Replenishment planning: academic research and industrial concerns

Prof. Chengbin CHU
Laboratoire Génie Industriel, Ecole Centrale Paris, FRANCE

Replenishment planning has been extensively studied in the literature for decades under various settings. Inventory management considers stochastic models and therefore takes into account demand uncertainty. But the probability distributions are often assumed stationary or time-invarying. On the other hand, a large body of literature is devoted to dynamic lot sizing models where the demands are time-varying but assumed to be deterministic. This is equivalent to considering demand forecast which is assumed to be accurate. In this talk, we summarize both kinds of models, point out actual industrial concerns based on our interactions with practioners, and show the gap between them. We will also discuss some ideas to bridge up these gaps.


Chengbin Chu

Chengbin Chu received the B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Hefei University of Technology, China, in 1985 and the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Metz University, France, in 1990. He was with the National Research Institute in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA), France, from 1987 to 1996, successively as a PhD candidate, an Expert Engineer and a Research Officer. He was a Professor with the University of Technology of Troyes, France, from 1996 to 2008, where he was also the Founding Director of the Industrial Systems Optimization Laboratory and created the Supply Chain Management engineering speciality. He currently holds a Chair Position in Supply Chain Management at Ecole Centrale Paris, sponsored by Carrefour, LVMH, SAFRAN and Sanofi. He is interested in research areas related to operations research and modeling, analysis, and optimization of supply chain and production systems. He is author or co-author of three books and more than 140 articles in international journals such as Operations Research, SIAM Journal of Computing, European Journal of Operational Reseach, and so on. He has been involved in about 20 projects granted by industry, national or international institutions. For his research and application activities, he received the First Prize of Robert Faure Award in 1996. He also received the “1998 Best Transactions Paper Award” from the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. Two of his conference papers in 2008 and 2013 were also rewarded. Dr. Chu was named “Chang Jiang Scholars” Chair Professor in 2005. He was an Overseas Visiting Professor and Overseas Director of the Department of Industrial Engineering at Xi’an Jiaotong University. He is currently a Visiting Chair Professor at Tongji University. He has served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation and IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Computers and Industrial Engineering.

Manufacturing Scheduling: Minding the Gap

University of Seville, SPAIN

Manufacturing scheduling is acknowledged as a source of competitive advantages in the operation of manufacturing companies. For most factories, the volume of data and constraints makes these decision problems unsuitable to be efficiently handled by humans, up to the point that there are serious concerns that human expert schedulers do exist in manufacturing. Aside, most scheduling deals with relatively structured (and reliable) data and with (usually) well-defined decision problems, so on paper not many areas look as promising in order to exploit the advances of Operational Research, Production Management, and Information Systems in order to assist humans in complex decision-making. Yet, many researchers in the field find difficult to avoid the impression that the wealth of theoretical results obtained up to now are seldom applied outside their labs and that, at the same time, existing systems and methods do not sufficiently support scheduling practice. This talk is a --most likely subjective-- reflection on the widely recognised ‘gap’ between manufacturing scheduling theory and practice. Several promising research streams with high-impact practical application will be pointed out. The aim of the talk is to foster research in these areas with an eye on their translation into shop floor practices.


Jose Framinan

Jose M Framiñán is Professor of Industrial Engineering in the University of Seville, and Head of the Industrial Management Research Group in this university. He works on decision systems and models in industry and services, including a range of decisions related to the design and optimization of processes, production and supply chain planning and scheduling, as well as information systems as a supporting infrastructure. In these areas, he has published extensively in international journals, and has recently co-authored a book on Manufacturing Scheduling Systems. He serves as editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Industrial Engineering.

Polyhedral Analysis Network Design Problems

Prof. A. Ridha MAHJOUB

For the past few decades, combinatorial optimization techniques have shown to be powerful tools for formulating, analysing and solving problems arising from practical decision situations. In particular, the polyhedral approaches have been successfully applied for many well known NP-hard problems. The equivalence between separation and optimization has been behind a big development of these techniques. The so-called « Branch and Cut » method, which is inspired from this equivalence, is now widely used for obtaining optimal and near-optimal solutions for hard combinatorial optimization problems. In this talk we present these methods, and discuss some applications to survivable network design models. We will particularly focus on problems with bound constraints.



A. Ridha Mahjoub is Professeur Classe Exceptionnelle of Operations Research and Combinatorial Optimization at Université Paris-Dauphine, Paris, France. He is also member of the LAMSADE laboratory, CNRS. Previous positions include full professor at the University of Brest, France, from 1991 to 1998 and the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France, from 1998 to 2007. Professor Mahjoub holds an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from University of Tunis, Tunisia and a Ph.D. and a Doctorat d’Etat in Operations Research and Combinatorial Optimization from the University of Grenoble, France. His research areas include the theory and applications of polyhedral approaches for modelling, analysing and solving large NP-hard combinatorial optimization problems, mixed integer programming as well as complexity and graph theory. A part of his research has recently focused on the design of cutting plane algorithms for network design problems. Professor Mahjoub is author and co-author of several papers that have appeared in leading journals such as Mathematical Programming, Mathematics of Operations Research, SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics, Discrete Applied Mathematics and Networks. He served as co-director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department at Université Paris-Dauphine between 2008 and 2013. Dr Mahjoub edited and co-edited books and several special issues of journals. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the international journal RAIRO-Operations Research.

Could computers design great user interfaces?

Aalto University, FINLAND

In this keynote, I discuss the possibility of using computational methods to design user interfaces automatically. Algorithms play an essential role in the design of many man-made artefacts, so why not in the design of user interfaces? Computational methods are generally useful in well-defined problems in engineering optimization. They are particularly useful when the search space grows too large to be explored manually. I start by observing that many such problems exist in user interface design, too. Consider, for example, the case of designing a menu, one of the most commonly used and most studied user interface type. The number of possible designs for a menu with only 20 items is 2,432,902,008,176,640,000 -- more than there are stars in the observable universe. Interface designers typically approach problems like this with iterative design, heuristics, and rapid prototyping. The traditional user-centered design process is time-consuming, can only cover few alternatives, and success is highly dependent on skills. Disappointingly, however, it offers no guarantee for the outcome — even the most promising outcomes can and will be beaten. Automating user interface design would carry many benefits. Optimization might guarantee better designs — or even the best possible design, as I show in the talk. Designers could focus on truly novel aspects of design, and even novices could design great interfaces. Designers’ work would change. Instead of generating and trying out a few instances at a time, the designer would define optimization goals, assumptions about the user and use, and constraints, and the computer would explore the best designs. But can the computer “understand” the user at the same level as a human designer? I argue that many times it can. I show how predictive models of user interaction can capture very complex human factors affecting user performance and other outcomes. Throughout the talk I show results from the automated design of keyboards, menus, and gestural input. I present interactive design tools that allow even a novice designer to rapidly explore millions of user interface designs — even when the design task is not completely defined. I conclude with a critical discussion of the limits of what computers can do in user interface design.


Antti Oulasvirta

Antti Oulasvirta is an Associate Professor at Aalto University where he leads the User Interfaces research group at the Department of Communications and Networking. He was previously a Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and the Cluster of Excellence on Multimodal Computing and Interaction at Saarland university. He received his doctorate in Cognitive Science from the University of Helsinki in 2006, after which he was a Fulbright Scholar at the School of Information in University of California - Berkeley in 2007-2008 and a Senior Researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT in 2008-2011. During his postgraduate studies in 2002-2003, he was an exchange student at UC Berkeley's Neuropsychology Lab and did an internship at T-Labs in Berlin in 2006. Dr. Oulasvirta serves as an associate editor for International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, and he frequently participates in the paper committees of HCI conferences, including the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). He was awarded the Best Paper Award at CHI in 2011, the Best Paper Nomination at CHI in 2008, 2009, 2013, and 2014, the Best Note Award in 2011 at MobileHCI, and the Most Influential Paper Award in 2013 at MobileHCI.

When sparsification meets subexponential approximation

Prof. Vangelis Th. PASCHOS
LAMSADE, University Paris-Dauphine, CNRS and IUF, FRANCE

Instance sparsification is well-known in the world of exact computation since it is very closely linked to the Exponential Time Hypothesis. In this talk, we extend the concept of sparsification in order to capture subexponential time approximation. We develop a new tool for inapproximability, called approximation preserving sparsification and use it in order to get strong inapproximability results in subexponential time for several fundamental optimization problems as min dominating set, min feedback vertex set, min independent dominating set and min set cover.


Vangelis Paschos

Vangelis Paschos is Professor of Computer Science in the University Paris-Dauphine and member of the reseach lab LAMSADE. He is currently working on Complexity Theory, Efficient Approximation of Hard Problems and Combinatorial Optimization. Professor Paschos published more then 100 articles in top international j ournals. He is a member in the editorial board of Theoretical Computer Science, European Journal of Operational Research, RAIRO - Operations Research, among others. He is senior member of the "Institut Universitaire de France".

Control and estimation of oscillations in robotics


Oscillations are one of the most important operating modes for systems, they appear in different contexts ranging from pure periodic oscillations to a "chaotic" motion. Oscillations are playing a central role in robotics (locomotion or emerging collective behavior for example). This presentation follows the Yakubovich's framework, which is a tool for analysis and design of oscillations in all their variety. After introduction of this framework, in this talk several control and estimation problems for oscillating systems are surveyed:
- parameter estimation in oscillatory systems using an algebraic paradigm,
- oscillation analysis using the homogeneity concept (that is downsizing the complexity of the usual Lyapunov based approach),
- oscillatory control design based on homogeneity,
- locomotion analysis and design viewed as a hybrid system problem (due to presence of impacts) for which we want to generate oscillations.


Wilfrid Perruquetti

Wilfrid Perruquetti was born in 1968 in Saint Gilles, France. In 1991, he received a M.Sc. in Automatic Control and graduated from “Institut Industriel du Nord” (French “Grande Ecole”). In 1994, he obtained a Ph. D. in Automatic Control, then joined the “Ecole Centrale de Lille” (French “Grande Ecole”) as an Assistant Professor in 1995, where he is actually Full Professor (since 2003). He belongs to LAGIS (CNRS) and to the Non-A project (INRIA Lille-Nord-Europe). He has published more than 170 journal, book chapters and conference papers (64 journal papers, see here) and is co-editor with Jean-Pierre Barbot of the books “Sliding Mode Control in Engineering”, Marcel Dekker and “Chaos in Automatic control”, CRC Taylor & Francis. He is currently working on stability analysis (including various kinds of stability concepts), stabilization (in particular finite-time stabilization), sliding mode control of nonlinear and delay systems, observation of state variables and parameters identification and more recently algebraic techniques for estimation and control. The main used mathematical tools are: analysis based on Lyapunov function technics (control Lyapunov function or the usual one) and algebra in Mikusinski field, Weyl algebra and differential algebra. His main fields of application concern robotics, in particular mobile robots (path planning, stabilization, coordination…), robotic manipulators (trajectory generation and control) and electrical actuators (DC motor, induction motor, stepper motor…). He is permanent head of the INRIA project Non-A, vice-deputy of INS2I CNRS (INS2I “Information Sciences Institute and their Interactions” is one of the 10 institutes of the CNRS with about 60 labs, 7000 people) and was from (2007 – 2009) a representative of the French Ministry of Education and Research (DGRI), (2010 – 2014) scientific project manager at ANR (French national research agency). He is or was member of several councils and was involved in several IPC. He is currently member of several societies (IFAC, TC 1.3, 2.3, 2.5 and 9.2 (Chairman), SEE member).

Internet of Things: Architectural Evolution and Applications

Prof. MengChu ZHOU, Ph.D. & Distinguished Professor
New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, USA and Tongji University, Shanghai, CHINA

Human beings have experienced two major industrial revolutions. The first one took place in the 19th century, which replaced muscle power from humans and animals with mechanical power. The second one started in the middle 20th century, which provided people and societies with Internet. It was built with the technologies from computing, communication, networking and information storage. Both offered unprecedented productivity increases. What will be the next one? This talk intends to answer this question by presenting some recent development of Internet of Things (IoT). IoT was selected by IEEE as a major initiative to develop and advance over the next few years. Several recent studies have predicted the huge growth of IoT and tremendous benefits to the world economy. It was expected that 26 billion IoT units would be installed by year 2020, generating $300 billion in revenue. The IoT will generate an additional $1.9 trillion in economic value. We plan to present the status of IoT including its architectures, interesting research projects and applications to manufacturing automation, smart cities, smart gird, medical and healthcare services.


MengChu Zhou

MengChu Zhou received his B.S. degree in Control Engineering from Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China in 1983, M.S. degree in Automatic Control from Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China in 1986, and Ph. D. degree in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY in 1990. He joined New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Newark, NJ in 1990, and is a Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Director of Discrete-Event Systems Laboratory. His research interests are in intelligent automation, Petri nets, sensor networks, semiconductor manufacturing, Web service, workflow, big data, and energy systems. He has over 550 publications including 11 books, 260+ journal papers (majority in IEEE transactions), and 22 book-chapters.

He is the founding Editor of IEEE Press Book Series on Systems Science and Engineering. He is Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics: Systems, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics and IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems. He served as Guest-Editor for many journals including IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics and IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing. He was General Chair of IEEE Conf. on Automation Science and Engineering, Washington D.C., August 23-26, 2008, General Co-Chair of 2003 IEEE International Conference on System, Man and Cybernetics (SMC), Washington DC, October 5-8, 2003, Founding General Co-Chair of 2004 IEEE Int. Conf. on Networking, Sensing and Control, Taipei, March 21-23, 2004, and General Chair of 2006 IEEE Int. Conf. on Networking, Sensing and Control, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A. April 23-25, 2006. He was Program Chair of 2010 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation, August 4-7, 2010, Xi’an, China, 1998 and 2001 IEEE International Conference on SMC and 1997 IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation. Dr. Zhou has led or participated in over 50 research and education projects with total budget over $12M, funded by National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, NIST, and industry. He was the recipient of NSF’s Research Initiation Award, CIM University-LEAD Award by Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Perlis Research Award and Fenster Innovation in Engineering Education Award by NJIT, Humboldt Research Award for US Senior Scientists, Leadership Award and Academic Achievement Award by Chinese Association for Science and Technology-USA, Asian American Achievement Award by Asian American Heritage Council of New Jersey, and Outstanding Contributions Award, Distinguished Lecturership and Franklin V. Taylor Memorial Award of IEEE SMC Society, and Distinguished Service Award from IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. Web of Science/Thomson Reuters ranked Dr. Zhou the number one of 2012 most highly cited scholars in engineering globally. He is founding Co-chair of Enterprise Information Systems Technical Committee and Environmental Sensing, Networking, and Decision-making Technical Committee of IEEE SMC Society. He is a life member of Chinese Association for Science and Technology-USA and served as its President in 1999. He is Fellow of IEEE, IFAC and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).