Operations Research (OR) is the mathematical study of resource allocation problems, decisions, games, uncertainty, scheduling and optimization. The various sub-disciplines of OR yield both analytic and computational tools that allow for mathematical modeling and efficient problem solving.

Key application areas are telecommunications, high performance computing, logistics, manufacturing, business systems, transportation, biological systems and natural resource management. The nature of research in OR is often problem specific, dealing with a wide set of methods applied to a given situation. Further, OR has a pure nature, dealing with theoretical properties of methods and models. 

At the School of Mathematics and Physics we excel in a wide variety of sub disciplines in both theoretical OR and applications. Our group sits at the intersection of applied mathematics, statistics, probability, theoretical computer science and various application domains.

Key research interests of the group include mathematical programming, computational geometry, optimal control, applied probability, stochastic mathematical biology, risk modeling, queueing theory, Monte Carlo simulation, applications to transport and logistics, applications to natural resource management and applications to conservation biology. 

Available Projects

This project is to investigate how to integrate different types of errors  into a rigorous statistically-based optimisation framework using decision theory and quantify impact of these errors in terms of management cost.

Dr Peter Baxter

Queueing networks are stochastic mathematical models that are often used for analyzing service, manufacturing and communication systems. One often attempts to model the situation at hand by means of a...

Dr Yoni Nazarathy

Stochastic simulation methodologies are nowadays a fundamental part of the numerical toolbox of practitioners and researchers in a wide arrange of disciplines, both applied and pure.  In this project, you will focus on the theoretical aspects behind these methods and you will develop the...

Dr Leonardo Rojas-Nandayapa

Levy processes constitute a very rich and attractive class of stochastic processes.  For instance, two of the best known processes: the Poisson process and the Wiener process (Brownian motion) are the building blocks for constructing...

Dr Leonardo Rojas-Nandayapa

Heavy-tailed distributions are of key importance in the modeling of many real-world random phenomena. For instance, heavy-tailed phenomena is often observed in insurance (claim sizes due to natural catastrophes), finance (large financial losses) and telecommunications (large data size...

Dr Leonardo Rojas-Nandayapa

Approximate Dynamic Programming (ADP) is an emerging area within Operations Research.  Projects could investigate the application of ADP to a specific difficult stochastic optimisation problem, especially in a domain where the...

Dr Michael Forbes

This project would implement a new algorithm for the Double Travelling Salesman Problems with Multiple Stacks.  The initial outline of the proposed algorithm is as follows:

1. Generate ...

Dr Michael Forbes

This project involves implementing the fundamental tree algorithm in the attached paper, and then solving mine planning MIP's with and without the fundamental tree simplification.

One approach would be to solve small models to see how close to optimality the simplified problem is...

Dr Michael Forbes

Extend and improve the models and solution techniques described in the attached paper, specifically in several ways:

1. Elimination of symmetry

2. Calculated variables to store start and end of day times for each crew member

3. More detailed objective function

4. Max...

Dr Michael Forbes

Operations Research has been applied to several aspect of cricket, most notably in the calculation of the widely used Duckworth-Lewis method of adjusting team scores in rain shortened matches.

This project would look at extending existing Integer and Dynamic Programming models around the...

Dr Michael Forbes

Operations research has been applied to several problems in sports, but rarely (if ever) to rugby league.  In this project we consider the problem of what strategy a team should adopt in rugby league.  An initial model of the game could look something like this:

1. Assume each...

Dr Michael Forbes

This project will use mathematical optimisation techniques to identify reliable and cost-effective strategies for limiting the impact of invasive animals. The successful candidate will develop models to...

Dr Peter Baxter

Benders Decomposition can be applied to problems with two tiers of decision variables, where the top tier are integer variables and the second tier are continuous variables.

This project would look at the application of similar approaches to problems where both tiers have integer...

Dr Michael Forbes