|[October 24, 2013]
NCKU Research Team Shines in World Problem Solving Competition
TAINAN, Taiwan --(Business Wire)--
A research team led by Associate Prof. I-Lin Wang of the Department of
Industrial and Information Management at National Cheng Kung University
(NCKU), Tainan, Taiwan, has won the Honorable Mention in the 2013
Problem Solving Competition held by Railway Application Section (RAS),
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS),
"A total of 45 teams registering for the 2013 competition and 12 of
them, mostly composed by professors and doctoral students from several
renowned universities worldwide, including Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, U.S., have submitted their final reports," according to Wang.
The NCKU research team includes Wang and undergraduate students Wei Lee
and Chiao-Yu Liao, who just becomes junior in the same department this
Wang said, "Team NCKU might very likely be the only sei-finalist team
composed by junior undergraduate students as team members."
The 2013 competition problem, a hard yard operational problem, seeks an
operational plan that minimized the total waiting time of railcars in
the yard and maximized the total number of railcars processed during a
Wang explained, "Building a classification yard operations plan is
challenging as it covers many interrelated operations and decisions,
such as the sequence of inbound trains' disassembly, the sequence of
out-bound trains' assembly, sorting plans at the hump, block-to-train
assignment plan for classification tracks, etc."
He said, "Optimizing the operations plan of a classification yard is
very important for a railroad company as it helps fully utilize the
limited resources of its rail network."
Wang and his team members spent about 2 months in implementing generic
dispatching rules such as FIFO or longest-first heuristics toward this
Since 2003 fall, Wang has supervised students in winning 24 awards in
master thesis or paper competitions and 4 awards in undergraduate
student projects or paper competitions hosted by the OR Society of
Taiwan (ORSTW), Chinese Institute of Industrial Engineering (CIIE) or
INFORMS, established in 1995, is the largest professional society in the
world for professionals in the fields of operations research (OR),
management science (MS), and business analytics, according to Wang.
He also added that RAS is one of the INFORMS sub-groups that facilitates
productivity improvements and growth in the rail industry through
appropriate application of ORMS techniques.
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