News 2018

  • Invited talk of Dr. Karl Isler on Revenue Management

    Within our Master course “Quantitative Pricing and Revenue Optimization”, we have the pleasure to welcome Dr. Karl Isler, independent consultant for Pricing, Revenue Management, Distribution and Operations Research and former head of Revenue Management at Swiss, as a guest lecturer. He will give a talk on

    Revenue Management, Pricing and Distribution at a Full Service Carrier

    on Monday, November 26, 2018, at 10:15 (length: 60 minutes) in room D130 (PER 21)

    This talk is open to general public. It might be of interest to students (particularly in information management, general management, and computer science) and researchers who are curious to know how prices for flight tickets are established or more generally, what revenue management is about. No prior knowledge in revenue management is required.

    We are looking forward to seeing you at this talk.

    Best regards
    Reinhard Bürgy

  • New publication forthcoming in Omega on robust employee scheduling

    The article Employee scheduling with short demand perturbations and extensible shifts  was accepted for publication in the reputable journal Omega: The International Journal of Management Science. This is joint work of Reinhard Bürgy with Hélène Michon-Lacaze and Guy Desaulniers from Polytechnique Montreal.


    The article is accessible on .



    Employee scheduling is an important activity in the service industry as it has a significant impact on costs, sales, and profitability. While a large amount of mathematical models and methods have been established in the literature for finding optimized schedules, only few propose methods for practically relevant problem settings including uncertainty, which is an important aspect of employee scheduling in the service industry.

    This article contributes to narrowing this research gap by addressing a practice-inspired employee scheduling problem arising in retail stores. In particular, the scheduling problem under study includes short demand perturbations, potentially leading to an increase of the demand in some time intervals, and the possibility of assigning overtime work by extending shifts to cope with a lack of employees in real-time. The goal is to find an initial schedule minimizing the sum of demand fulfillment and employee preference-related costs, where each cost term is expressed as a convex function of an appropriate variable. The cost of a schedule is evaluated using a simulation-based approach reproducing the materialization of demand perturbations and shift extensions.

    To find reasonably good robust employee schedules within a relatively short computation time for practical-sized instances, we propose two integer programming models taking into account the demand uncertainty and shift extension possibilities in different ways. In the first model, a bonus term is assigned in the objective function for shifts that can cover some perturbation demand within their extension period, while in the second model, a potential demand is derived from the perturbations and its under-coverage is penalized. Extensive computational results on retail store instances reveal that the two proposed robust models improve the schedule quality significantly when compared with a basic non-robust model. This result further underpins the value of including uncertainty information and recourse actions in the employee scheduling activity.

  • Agneta Ramosaj joins our group!

    On October 1st 2018, Agneta Ramosaj joined our group as a PhD student. Welcome Agneta!

  • Esther Galby obtains Mobility Grant!

    The Leading House for the Latin American Region just awarded a Mobility Grant to Esther Galby! This will allow her to spend 2 months in Argentina in 2019 and work with specialists in graph theory over there. Congratulations Esther!


  • Paloma Thomé de Lima joins DS&OR for 4 months

    Paloma Thomé de Lima, PhD student at the Unviersity of Bergen (Norway), joins our group from September until December 2018. 

  • Reinhard Bürgy joins our group!

    Since July 1st, 2018, Reinhard Bürgy has joined our group as "Maître Assistant"! Welcome Reinhard!

  • Vera Fischer wins ASRO/SVOR award!

    Vera Fischer, who started her PhD in our group in March 2018, has won the 2018 ASRO/SVOR Master Thesis award for best master thesis in OR in Switzerland! The prize was handed out to her during the GA of the Swiss OR Society. Congratulations Vera!


  • We organised ECCO 2018!

    In JUne 2018, we organized the 31st edition of the European Chapter in Combinatorial Optimization conference. More information about this event can be found on the webpage of teh conference: ECCO 2018