Scientific Program > Brainstorming sessions

 Implementing OR in practice: the human factor

Speakers: Xin Wang and Willemieke van Vliet (ORTEC)

Chairman: Prof. Martin Savelsbergh (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Tuesday, July 11, 13:45-14:30 (Room KC07)


Why does it happen so often that brilliant optimization results are actually perceived as rather poor by various stakeholders in practice (e.g., planners, drivers)? Why, on the contrary, do farmers trust the weather forecast and use it well for their businesses? In other words: what are key factors in absorbing complex models and optimization results, and appreciating the true value of it? 

In this session, we will search together for ways to enhance the impact of OR in practice. We will focus on an aspect of implementing OR that has generally been overlooked, but that is crucial for success: the human factor. Guided by several practical examples, we will discuss this topic together and try to identify key factors in making OR implementations a success. These key factors may serve as an agenda for future research.



Lost in translation? Customer requirements and analyst modelling

Speaker: Werner Heid (PTV Group)

Chairman: Prof. Wout Dullaert (VU University Amsterdam)

Tuesday, July 11, 14:30-15:15 (Room KC07)

PTV Group

When trying to successfully solve real customer problems we need to master a number of challenges. Customers normally describe their requirements using natural language. Academics rather prefer formal language as a formal specification facilitates the precise definition of the problem and the design of corresponding appropriate mathematical models. Professional analysts, in turn, very often favour semi-formal procedures because they allow a structured information exchange between the involved parties.

The brainstorming session addresses the question how these different degrees of formality should be applied to provide a sufficient amount of accuracy and still encourage the communication between the relevant persons in order to elicit the required information. Real-life examples will be presented and discussed. Sharing lived experiences shall help to detect and avoid common pitfalls during the requirement specification and to develop smart interview techniques that prevent your customer from saying “we don’t want to overcomplicate things”.

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