250+ speakers, 27 streams, 11 parallel sessions... over 3 days!
Our biggest event of the year OR63 will explore how operational research can help society and organisations move towards a post-COVID-19 world. Whether facilitating improved sustainable solutions, transforming the opportunity that digitalisation brings to society or developing data-driven support tools, operational research has a tremendous impact on the world in 2021.
If you want to know about the very latest findings in your field thenOR63is the place to be.
Explorea wide range of OR topics related to "creating a better future" Connect with OR professionals from across the world for presentations, posters, talks and much more Facilitate a week of knowledge sharing, debate and discussion Providedelegates with a unique chance to network online with the wider OR community
Every delegate has been sent an email with their personal link to the OR63 platform. If you have not received yours, contact [email protected]
The Event is now Concluded
The conference starts: 14 September 2021
Meet our speakers
Our plenary speakers are world-renowned experts, speaking about a variety of key topics that are relevant and important to the OR community. Don't miss hearing from Dr Christina Pagel, Dr Ariella Helfgott, Tony O'Connor and Anna Moss as they deliver talks on sustainability, COVID-19 and more.
Dr Christina Pagel
UCL Member of Independant SAGE
“The Intersection of Operational Research and Public Communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic”
In May 2020 I joined the group Independent SAGE. At the time, I thought I was signing up to one or two public meetings on YouTube, but instead our profile grew and we discovered there was a large public appetite for more information about COVID-19 and it spread in the UK. From the summer onwards, I have been giving regular updates on the latest COVID-19 situation in the UK during Independent SAGE weekly briefings and have been invited regularly on the media fielding questions about various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this talk, I will reflect on how my experience of working in Operational Research applied to health care has shaped how I have understood and communicated the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year. I will also look ahead to how Operational Research should shape approaches as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and reconsider pandemic planning.
About Dr Christina Pagel
Christina Pagel is Professor of Operational Research at University College London (UCL) and Director of the UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit. Her main research area is using OR to support delivery of health services. This includes combining statistical models, OR techniques and analysis of routinely collected national and local datasets to support service delivery and design both locally and nationally. She runs a large programme of work in understanding and communicating outcomes for people born with congenital heart disease, which has included the development and implementation of the method used nationally for 30-day survival following paediatric heart surgery.
She is co-director of the new UCL CHIMERA hub where researchers will examine anonymised data from 40,000 patients at University College London Hospital (UCLH) and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), to develop a better understanding using mathematical modelling of how people’s physiology changes during ill health and recovery.
Since May 2020, she has been a member of Independent SAGE, a group of scientists who are working together to provide independent scientific advice to the UK government and public on how to minimise deaths and support Britain’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
Principal Data Scientist at Ocado Technology
Title “OR at Ocado: Where Efficiency Meets Social Responsibility”
Ocado Group is a UK based technology company that provides end-to-end online grocery solutions to some of the world’s largest grocery retailers through its technology division, Ocado Technology. These solutions are delivered as Ocado Smart Platform (OSP), an end-to-end eCommerce, fulfilment and logistics platform. OSP is driven by a wide range of advanced technologies that includes robotics, AI & machine learning, optimisation, simulation, and forecasting.
Ocado Group also holds 50% of Ocado Retail Ltd (ORL) in the UK in a Joint Venture with Marks & Spencer. ORL is the world’s biggest online-only grocery retail business which is also powered by Ocado Technology solutions.
Operations Research methods play an important role in addressing multiple optimisation challenges faced by Ocado Technology in its mission to transform online grocery retail and enable its clients to do grocery online in a profitable, scalable and sustainable way. While optimising for business goals like improving efficiency and reducing operational costs, Ocado adheres to high ethical standards with optimisation objectives and constraints also reflecting convenience of customers, wellbeing of employees, environmental considerations and more. This results in complex multi criteria optimisation problems.
This talk covers some examples of such challenges, e.g. delivery route optimisation, staff rostering, and the most recent example of COVID-19 test scheduling for frontline colleagues. The talk describes how Ocado applies OR methods to achieve highly efficient solutions to these problems that at the same time do not compromise on the standards of ethics and social responsibility.
About Anna Moss
Anna Moss obtained a PhD in Computer Science from Technion − Israel Institute of Technology, specialising in Combinatorial Optimisation. Her research interests and academic papers focus on Combinatorial Approximation Algorithms, Constraint Programming, and metaheuristic and mathematical methods for Combinatorial Optimisation.
During the past fifteen years, Anna has worked in industry, applying optimisation techniques to real world applications. Over this time she successfully performed multiple challenging optimisation projects. Her most recent projects at Ocado Technology include delivery route optimisation, staff rostering and COVID-19 test scheduling.
Government Chief Operational Researcher and Director of Analysis Ministry of Defence
Title “Collaborative Isolation: Delivering analysis under lockdown”
This talk examines the complex problems faced by government OR teams over the last 18 months as the country experienced the global pandemic and three waves of COVID-19. Tony will explain the peaks and troughs of working as an analyst in government, giving unique insight into the efforts to use data to make decisions and protect the public.
Please note that this session will not be recorded
About Tony O'Connor
As Director of Analysis in the Ministry of Defence, Tony overseas 200+ analysts covering all the department’s statistical, and economic outputs. They provide statistical and analytical advice to Ministers, senior officials as well as the single service armed forces.
Previously he was the Chief Analyst of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (2001-2008) where he improved the use of evidence at the heart of Government, working on performance measurement across key public services reporting to the then Prime Minister Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown. He then joined the DH Strategy group working on various cross cutting and longer-term analytical challenges for the UK health and care sector.
Since April 2004 he has also been the Head of Profession for the Government OR Service (GORS) representing the interests of over 1050 Government OR analysts across all departments. He is also part of the various Government senior analytical networks as well as the Heads of OR and Analytics Forum, and Chair of the National Taught Course for OR Advisory Committee.
Tony is a Fellow of the Operational Research Society and an OR Companion of Honour. In 2007 he was awarded the CBE for his work promoting Operational Research across Government. He was included in the Science Council’s 2015 list of the 100 Leading UK Practising Scientists.
27 Streams packed with insightful content
Below are the topics that will be featured across three days of talks, presentations, panel discussions and much more.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a huge opportunity as well as a significant concern for organisations today.
Combining the unprecedented levels of data generated in the modern world, the use of high-performance computing (e.g. distributed computing, GPUs/TPUs, etc.) and new innovations such as deep learning, AI has reached something of a golden age in recent years.
This stream focuses on the application of various analytical approaches on large scale datasets to support decision making in finance. You will be able to see how latest advanced analytics techniques could be used to draw insights from large volume of data to deal with practical challenges in finance..
The public sector, private sector and academics are welcome to join this stream to discover insights and experience of using traditional OR methods or the latest machine learning methods to solve financial problems. During these sessions we will look at credit card exposure at default, fairness in machine learning, deep learning applications, model risk management and the effects of imbalanced datasets.
If you are working in Finance and/or Data Science with job roles such as Credit Risk Analyst or Data Scientist you will benefit from these talks.
The pandemic has profoundly affected aviation, especially international aviation.
There have been unprecedented reductions in passenger numbers over a prolonged period of time. This has forced airports, airlines and related businesses to re-evaluate their plans and business models.
In the short term, the focus has been on survival, but it has also drawn attention to how aviation should evolve when passenger numbers have recovered. This poses interesting questions with which OR can help.
You will hear recent case studies and frameworks to support the implementation of strategy using operational research and business analytics.
The stream aims to explore the link between strategy and OR through a keynote presentation and a set of presentations showcasing applications. The keynote presentation will review the historical contributions of OR to the development of strategies and discuss future trends. The presentations will involve applications in banking, military, public sector and future work. Attendees will learn how to use OR in strategic planning. Any industry and positions can benefit from this stream.
If you are an analyst or a consultant you will particularly enjoy this session as you will learn frameworks to support the implementation of strategy using operational research and business analytics. Plus, we will explore the relationship between strategic management and OR disciplines.
We will take a broad view of how considering human behaviour can improve performance
If you work in the public or private sector with roles that involve judgment, decision making, forecasting, and the integration of human and machine intelligence then this stream is perfect for you.
In this session we will look at the most recent academic thinking on improving operations in practice, by considering human behaviour and in some cases at the system level, in critical events such as pandemics.
The aim of this stream is to bring together researchers and practitioners to share their knowledge and experiences in tackling combinatorial optimisation problems.
Combinatorial optimisation has been a major research area in OR for more than 50 years. Its importance is attributed to the multitude of problems having a combinatorial element that arise in a variety of industrial and public sectors.
This stream focuses on advances in algorithmic techniques for solving combinatorial optimisation problems. The problems addressed can range from classical problems such as assignment, cutting and packing, facility location, partitioning, routing, and scheduling, to newer application areas such as computational biology and machine learning.
Contemporary Project Management focuses on human, organisational, and contextual aspects of managing projects. Project management draws upon various disciplines; in the meantime, project settings have been providing opportunities for them to explore new areas for their research and practice. OR has historically remained one of the disciplines most interested in certain aspects of Projects.
Project Management (PM) has its roots in Operations Research. For decades, the two fields were hardly separable. With the rapid growth in using projects as means of running organizations, PM has extended to a multidisciplinary field with an extensive body of knowledge. Contemporary PM has attracted interests from a wide range of disciplines, including OR, and has benefited from their contributions.
OR’s special interests and focus on modelling certain aspects of projects have been widely published and presented, particularly in non-PM journals and conferences. Previous OR conferences had seen these integrated within different streams.
OR63 (to the best of our knowledge) is the first time that Project Management appears as a standalone stream.
This stream focuses on the application of mathematical modelling, analytics and operational research to inform epidemic mitigation efforts.
OR approaches have been used extensively to address the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond traditional epidemic models, decision support for COVID-19 mitigation has frequently relied on data analytics, stochastic modelling, demand forecasting, etc.
In this context, COVID-19 has highlighted the value and need for new and better models to support our health services. Key areas of application include epidemiological prediction, demand and capacity modelling, social and behavioural analysis, vaccine rollout and dealing with the suppressed demand caused by the pandemic.
This session covers the theme of efficiency, productivity analysis and performance management.
This stream is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). It is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to share their knowledge of productivity analysis or performance management. There are several presentations on the theory, methodology and application of DEA and the keynote speaker in this stream will discuss “Recent Advances in Inverse Data Envelopment Analysis.
It is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to share their knowledge of productivity analysis or performance management.
Game theory is the study of strategic interaction among decision-makers in terms of how to cooperate or compete and the resulting overall outcomes.
Game theory originally starts with applications mostly in economics, social science and political sciences, but now includes many other fields including algorithmic game theory. The 2020 Nobel Prizes in Economics were awarded to Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson for their work on auction theory, a branch of game theory.
This stream includes talks from both the theory, computational aspects, and applications of game theory. We especially welcome real-life application of game theory.
The underlying methodologies for analysing games are mostly Operational Research related.
We are very honoured to have Prof Bernhard von Stengel from LSE to deliver the keynote talk for the stream on the topic of “Game Theory and Operational Research”.
The healthcare stream is broad in focus. It covers the full breadth of opearational research methods (including, but not limited to forecasting, simulation, optimisation, problem structuring methods, etc.) used to support healthcare-related decisions.
Talks within the Healthcare stream will cover a range of topical and priority areas, such as frailty, obesity, waiting lists, cancer diagnosis, and the numerous direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19. Various modelling approaches will be showcased in addressing these issues, including optimisation, system dynamics, queueing models and simulation.
You will find out how operational research communities both around the UK and globally are using a range of novel and established OR methods to address various problems in the healthcare domain. Attendees will learn how OR is confronting the many new problems presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and those that have been exasperated as a result.
The stream will cover a mix of talks from both the practical and theoretical angles. Academics, consultants, and practitioners should therefore find value in attending the sessions.
In this session we will look at the emerging approaches in solving problems within the area of logistics and transportation
These approaches can be theoretically focused, computationally-oriented or applications based. Exact, metaheuristics and general-purpose approaches used for automated generation of heuristics for solving single and multi-objective transportation optimisation problems and issues related to development of such approaches are also of particular interest.
This stream brings together researchers and practitioners in the field of Logistics and Transportation, presenting their latest results and findings in a fruitful and open-minded environment. The stream is perfect for anyone who works in logistics or transportation, or wants to become more informed about these topics. It comprises the planning and implementation of complex logistics and transportation tasks using computations and advanced decision support systems. Applications include vehicle routing, public transportation, airport scheduling, green transportation, and more.
This session focuses on maritime logistics, which forms the backbone of the global merchandise trade, and follows the trends and developments in the world economy.
In this session, three interrelated phenomena that reflect the direction of the industry in the 21st century, namely digitalisation, automation, and sustainability of maritime operations are discussed. Furthermore, the use of OR tools and techniques for the purpose of digitalising, automating, and greening maritime logistics are demonstrated with examples from both academia and port and shipping industries.
Digitalisation in shipping refers to the adoption of advanced telecommunication tools, smart technologies, and data analytics for better management of port and sea operations and information flows. This stream examines the development of innovative tools and the introduction of digitalisation and the automation of equipment used in ports & terminals. Port operation optimisation problems with sustainability considerations; demonstrations of digitalisation and automation tools developed in projects funded by the European Union; as well as in-depth discussions with practitioners about the current progress of selected ports towards the subject phenomena.
Finally, making shipping and port operations environmentally sustainable has become a priority for stakeholders of maritime supply chains. Shipowners, shippers, terminal operators, and regulatory bodies are embracing a mindset that encompasses environmental targets along with more traditional productivity and service quality goals. In recent decades, concepts such as “green port”, “decarbonising shipping”, and “eco-friendliness” have made their way not only into practitioners’ agenda but have also risen as important research topics in various academic fields.
How can we help others learn how to make better decisions under multiple criteria?
Multi-criteria decision making has been one of the fastest-growing subfields of operational research with its applications in diverse domains such as business, supply chain, energy, healthcare, sustainability and logistics.
In their daily lives, people usually weigh multiple criteria implicitly and may be comfortable with the consequences of such decisions that are made based on only intuition. On the other hand, when stakes are high, it is important to properly structure the problem and explicitly evaluate multiple criteria.
The session focuses on talks highlighting recent discoveries in the theory, algorithms, and applications of mathematical optimisation.
We will be discussing the works around continuous optimisation and its interactions with other fields, such as machine learning and engineering, as well as relevant tools (convex and variational analysis) and methodological techniques, including first and second order methods, and derivative free approaches.
The aim of this session is to showcase analytical work, share experiences, and explore issues that may help improve the effectiveness of the third sector OR and analysts.
The third sector consists of organisations that are not part of the private sector or public sector and plays an important, growing role in society and within some sectors of the economy.
The third sector includes a wide range of organisational forms, including charities, cooperatives, community groups and voluntary societies, each with its own governance arrangements and with a diverse range of skills, operating models, activities and beneficiaries. As such decisions and performance need to be judged against a wide range of criteria, often with levels of complexity. It therefore can present unique challenges and opportunities for analysts.
Analytical activity may include modelling for efficiency and effectiveness improvement; data analysis for increased insight, better forecasting or service design; benefits, outcomes and performance measurement; strategy development; and more.
This stream focuses on insights into teaching and learning innovations inspired by or accelerated by the pandemic
This stream examines the advances in teaching and learning of OR and Analytics we have made due to the pandemic accelerating the adoption of technologies and adaptation of traditional approaches to virtual platforms.
If you are a lecturers or a programme/course/modules lead, you will benefit from these sessions within this stream.
Reinforcement Learning (RL) is one of the hottest research topics in the interdisciplinary research subjects of operations research (OR) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Reinforcement Learning is a type of semi-supervised machine learning technique that enables an agent to learn in an interactive environment by trial and error using rewards to make sequential decisions under uncertainty. Applications of RL are widely used in the real world, including manufacturing, healthcare, trading, robotics and so on.
In recent years, we have witnessed significant developments in the theory of robust optimisation and its practice.
In particular, the distributionally robust framework has provided tractable formulations which have found applications in finance, revenue management, logistics and transportation, energy systems, and statistical learning.
This session brings together researchers from around the world to discuss the state-of-the-art developments in this field with an emphasis on applications.
Simulation affects so many aspects of our lives, with everything from healthcare to manufacturing relying on the expertise of simulation.
Many people from across the OR spectrum have stepped up to offer ways their speciality can help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those working in simulation are no different, in this session you will hear about some of the recent simulation projects.
Problem Structuring Methods (PSM) are often known as ‘Soft’ Operational Research/‘Soft OR’; the terms are used interchangeably for the purposes of this stream
Problem Structuring Methods (PSM) serve to address complex problematic situations. These methods help to ensure that all perspectives are taken into account before selecting appropriate systemic approaches to problem-solving and intervention.
Progress in ‘messy’ situations is achieved through the use of PSMs to engage stakeholders in articulating their views of the problem situation and how to address it, which provides the basis for understanding where and how stakeholders’ views differ. PSMs commonly involve the development of appropriate models for promoting a shared understanding between stakeholders, moving them towards agreement on initial commitments, which can provide a basis for action.
PSMs do not seek to generate a single, optimal solution, as they are generally founded on the assumption that different solutions will look more or less attractive depending on the purposes and values of the stakeholders. What PSMs offer instead is a useful language to support exploration and learning in the face of complexity and multiple perspectives.
Stochastic dynamic optimization is a technique for modelling and solving problems of decision making under uncertainty which is motivated by gambling game.
Bellman’s equation is usually used to capture the sequential feature of stochastic dynamic decision making and the aim is to discover a policy prescribing how to act optimally in the face of uncertainty.
This session covers operational research and analytics contributions addressing any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations.
Common OR techniques such as modelling and optimisation are invaluable when it comes to forecasting emergency service demand, optimising warehouse locations for emergency supplies or optimising disaster preparedness and disaster responses.
Many OR and Systems practitioners share a common interest in systemic intervention to address highly complex organizational, social and environmental problems.
Systems thinking can be thought of as a set of skills that are useful when undertaking OR projects. These skills include:
Exploring boundaries (who and what is in or out of the project)
Mapping interconnections (complex causality and how actions in response need to be designed)
Appreciating multiple perspectives (different things may matter to different stakeholders) and
Understanding how systems operate as complex wholes (often problems emerge from all the interacting parts of a system, and likewise solutions need to account for the functioning of the whole).
To support systems thinking in practice, many operational researchers have developed systems approaches, methodologies and methods that help guide the practitioner. Some of these are best used by an analyst whose role is to formulate recommendations for decision makers. Others can be used to structure facilitated dialogue between decision makers and stakeholders so they can produce their own recommendations.
A lot of the processes we encounter in and across organizations can be enhanced by systems thinking, including leadership, governance, strategic planning, service and policy design, project management, evaluation, foresight, scenario analysis, business modelling, innovation processes, workflow analysis, organizational design, environmental management, stakeholder engagement, community development and coaching, to name just a few.
Interest in systems thinking appears to have reached a tipping point right across the public, private, voluntary and community sectors. This is because systems approaches are most often used when decision makers and their stakeholders face highly-complex and conflictual problems, and these are becoming ever more common at all scales, from local to global. It is also because agencies like the UN, WHO and OECD have all identified systems thinking as an essential skill set for current and future leaders.
We have a large stream, and to give a high profile to the applied work of both practitioners and academics, we have two stream keynotes this year. The first is from Angela Espinosa, who is an Emeritus Fellow in the Centre for Systems Studies at the University of Hull, and the other is from Benjamin Taylor, a prominent public sector consultant in RedQuadrant.
Whether you are a practitioner wanting to learn more about systems thinking to enhance your work, or an academic bridging applied research and teaching, this stream is for you. The application domains for systems thinking represented in the stream are very wide indeed, including public policy, building systems thinking capabilities in government, gender equality, evaluation, information system design, artificial intelligence, engineering, community development, public health, organizational resilience, school education, international development, risk analysis, health systems, climate change, COVID-19, infectious disease control and energy provision! In addition to all of these, we have many, many papers offering methodological and theoretical innovations that are transferable or adaptable across domains.
If you are looking for new ways to engage with complex problems, or want to know more about what systems thinking can offer, please browse the abstracts, pick some sessions to participate in, and engage with this exciting new wave of interest in systems thinking and practice.
Niki Jobson, The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Make an impact!
The Making an Impact sessions involve tutorials, seminars, workshops and other activities with a strong interactive and practical element. We packed the day with sessions aimed at helping everybody to become more successful in making an impact in their work.
"A wonderfully planned, organised and executed event. Great group of attendees including many former colleagues and interesting new faces and good social programme to get to meet everyone."
A previous delegate speaking about our annual conference
What to expect
Below are the topics that will be featured across three days of talks, presentations, panel discussions and much more.
Your event platform
We've learnt a lot through this pandemic and we've listened to you!
We've taken your feedback on board and found an easy to use event platform that we know will meet your needs.
Ask your questions live on camera
Arrange individual or groups video calls with other delegates and catch up with one another
Plan your sessions weeks before the conference and create a personalised agenda
The opportunity to interact with sponsors, send a message or meet with them live.
If you miss a session the recordings will be available on-demand after each session
Join the debate through our discussion forum and have your say around some of the hot topics featured at the conference
Plus so much more...
What to look forward to..
We spared no expense to ensure that you will experience the conference that you love and enjoy.
Listening to and taking part in lively discussions at OR63 can give you new ideas, help refine your existing concepts, and maybe even change your mind about some key issues in your field.We have a packed conference schedule. Here are a few of the key features:
27 Streams with over 250 speakers over 11 parallel sessions. Listen to the latest findings in your field.
President's Medal - This year's nominees with present their projects where you can vote who has made the most impact.
Making an Impact - Tired of listening to talks? Take part in our interactive sessions.
Grand Challenges - We have three challenges this year that we need your help to solve.
Annual Pub Quiz - To unwind we have a number of virtual social activities planned, including our infamous pub quiz.
Volunteers & Interested People (VIP) Networking with ORiE and Pro Bono OR - Come along to our informal networking session to chat with other volunteers.
Two pre-day events that are free for all to attend
These two events are open to all whether or not you have booked on to the conference.
Early career researchers event
Join us from 2pm on Monday 13 September, take part in our panel session about how you can make an impact with your research: What to know before starting an impact case study.