NETWORK: Interdisciplinary Cutting, Packing and Space Allocation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Computer Science


This proposal seeks the funds to establish a UK network in the scientifically and industrially challenging area of cutting, packing and space allocation. It aims to provide a new national foundation and infrastructure to support major interdisciplinary and inter-institutional approaches for the modelling, optimisation, analysis, implementation and understanding of cutting, packing and space allocation methodologies throughout the industrial, commercial and service sectors so as to underpin decision support system development in these sectors.One of the main aims of the network is establish a dialogue between academia and the industrial sector in order to inform the service sectors of the work that is being carried out within academia and bring to their attention the opportunities that exist for them to work with academic researchers (for example, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, CASE awards etc.) Of course, we will also encourage inter-institutional, interdisciplinary blue skies, adventerous research and this network will enable researchers to collaborate and develop their research ideas.


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Description 1. Publications

A number of publications arose from the NETWORK, either directly or indirectly. The following represent a small selection of papers that have been associated with the project.

- Burke E.K., Marecek J., Parkes A.J. and Rudov? H. Decomposition, Reformulation, and Diving in University Course Timetabling., Accepted for publication in Computers and Operations Research, to appear 2010. DOI 10.1016/j.cor.2009.02.023

Includes an international author (Rudov?).

- Burke E.K.,Marecek J., Parkes A.J. and Rudov? H. A Supernodal Formulation of Vertex Colouring with Applications in Course Timetabling, Accepted for publication in Annals of Operations Research, to appear 2010

Includes an international author (Rudov?).

- E.K. Burke E.K., Hellier R.S.R., Kendall G. and Whitwell G. (2010) Irregular Packing using the Line and Arc No-Fit Polygon, accepted for Operations Research.

One of the authors (Hellier) works for an industrial partner.

- Ayob M. and Kendall G. (2009) The Optimisation of the Single Surface Mount Device Placement Machine in Printed Circuit Board Assembly: A Survey. International Journal of Systems Science, 40(60): 553-569

Includes an international author (Ayob).

- Bai R. and Kendall G. (2008) A Model for Fresh Produce Shelf Space Allocation and Inventory Management with Freshness Condition Dependent Demand. INFORMS Journal on Computing, 20(1), pages 78-85

Bai, R.; Burke, E.K.; Kendall, G. and van Woensel, T. A New Model and a Hyper-heuristic Approach for Two-dimensional Shelf Space Allocation. 4OR - A Quarterly Journal of Operations Research, 11 (1): 31-55, 2013.

Includes an international author

- Beyrouthy C., Burke E.K., McCollum B., McMullan P. and A.Parkes, University Space Planning and Space-type Profiles, Accepted for publication in a Special Issue of Journal of Scheduling on "Applications and Methodologies for Planning and Scheduling

Two of the authors (McCollum and McMullan) works for one of the industrial partners that supported the NETWORK proposal.

2. Funding Applications

As a result (directly or indirectly) the NETWORK led to a number of proposals being submitted. For example:

- Modeling and Optimising the Complexities of Supermarkets (EP/H018441/1). This involved an academic partner (Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport) and an overseas collaborator (Dr Tom van Woensel, Eindhoven).

- Underpinning Novel Decision Support Methodologies for University Timetabling (EP/H014209/1). This was a joint proposal between the University of Nottingham and Queen's University Belfast and involves an industrial partner.

3. Workshops

The NETWORK supported a number of workshops, as specified in the project proposal. In addition, other workshops were organised. For example:

- A Dagstuhl Seminar: Cutting, Packing, Layout and Space Allocation (organisers Daniels K.M. and Kendall G), 13th - 17th March 2007 (ref: 07112). This led to a special issue of Annals of Operations Research

4. Summary

We believe that this NETWORK was very successful and that they are a valuable resource for the scientific community. They also represent good value for money, providing a mechanism for the communities (scientific and industrial) to collaborate in a relatively informal way.
Exploitation Route The network still exists. albeit informally, and many of the researchers are still in touch with the industrial partners that were involved in the project.
This provides a 'goto' place for many collaborative opportunities.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Retail

Description This proposal was a NETWORK and, as such, was not a research proposal, but facilitated research/researchers. Among the events/outputs that can be attributed to the network are: - A numer of high quality, collaborative research papers - A number of research proposals from members of the NETWORK - We held a number of workshops, mainly funded by the network, but we also hossted a Dagstuhl works on Cutting, Packing and Space Allocation (13 - 17 Mar 2007). This led to a special issue of Annals of Operations Research (Vol 179, 2010)
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Retail
Impact Types Societal,Economic

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