The Operations Management research group has as a central objective the development, analysis, and computational solution of new mathematical optimisation models for resource allocation in productive and logistic systems relevant to industry.

The increasing need of industry to compete with its products in a global market, across the cost, quality and speed dimensions, has driven the need to develop resource allocation systems that fully exploit the investments made in modern computer equipment, and which are more efficient than those traditionally employed. The methodology used by researchers in the group is based on the quantitative approach of Operations Research for developing and solving realistic models of such systems.

The concrete objectives are the development and computational solution of mathematical optimisation models for investigating the following issues:

  • Scheduling jobs at workstations
  • Coordinated production-inventory control
  • Assignment of productive capacity
  • Supply-chain management
  • Industrial and retail location modelling
  • Revenue management
  • Queueing systems
  • Reverse logistics
  • E-logistics

The research group intends to develop models - both probabilistic and deterministic - whose analysis and computational solution will achieve significant contributions to the state-of-the-art in the methodologies employed, which include: mathematical programming (linear/integer/stochastic), queueing networks theory, and heuristics in combinatorial optimisation.

Besides the objective of computational solutions for these models, the group attempts to extract from analysis an improved qualitative understanding of the productive systems modelled. This is the basis for the development of new heuristic rules, which combine enhanced system performance with a simplicity that allows practical implementation.

A final objective of the group is to achieve technology transfer to private and public organisations, and to improve the management of productive and logistic systems, in small-, medium-, and large-sized companies.