We are pleased to announce Team ZIB from the Zuse Institute Berlin as the winners of the 11th AIMMS-MOPTA Optimization Modeling Competition. Team ZIB’s solution, report and modeling effort in AIMMS was selected as the most comprehensive among the three finalists at the MOPTA conference banquet, which took place at Lehigh University, Bethelehem on August 15, 2019. AIMMS is excited to continue supporting MOPTA.
This year’s problem statement, designed by Boris Defourny (Lehigh University), continued the tradition of an interesting problem with multiple ways to solve it. The participants were asked to solve a packing problem. They were tasked with finding the best solution and recommending alternative solutions that were comparable in packing efficiency. As expected, all the three finalists took very different approaches to arrive at their recommendations.
Team ZIB consisting of Felix Prause and Kai Hoppman, advised by Thorsten Koch, presented an extensive literature review of different methods to solve this problem. They simulated numerous heuristic approaches and compared the results with a mixed integer program. They also provided a tetris-like user interface in AIMMS where one can generate a random mix of objects and find an optimal arrangement.
The other two finalists were Team RPI consisting of three PhD students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – April Sagan, Dan Kosmas, and Jesica Bauer - and Team UCL, with Deemah Aljuhani representing University College London. Team RPI first presented two methods which were classified as “efficient packing but slow” and “fast but inefficient packing.” Then they applied various technics to find a middle ground, which gave them good solutions in reasonable time. Team UCL presented a mixed integer formulation which generates multiple solutions.