24 Oct

2019 COIN-OR Cup Winners Announced

The 2019 COIN-OR Cup celebration took place at the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Seattle on Monday, October 21. The selection committee was co-chaired by last year’s winners, Andreas Lundell and Jan Kronqvist. The 2019 winners are Samuel S. Brito and Haroldo G. Santos of Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil. The citation appears below.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks for all you do for COIN-OR.

COIN-OR CUP 2019
The annual COIN-OR Cup Prize recognizes and celebrates effective uses of COIN-OR software or valuable contributions to COIN-OR.

As COIN-OR already consists of over 60 open source projects, it is important to not just recognize new projects, but significant improvements to already existing ones as well.

Mixed-Integer Linear programming (MILP) plays a central role in operations research (OR), with a wide variety of applications. The commercial solvers have impressive performances, but to researchers in OR they mainly remain closed. Furthermore, there are several applications where the licenses of the commercial solvers render them economically infeasible. There is, thus, a strong motivation for an efficient open-source MILP solver, and this year’s winner has made a strong contribution to improve the main open-source alternative.
The project captures the spirit of the COIN-OR initiative, and the importance of their work, and the solver, is also highlighted by the fact that it was used in most of the other submissions this year.

With this motivation, the COIN-OR Cup 2019 has been awarded to the submission

Using Conflict Graphs in COIN-OR Branch-and-Cut Solver

submitted by

Samuel S. Brito and Haroldo G. Santos
Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil

01 Nov

2017 COIN-OR Cup Winners Announced

The 2017 COIN-OR Cup is awarded to John Chinneck, Mubashsharul
Shafique, and Laurence Smith for their work on the CCGO Global
Optimizer.

In a series of papers, this team developed an improved multi-start
method that can be used to find solutions for nonconvex NLPs. The
methodology is based on an approach called constraint consensus
concentration that attempts to identify disjoint parts of the feasible
region, and then launches a nonlinear solver for each of the disjoint
regions. CCGO relies on a mixture of novel theoretical developments,
heuristics, and algorithm engineering to create a software that
effectively and reliably finds solutions to difficult nonconvex
problems, comparing favorably to existing solvers. The implementation
of CCGO relies on COIN-OR software.

One of the main goals of the COIN-OR Cup is to promote effective use
of COIN-OR software that the community may not know about. The series
of papers nominated by John, Mubashsharul and Laurence is a perfect
example of that, and the prize committee is glad to announce them as
this year’s Cup winners.

Committee members: Andy Conn, Giacomo Nannicini, Thomas Wortmann.

26 Nov

COIN-OR Cup 2016 Winners Announced

The 2016 COIN-OR Cup is awarded to Giacomo Nannicini (IBM T. J. Watson Research Center) and Thomas Wortmann (Singapore University of Technology and Design) for their contributions to model-based optimization for architectural design. The twelfth annual cup was awarded based on the RBFOpt and Opossum packages developed by the awardees.

RBFOpt has been in COIN-OR since 2015 and is a python library for blackbox global optimization in settings where the objective function is computationally expensive to evaluate. Opossum is a plugin for Grasshopper — a generative design language popular among architectural designers — that provides a GUI to RBFOpt.

This year’s committee commended the awardees for their simultaneous valuable contribution to COIN-OR and effective use of COIN-OR software. By lowering the barrier to entry, RBFOpt and Opossum are bringing state-of-the-art optimization to new communities and exciting classes of problems.

This year’s Cup was awarded at a celebration at the Flying Saucer in Nashville, Tennessee, during the INFORMS Annual Meeting.

2016 COIN-OR Cup Committee:

  • Joey Huchette, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Jeffrey Linderoth, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Miles Lubin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stefan Wild (chair), Argonne National Laboratory