Home Events - OPTIMA OPTIMA Seminar 4 October 2023 16:00 (AEDT)


Oct 04 2023


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm



OPTIMA Seminar 4 October 2023 16:00 (AEDT)

Title: Beyond optimal solutions for real-world problems

Speaker: Professor Maria Garcia de la Banda

Combinatorial optimisation technology has come a long way. We now have mature high-level modelling languages in which to specify a model of the particular problem of interest; robust complete solvers in each major constraint paradigm, including Constraint Programming(CP), MaxSAT, and Mixed Integer Programming (MIP); effective incomplete search techniques that can easily be combined with complete solvers to speed up the search such as Large Neighbourhood Search; and enough general knowledge about modelling techniques to understand the need for our models to incorporate components such as global constraints, symmetry constraints, and more. All this has significantly reduced the amount of knowledge required to apply this technology successfully to the many different combinatorial optimisation problems that permeate our society.
And yet, not many organisations use such advanced optimisation technology; instead, they often rely on the solutions provided by problem-specific algorithms that are implemented in traditional imperative languages and lack any of the above advances. Further, while advanced optimisation technology is particularly suitable for the kind of complex human-in-the-loop decision-making problems that occur in critical sectors of our society, including health, transport, energy, disaster management, environment and finance, these decisions are often still made by people with little or no technological support. In this talk I argue that to change this state of affairs, our research focus needs to change from improving the technology on its own, to improving it so that users can better trust, use, and maintain the optimisation systems that we develop with it.

Maria is a Professor at the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University with more than 25 years of experience as an academic. She is currently a member of the ARC College of Experts, the Co-Chair of the Monash-Woodside FutureLab and until July 2022 was the Deputy Dean Research of the Faculty. Prior to that she was overall Deputy Dean of the Faculty (2013-2016) and the Head of the Caulfield School of Information Technology (2009-2011). Her research interests include Combinatorial Optimisation, Program analysis and Transformation, Programming Languages and Bioinformatics. Since 2010 she has been Area Editor of the Journal of Theory and Practice of Logic Programming and, since 2019, member of the Editorial Board of the Constraints journal. She has been Chief Investigator in 11 ARC grants (2 cross-Faculty), and Principal Investigator in an NHMRC program.

Maria’s PhD won the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid’s Best PhD Award. In 1997 she was awarded the first and only prestigious Logan Fellowship in the Faculty of Information Technology, which she held for six years. In 2005 she won, with Peter Stuckey, the International Constraint Modelling Challenge. She was an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Logic Programming (2005-08) and of the Executive Committee of the Association of Constraint Programming (2017-20), of which she was also elected as President (2019-20). In 2021 she was inducted into the Monash Honour Roll.

WED 4 OCTOBER 16:00-17:00 (AEDT, Melbourne Time)

IN PERSON: Monash University – Woodside Building Clayton-2-279-Meeting Room 

ZOOM: MEETING ID: 873 1557 5255; PASSWORD: 778635

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The event is finished.


Oct 04 2023


Woodside Building

Advancing an industry-ready optimisation toolkit, while training a new generation of industry practitioners and over 120 young researchers, who will vanguard a highly skilled workforce of change agents for industrial transformation.

Monash University
Clayton, Victoria, 3080

University of Melbourne
Parkville, Victoria, 3010

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