Optimization Modeling and Solution Approaches: Application to Maritime Logistics and Other Research Topics

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

​Dr. Ali Diabat
Professor of Engineering Systems & Management (ESM)
Masdar Institute of Science & Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE



The field of Maritime Logistics has received a great deal of attention over recent years, as worldwide container traffic is constantly increasing and ports are looking for ways to maximize efficiency of operations. The three major problems of quayside planning are the Berth Allocation Problem (BAP), the Quay Crane Assignment Problem (QCAP) and the Quay Crane Scheduling Problem (QCSP). The Quay Crane Scheduling Problem (QCSP) involves the scheduling of QC operations in order to complete all required unloading and loading tasks and it is considered one of the most challenging and complex problems pertaining to quayside operational planning, which is why heuristics are largely employed. Researchers have focused on incorporating various considerations in order to produce practical, yet solvable, models. However, the existing models lack the consideration of vessel stability, which we incorporate in the QCSP using a novel formulation that significantly reduces problem size. We extend the problem to the multi-ship case and solve it with the help of Lagrangian relaxation, whereby the problem is decomposed by vessel and each is solved efficiently as a single vessel case. The high value of this research stems from the practical nature of the problem, which is also the case for the other research topics presented. In healthcare management, operating room planning and scheduling is a highly challenging topic, which is partly due to the emergency factor. Resource planning in healthcare management has a multitude of applications which are of high importance as they may have an impact on human lives. Regarding the joint location-inventory problem, it was also inspired by real world applications, specifically having to do with the distribution of a perishable product, namely blood platelets to hospitals. In this application, integrating two different levels of decisions, namely location and inventory, leads to improved solutions that both minimize waste and increase availability. Finally, oil refinery product optimization is a topic that especially in current times is of high practical value. It is important for oil refinery operators to adjust production levels depending on forecasted market prices, which can be extremely volatile.



Dr. Ali Diabat
Professor of Engineering Systems & Management (ESM)
Masdar Institute of Science & Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Associate Editor: Journal of Manufacturing Systems (JMS)
Area Editor: Journal of Computers & Industrial Engineering (C&IE)