Computer Science Colloquium

Embedding Optimization in Business: Five Critical Issues

William R. Pulleyblank
IBM Center for Business Optimization

Friday, January 26, 2007 11:30 A.M.
Room 1302 Warren Weaver Hall
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012-1185

Colloquium Information:


Michael Overton, (212) 998-3121


Business and industry are steadily, but slowly, transforming the way that they perform their operations and planning. The types of tools that were at one time limited to very large enterprises are now being used by smaller businesses and even individuals. There is an increasing desire to combine data from a variety of sources with analytic methods to enable more rapid and better decision making. This is driven in part by the economic pressures created by the need to both compete globally and to exploit global resources. This is enabled by the maturing of methods and tools and takes advantage of continuing advances in the underlying technologies. However, for this transformation to continue and accelerate, we must overcome five major obstacles:

  • 1. How do we deal with massive amounts of noisy data - both repository and streaming?
  • 2. Can we develop adequate methods for handling risk and uncertainty?
  • 3. How should we deal with issues of distributed data and computation?
  • 4. What does it require for operational systems to match the sophistication of long term planning systems?
  • 5. How do we adapt these capabilities to the emerging networked business world?

I will discuss these issues as well as some approaches that are yielding success in dealing with them.

Refreshments will be served

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