Beale Lecture 2020 Speakers

27 February 2020

Royal Society, London


Limited spaces available

R Cheng.png

Title: The Enigma of Choice – When is a Good Decision Possible?

In recognition of increasing use in OR of computer-intensive simulation approaches, such as data-driven analysis and AI, I shall examine my own mathematical interests by asking the question Is modelling using classical mathematics therefore obsolescent?.

Not, I argue, without clearly agreeing right at the outset the purpose of an OR study. ‘Enigma’ in my talk title highlights in our old strapline ‘the science of better’, the question this strapline so clearly begs: ‘better what?’

My talk discusses the importance of deciding objectives, especially in examining complex organisational systems, where problems become political even when not openly admitted.

Additionally, I argue that use of mathematical methods importantly clarifies genuine paradoxes that do arise in decision making, illustrating how these can be related to non-standard statistical inference, which I covered in my book (2017).

Beale Medal Winner 2018 – Professor Russell Cheng  

Russell CH Cheng is Emeritus Professor of Operational Research at the University of Southampton. He has an MA and the Diploma in Mathematical Statistics from Cambridge University, England. He obtained his PhD from Bath University. He is a former Chairman of the UK Simulation Society, a former Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications.

His research interests include design and analysis of simulation experiments and parametric estimation methods. He was a Joint Founding Editor of the IMA Journal of Management Mathematics. He was awarded the INFORMS Simulation Society Lifetime Professional Achievement Award in 2016.


Title: Hybridisation Search for a class of Vehicle Routing Problems

The Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) is one of the most extensively studied combinatorial optimisation problems due to its high practicability in transportation logistics. The talk focuses on the effective hybridisation of the Variable Neighbourhood Search (VNS) and the Large Neighbourhood Search (LNS), in addition to some new and powerful data structures which are integrated into the algorithm to solve the classical VRP.

The second part of the talk concentrates on the adaptation of the AVNS algorithm into the cumulative capacitated VRP (CCVRP) and the min-max CCVRP, with extra features added. Here, the AVNS algorithm is applied as a re-optimisation procedure for the dynamic vehicle routing problem (DVRP), where the concept of critical points is introduced, which are used as the turning points for the vehicles.

2017 Doctoral (PhD) Award Winner –  Jeeu-Fong Sze (Yvonne)

Jeeu-Fong Sze is Assistant Professor in the International Business School at Beijing Foreign Studies University, China. Prior to this appointment, she was a lecturer at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia for nine years. She received a First Class Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, a Master’s degree in Statistics from the University of Malaya and her PhD from the University of Kent, UK.

Dr Jeeu-Fong’s thesis presents an investigation of a particular hybrid metaheuristic in which the proposed algorithm is applied to three variants of the vehicle routing problem.