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
07 Nov

2016 COIN-OR Cup Competition, Deadline Extended to October 14

Announcing the twelfth annual “COIN-OR Cup” competition, sponsored by the COIN-OR Foundation.

Guidelines:
* A submission or nomination must contain:
1. a synopsis of an effective use of COIN-OR or valuable contribution to COIN-OR (or both!),
2. an explanation of its significance.

* The winner must accept the prize in person at the 2016 INFORMS Annual Meeting so we can all celebrate appropriately (see “Celebration” below).

* Submission deadline: Friday, October 14th, 2016.

* Self-nominations are welcome.

* We especially encourage nominations of effective use of COIN-OR that the community may not know about.

Celebration: The 2016 COIN-OR Cup will be awarded at a celebration during the INFORMS Annual meeting in Nashville, TN. All entrants, their supporters, and other interested parties are welcome to join the celebration and regale, rile, and roast the prize winners. The celebration will take place Monday, November 14, 7:30 pm at the Flying Saucer, 111 10th Ave. S. 310, Nashville TN 37203. Details of the
winning entry will be announced at this celebration event, and posted on the COIN-OR Cup website. Please e-mail your submissions to coin-cup@
coin-or.org.

Details of the winning entry will be announced at this celebration event, and posted on the COIN-OR Cup website
https://www.coin-or.org/coinCup
Please e-mail your submissions to coin-cup at coin-or.org.

2016 COIN-OR Cup Committee:
Stefan Wild (chair), Argonne National Laboratory
Joey Huchette, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jeffrey Linderoth, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Miles Lubin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

07 Nov

RBFOpt – A New Library for Black-box Optimization

RBFOpt is a library written in Python for black-box (also known as derivative-free) optimization. It is a global solver that requires zero-order information – just function values, not even gradients! RBFOpt is aimed at finding the global minimum in a small number of function evaluations, which is particularly useful when each function evaluation requires an expensive computation, e.g. a time-consuming computer simulation.

30 Oct

COIN-OR Events at INFORMS Philadelphia

COIN-OR Cup Celebration

Join us as we celebrate this year’s winner of the COIN-OR Cup, the most coveted prize in computational Operations Research. This year’s celebration will take place Monday November 2nd at The Fieldhouse, 1150 Filbert St, just steps from the Marriott. The celebration begins at 8:30 pm!

COIN-OR Members and Users Meeting

As is traditional, we will have a Members and Users meeting during the lunch break on Monday November 2nd, 12:30 pm — 1:30 pm, in Marriott – Franklin 9, Level 4. Anyone interested in open-source software tools, open standards, or data and model repositories for any aspect of operations research is encouraged to attend. Bring your own lunch and ideas.

COIN-OR Booth

Visit the Computational Infrastructure for Operations Research booth (#10) to learn about high-quality, free, open-source tools for OR professionals and students, suitable for commercial, educational, and personal use. COIN-OR is the place to go when you need a ‘white box’ for algorithm research and development. We do binaries, too! We’re around the side, near the Career Centre.

Already familiar with COIN-OR and looking for something to do for half an hour til the next talk? Volunteers are always welcome to “staff the booth.”  The COIN-OR booth is a great place to network with other COIN-OR community members, colleagues, and random members of the public.

23 Jun

RBFOpt – A New Library for Black-box Optimization

RBFOpt is a library written in Python for black-box (also known as derivative-free) optimization. It is a global solver that requires zero-order information — just function values, not even gradients! RBFOpt is aimed at finding the global minimum in a small number of function evaluations, which is particularly useful when each function evaluation requires an expensive computation, e.g., a time-consuming computer simulation.

03 Nov

COIN-OR Pioneers Win 2014 INFORMS Impact Prize Award

The INFORMS Impact Prize recognises an individual or team whose contributions have had a widespread impact on the practice of operations research. With great pride, the COIN-OR Strategic Leadership Board extends its congratulations to nine of the pioneers of COIN-OR, Brenda Dietrich, JP Fasano, Lou Hafer, John Forrest, Brady Hunsaker, Laszlo Ladanyi, Robin Lougee, Ted Ralphs, and Matthew Saltzman, the recipients of the 2014 INFORMS Impact Prize.

In its citation, the Impact Prize Award Committee writes: The Computational Infrastructure for Operations Research (COIN-OR) is an initiative to spur the development of open-source software for the operations research community in order to accelerate the adoption and the evolution of computational operations research. COIN-OR provides development tools, distribution, standards, licensing information, and other infrastructure needed to facilitate and nurture open, community-driven software.

The COIN-OR initiative was launched at the 2000 International Symposium on Mathematical Programming as a three-year experiment by IBM Research. In 2004, a dedicated nonprofit corporation was formed to take over the successful and growing initiative. In the fourteen years of its existence, COIN-OR has grown from its initial offerings of four software projects, to more than fifty projects spanning much of computational operations research. COIN-OR has influenced every aspect of operations research: research, practice, education, community, and outreach.

Software supported by COIN-OR has been an essential part of hundreds of peer-reviewed research papers and is embedded in dozens of software systems, including the most widely used environments for performing analytics in practice. People use COIN-OR software every day to implement advanced operations research solutions to important problems. Through its on-line, in-person, and print activities, COIN-OR has been educating the operations research world about OR software and the potential of open source.

Thousands of people have been involved with COIN-OR; over 1400 people subscribe to one or more COIN-OR mailing lists today. COIN-OR is the result of the collaboration of many people over many years, but there are key individuals whose significant early contributions and leadership distinguish them. We recognize the individuals who launched COIN-OR at IBM Research, where the initiative was conceived and grew over the first four years to a successful community repository, and the individuals who incorporated the non-profit COIN-OR Foundation, Inc., where the initiative has thrived and continues to grow today. For their pivotal role in the creation and wide-spread adoption of COIN-OR, INFORMS is pleased to award the 2014 Impact Prize to Brenda Dietrich, JP Fasano, John Forrest, Lou Hafer, Brady Hunsaker, Laszlo Ladanyi, Robin Lougee, Ted Ralphs, and Matthew Saltzman.

The INFORMS Impact Prize recognises nine individuals. Without diminishing the well-deserved recognition given to the recipients, the Board would also like to extend its congratulations to all the members of the COIN-OR community. The COIN-OR initiative would not have been so successful without all those individuals who have contributed their time, expertise and software to support our endeavors, and all those users who have spurred us on to greater effort with their valuable feedback. The Board takes this opportunity to recognise the accomplishments of our community over the past decade. We look forward to the accomplishments we know will come in the future.

05 Aug

New COIN-OR project: qpOASES

qpOASES is an open-source C++ implementation of the recently proposed online active set strategy for solving quadratic programming (QP) problems. It has several theoretical features that make it particularly suited for model predictive control (MPC) applications. Further numerical modifications have made qpOASES a reliable QP solver, even when tackling semi-definite, ill-posed or degenerated QP problems. Moreover, several interfaces to third-party software make the code easy-to-use. qpOASES has been under development since 2007 and has proven useful in numerous real-world applications and industrial projects.