signs.

Abstract

The work formed a central part of ‘the Munro Review’ (Munro, 2010, 2011a, b), a high-profile review of state-managed child protection activities in England, conducted for the Department for Education.

Child protection in England encompasses a wide range of services which aim to secure the safety and welfare of children and young people.  This includes, for example, the provision of foster care and adoption services, and support for families.  The child protection system is also responsible for the investigation of possible cases of child maltreatment, and intervention in such cases.

Drawing on the field of system dynamics, causal loop diagramming was used to map the sector.  Among the evidence used in support of the map were published research, expert interviews, and comments from relevant professions (e.g. health, social work, judiciary).  This systems mapping unearthed a prescriptive approach to child protection that contributed to a culture of a compliance.

A second phase of work used group model building to examine the functioning of the sector.  A group of professionals and experts worked over a number of sessions and created a large and complex systems map of current operations.  By considering the causal mechanisms that were in operation, it became apparent that the sector was in the grip of a set of reinforcing effects, or ‘vicious circles’.  The map was subsequently used to give structure to the issues the review had to address and ultimately provided an organising framework for the recommendations that were made.  Of the 15 recommendations in the report, ten were accepted in full and five were accepted in principle.

Using systems thinking and causal loop diagrams the work addressed a vital area of public policy and it had a major influence on the recommendations of the Munro Review.  That influence continues through on-going changes in government policy for child protection.

The work was therefore judged a worthy winner of the President’s Medal for 2014.

References

Munro, E. 2010. The Munro Review of Child Protection Part One: A Systems Analysis. TSO: London.

Munro, E. 2011a. The Munro Review of Child Protection Interim Report: The Child's Journey. TSO: London.

Munro, E. 2011b. The Munro Review of Child Protection Final Report: A child-centred system. TSO: London.


Modelling Human Behaviour in Healthcare Systems

Venue: MB186, Main Building, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
Speaker: Sally Brailsford
Date: Monday, 29 June 2015 at 18:00 - 19:30

Non-members welcome, no charge is made. After the talk, you are welcome to join us and the speaker for a meal. For further information please contact MidlandsORSociety@live.co.uk

Refreshments will be available from 5:30pm.

Directions: Aston is a short, flat 15 minutes walk away from New Street Station, through the main shopping areas of the city along Corporation Street. Directions to Aston can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/ go to entrance marked E In the campus map (http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/) and follow the signs.

Abstract

Healthcare systems have been a popular application area for simulation modeling for more than sixty years.  This talk focuses on discrete-event simulation (DES) models in which the simulated objects in such models are human beings (usually patients). We argue that this is an area where it is very important to capture behaviour. Two widely used psychological models of human health-related behaviour are presented, and their relevance and applicability to DES modeling is discussed.  The talk describes two case studies which include patient behaviour: a DES model of screening for diabetic retinopathy, and a microsimulation model of screening for breast cancer.   The key questions are: can we actually model patient behaviour, and does behaviour matter more in healthcare than other areas?

Speaker bio: Sally Brailsford is Professor of Management Science at the University of Southampton and has worked for over 25 years in the area of health O.R. She is Vice-President 1 of EURO and chair of the EURO Working Group on OR Applied to Health Services (ORAHS). She is one of the Editors-in-Chief of the UK OR Society's new journal Health Systems. She has twice won the UK OR Society's Goodeve Medal, in 2004 for modelling emergency healthcare services in Nottingham, and in 2006 for modelling chlamydia infection

 

Parking details: Visitors may use the pay-and-display car park in Car Park 12 (Number 27 In the campus map) from 16:30 to 24:00. The barriers will lift automatically as you come in through Colleshill Street. Alternatively, there are public pay and display car parks at Millennium Point and Love Lane. The Millennium Point/Think Tank Museum Multi Storey car park is approximately five minutes walk from the Aston University Main Building, and marked on our campus map. This car park is across the road (Jennens' Road) from Aston University. Access to this pay car park is via Jennens' Road (City Bound), B4 7AP. Further details can be found at: http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/visitorparking/


Preparedness in humanitarian logistics: A multi-agency approach

Venue: G8, Main Building, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
Speaker: Oscar Rodriguez
Date: Tuesday, 19 May 2015 at 18:00 - 19:00

Non-members welcome, no charge is made. After the talk, you are welcome to join us and the speaker for a meal. For further information please contact MidlandsORSociety@live.co.uk

Refreshments will be available from 5:30pm.

Directions: Aston is a short, flat 15 minutes walk away from New Street Station, through the main shopping areas of the city along Corporation Street. Directions to Aston can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/ go to entrance marked E In the campus map (http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/) and follow the signs.

Abstract

Given the number and intensity of disasters occurred in recent years, there is a need to develop tools to improve planning and preparedness in order to support disaster victims. Disasters are extraordinary situations that require significant logistical deployment to transport equipment and humanitarian goods in order to help and provide relief to victims, involving several organisations in the process. However, current models addressing preparedness activities are not considering the participation of different actors on decision-making.

The purpose of this research is to provide a model for flood preparedness considering the participation of different governmental agencies seeking to tackle logistical issues at the planning stage. The system developed involves a combination of geographical information systems (GIS) and multi-objective optimization to determine the optimal location of emergency facilities (shelters and distribution centres), the prepositioning of relief items and the allocation of resources. Three case studies based on floods in Mexico were analysed, showing the advantages of a coordinated approach and comparing the solutions obtained to an optimised scenario of the real activities performed by authorities. The solutions showed an adequate use of resources to fulfil the requirements of disaster victims, and the model was able to optimise the number of agencies and human resources needed to provide an adequate level of service.

 

Parking details: Visitors may use the pay-and-display car park in Car Park 12 (Number 27 In the campus map) from 16:30 to 24:00. The barriers will lift automatically as you come in through Colleshill Street. Alternatively, there are public pay and display car parks at Millennium Point and Love Lane. The Millennium Point/Think Tank Museum Multi Storey car park is approximately five minutes walk from the Aston University Main Building, and marked on our campus map. This car park is across the road (Jennens' Road) from Aston University. Access to this pay car park is via Jennens' Road (City Bound), B4 7AP. Further details can be found at: http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/visitorparking/


Optimising originations for profit and success

Venue: MB186, Main Building, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
Speaker: Andy Harrison, FICO
Date: Tuesday, 21 April 2015 at 18:00 - 19:30

Non-members welcome, no charge is made. After the talk, you are welcome to join us and the speaker for a meal. For further information please contact MidlandsORSociety@live.co.uk

Refreshments will be available from 5:30pm.

Directions: Aston is a short, flat 15 minutes walk away from New Street Station, through the main shopping areas of the city along Corporation Street. Directions to Aston can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/ go to entrance marked E In the campus map (http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/) and follow the signs.

Abstract

Pricing is both an art and a science, so it requires tools that help you attract and retain the right customers while maximising revenue and margins. In competitive and dynamic environments, pricing decisions can’t wait for IT. Pricing managers need instant access to market feedback combined with the ability to immediately develop optimal strategies and get them to market.

This talkwill show how Czech bank Ceska Sporitelna has put price optimisation tools into the hands of decision makers to deliver consumer loan approvals and pricing, consumer loan pre-approved limits, and initial credit limits for credit cards. We will give you an enlightening look at what these ambitious initiatives involved, the realities, achievements and pitfalls of integrating optimised pricing into operations.  This will include:

  • lessons learnt from project preparation – data quality checks, ability to interpret data, ability to interpret correlations
  • Lessons learnt from model development – involved parties in bank, importance of testing, ability to understand approach and get know-how
  • Post-implementation management – continuous improvement, resources needed
  • Results achieved
  • How to complete a successful pricing optimisation project
  • The potential for profit improvement due to optimisation approach

Parking details: Visitors may use the pay-and-display car park in Car Park 12 (Number 27 In the campus map) from 16:30 to 24:00. The barriers will lift automatically as you come in through Colleshill Street. Alternatively, there are public pay and display car parks at Millennium Point and Love Lane. The Millennium Point/Think Tank Museum Multi Storey car park is approximately five minutes walk from the Aston University Main Building, and marked on our campus map. This car park is across the road (Jennens' Road) from Aston University. Access to this pay car park is via Jennens' Road (City Bound), B4 7AP. Further details can be found at: http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/visitorparking/


OR's solution of problems in rain-interrupted one-day cricket matches; the story of the Duckworth/Lewis method

Venue: MB206, Main Building, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET
Speaker: Dr Tony Lewis MBE, Duckworth-Lewis Consultants
Date: Wednesday, 04 March 2015 at 18:00 - 19:00

Non-members welcome, no charge is made. After the talk, you are welcome to join us and the speaker for a meal. For further information please contact MidlandsORSociety@live.co.uk

A buffet will be available from 5:30pm.

Directions: Aston is a short, flat 15 minutes walk away from New Street Station, through the main shopping areas of the city along Corporation Street. Directions to Aston can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/ go to entrance marked E In the campus map (http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/) and follow the signs.

Abstract

Invented in the 1970s one-day cricket has become very popular, especially amongst spectators wanting to see a result at the end of the day's play, and has appealed to a wider audience of supporters.  Because of cricket's unique playing structure, however, any shortening of the match due to rain, or any other cause, affects the two teams differently.

Tony Lewis's talk will illustrate the problems that result from reductions through real case studies and will show how early attempts to handle the issues, although simple to apply, were largely inadequate producing many grossly unfair situations.

The talk will explain how, in collaboration with Dr Frank Duckworth, the pair used OR modelling principles to develop the method that now bears their name and which solves the problems of those earlier unfair scenarios. Some background in persuading cricket's authorities to adopt the method and subsequent reactions of players and the media from the method's early implementation will be summarised.

Although the method has now been in use for nearly 20 years the need to monitor and update the modelling will be explained along with anecdotes of further more recent perceived controversies.

 

Parking details: Visitors may use the pay-and-display car park in Car Park 12 (Number 27 In the campus map) from 16:30 to 24:00. The barriers will lift automatically as you come in through Colleshill Street. Alternatively, there are public pay and display car parks at Millennium Point and Love Lane. The Millennium Point/Think Tank Museum Multi Storey car park is approximately five minutes walk from the Aston University Main Building, and marked on our campus map. This car park is across the road (Jennens' Road) from Aston University. Access to this pay car park is via Jennens' Road (City Bound), B4 7AP. Further details can be found at: http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/directions/visitorparking/