COIN-OR and Open-Source Events
INFORMS Computing Society 2003 Meeting

Presentations, XML workshop, and a user-group meeting at the Phoenix 2003 INFORMS Computing Society meeting.

A COIN-OR User Group Meeting will be Thursday night, 5:00 - 6:00 pm. Location to be announced at the conference.

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Title: Open tools and standards for OR professionals
Chair: Robin Lougee-Heimer, IBM Research,
  • Title: COIN-OR: open-source software for operations research professionals

  • Lead: Robin Lougee-Heimer, IBM Research,

    Abstract: Computing is a significant component of operations research. During 2001, seventy-five percent of the articles appearing in Operations Research contained computational results. Unlike theory, however, research software is typically not written for peer review, not disseminated, and not archived. A variety of adverse consequences arguably result. For instance, professionals wanting to compare the computational performance of a new idea against the performance of a published idea must spend time re-implementing (rather than reusing) existing code. Given the gap between theory and implementation and the lack of implementational details disclosed, the effort to reproduce published performance can be nontrivial.

    To explore the viability of an alternative model of software development, management, and distribution, the "Computational Infrastructure for Operations Research" (COIN-OR) was launched in August 2000. Under the COIN-OR umbrella, the source code to a variety of field-specific tools has been made available under an open source license by industry, academia, and government.

    At the recent San Jose 2002 meeting, the INFORMS board unanimously accepted a proposal to host the COIN-OR ( In this talk, we present the impetus for COIN-OR , survey the open-source resources currently available, highlight projects that are advantageously using the software, and discuss the opportunities ahead.

  • Title: COIN-OR Components: The Open Solver Interface and the Branch-Cut-Price Framework

  • Lead: Matthew Saltzman, Clemson University,
    Co-author: Laszlo Ladanyi, IBM Research
    Co-author: Ted Ralphs, Lehigh University

    Abstract: The COIN-OR repository consists of an integrated suite of tools for constructing optimization codes, as well as several standalone programs. The integrated suite consists of the Open Solver Interface (a uniform application programming interface (API) for embedding calls to solver libraries), the Cut Generator Library (a collection of cutting-plane generators integrated with the OSI), the COIN-OR LP solver (an open-source simplex code), the Volume Algorithm (an enhanced subgradient optimizer), and the Branch-Cut-Price Framework (a ready-to-customize library for mixed-integer programming).

    In this talk, we survey the OSI and BCP components of the COIN-OR integrated suite. The structure of these tools and their application in user-developed optimization codes will be discussed.

  • Title: Conveying Instances of Mathematical Programs in XML

  • Lead: Leo Lopes, Northwestern University,
    Co-author: Robert Fourer, Northwestern University

    Abstract: We present the current status and new developments of an XML vocabulary intented to convey a wide variety of classes of Mathematical Programs. The vocabulary is being developed as an open standard and benefits from the collaboration of numerous experts from several fields.


  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) with Operations Research Examples
    Author: Gordon Bradley, Naval Post Graduate School,

    Abstract: Platform and language independent interoperability of data is achieved by using open standards and Extensible Markup Language (XML) based languages. XML and related technologies are used to represent, validate, and transform structured data. The tutorial will discuss the uses and benefits of xml, the construction of xml-based languages, the validation of xml documents, the use of software tools to construct, validate, process, and transform xml documents, and software API's to access, manipulate, and transform data from xml documents within computer programs. The use of xml and related technologies will be demonstrated with simple examples from modeling, optimization, simulation, and other operations research technologies.

    About the speaker: Gordon Bradley is Professor of Operations Research at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He did his PhD work in optimization at Northwestern University. He has been at the Naval Postgraduate School since 1973. He spent 10 years (1977-1987) in the Computer Science Department (5 years as chairman). He was a faculty member in operations research and in computer science at Yale University (1968-1973). Over the years he has taught, done research, and advised theses in integer programming, network optimization, software engineering, production planning, and map-based military planning systems. Currently he is working on the use of new technologies (the Internet, Java, and XML) and operations research methods to bring real time decision support to military planning.