Project Details


Optimization tools and algorithms have transformed fields ranging from biology to finance, and they touch everyday lives through more efficient supply chains, better traffic management, and more secure power grids. New applications, particularly those stemming from machine learning and data science, are now challenging the field to solve larger and more complex problems on smaller devices in less time. The field is responding with innovative approaches leading to advances such as faster algorithms for maximum flow and near-real-time approximations, more efficient interior-point methods, and faster cutting-plane methods. Many of these breakthroughs bring together ideas from both continuous and discrete optimization. The DIMACS/Simons Collaboration on Bridging Continuous and Discrete Optimization aims to accelerate progress by stimulating collaboration across the many communities of optimization. The planned activities bring together computer scientists, mathematicians, operations researchers, engineers, statisticians, and algorithm developers to advance both the foundations and applications of optimization. The project begins with an intensive program at the Simons Institute during the fall semester of 2017 that launches the collaboration and builds momentum for activities conducted over the ensuing two years as part of the DIMACS Special Focus on Bridging Continuous and Discrete Optimization. The DIMACS special focus includes seven workshops that sustain the project through the end of 2019 and expand it to include more people and more topics. The project aims to improve the performance of optimization methods in challenging real settings with the potential to positively impact society by improving traditional applications in logistics, supply chains, engineering, infrastructure, and finance, as well as growing applications in machine learning and data science. The project will involve a large number of people in various scientific communities and expose them to new ideas, new problems, and new opportunities for collaboration. Participants will be diverse across a variety of dimensions, including women and other under-represented groups; a mix of junior and senior participants; people from multiple disciplines; and both industry and academic participants. There will also be international coordination with the Centre de Recherches Math?matiques and Polytechnique Montreal.
Effective start/end date9/15/178/31/20


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))


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