Friday, May 3, 2013

What is Hot at Computational Management Science

This is the third day of the Computational Management Science Conference, which is taking place in Montreal, Canada.

The weather has been warm and the sun is shining.

The talks have been great and we have been treated to 3 outstanding plenaries (I blogged about Dr. Yinyu Ye of Stanford University and his presentation in my previous post.). Yesterday, Professor von Stengel of the London School of Economics spoke about the Game Theory Explorer and aplications and today we were treated to Professor Michele Breton of GERAD and HEC (the venue for the conference) and highlights of her research with her PhD students on recursive methods for pricing financial derivatives.

This is my kind of conference -- wonderful lunches, coffee breaks, great discussions, with about 130 participants, very international, and, as is fairly typical for CMS, a female plenary speaker. I admit I gave one of the plenary talks at CMS in Vienna and was not even the only female plenary speaker at that conference.

The methodological sessions have included sessions on stochastic programming, dynamic games (and applications), robust optimization, and more.

I have very much enjoyed the energy application sessions which featured, among others, Professor Steve Gabriel of the U. of Maryland and Professor Warren Powell of Princeton, who noted that energy practitioners with whom he works call the delivery of electric power as `trucking`and putting electrons on wheels. This reminded me of the classic book by Beckmann, McGuire, and Winsten, Studies in the Economics of Transportation, in which they hypothesized that electric power generation and distribution networks behave like congested urban transportation networks. We have done research on the commonalities and have exploited these to formulate and solve the electric power supply chain for New England in a paper co-authored with Dr. Zugang Liu, which was published in Naval Research Logistics in 2009. Gabriel spoke on his model for the global gas market. He mentioned Ukraine several times and, since that is my heritage, he had me at the edge of my seat.

I also enjoyed energy talks by Professor David Fuller from the University of Waterloo, where I have spoken at on several occasions, and several speakers at our CMS conference talked about game theory models and complementarity approaches.

I spoke on Wednesday about our big NSF project on the Future Internet Architecture, which we call Choicenet, and on specific network economics and game theory modeling work that I did with Professor Tilman Wolf of UMass Amherst using variational inequality theory. My talk was in the first session of the conference, after the first plenary tallk, and I am also speaking in the last session today on our work with Professor Min Yu on time-based competition.

Yesterday, we had the editorial board meeting for the journal (of the same name as the conference), Computational Management Science, and it was great to hear of special issues that are coming out and are being planned. Professor Berc Rustem, of Imperial College, led the lunch board meeting and it was great to see many of our colleagues, including Professor Georg Pflug from Vienna, Austria, and Professor Daniel Kuhn of Imperial College.

My special issue on Financial Networks, which is a double issue, should be out within the next 3 months, I am told, which is very exciting.

Of course, there are also sessions on transportation and on vehicle routing since colleagues here in Canada have been long-time contributors to these application domains. No need to even mention the names of Professors Gilbert Laporte, Patrice Marcotte, and Michel Gendcreau, but I am and it was wonderful to see them all here in Montreal.

The finance sessions have also been great!

Thanks to the organizers for putting on such a rewarding conference intellectually, personally, socially, and professionally.

Kudos to Professor Georges Zaccour who has worked tirelessly to make this conference a big success!

And for those of you who are interested, the CMS conference will be in Portugal next year.