Xavier Nodet attended the 2016 INFORMS Annual Meeting. In this interview, Xavier shares his impressions of the conference.
Q: Can you briefly present INFORMS to us?
XN: INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences) is an international society that gathers professionals from the fields of operations research and analytics. It is composed of several local societies.
INFORMS organizes several conferences through the year. Their most important conference is the INFORMS Annual Meeting which is held every year in the United States.
The 2016 INFORMS Annual Meeting took place in Nashville, TN. It gathered more than 6,000 people: users, software manufacturers, and academics who were there to present their research findings.
Q: Why is it important for IBM to participate in the INFORMS Annual Meeting?
XN: There are two main reasons why it is important for us to attend the INFORMS Annual Meeting every year.
Marketing-wise, INFORMS is a very good way for us to meet customers, users, but also our business partners. It also allows us to remind people that IBM keeps investing in innovation in the Decision Optimization field.
Specifically, this year’s conference was an opportunity for us to present the latest version of CPLEX Optimization Studio (12.7) that had just been released.
Q: What were the highlights among the IBM papers?
XN: The talks that were given by IBMers at the conference allowed us to present several new features available in CPLEX Optimization Studio 12.7, including:
- Benders’ decomposition algorithm
The main innovation is the implementation of Benders’ decomposition algorithm. Benders’ decomposition is a very sophisticated technique for solving certain problems, particularly when optimizing across multiple scenarios. On such problems, it may be much faster than the default solving engine.
The fact that the Benders’ decomposition algorithm is now included in CPLEX Optimization Studio means that users will not have to implement their own decomposition technique.
- Modeling assistance
This feature helps users develop their models. CPLEX and CP Optimizer issue warning messages when they detect modeling constructs that may lead to poorer performance or numerical instability.
- Testing variability
A new tool is available to test the variability and performance of the problem solver. This enables users to evaluate model variability and understand how much variability impacts solving performance.
- CP Optimizer interactive interface
An interactive interface similar to CPLEX Interactive Optimizer is now available to CP Optimizer users. This interface is used for debugging constraint programming models.
To download the papers presenting the above features, click the following links:
- 2016-11-12 – INFORMS IBM Workshop.pdf
- 2016-11-14 – COS 12.7.pdf
- 2016-11-16 – What’s new in CPLEX 12.7.pdf
For more information on the new features available in CPLEX, check Paul Shaw’s blog: What’s in CPLEX Optimization Studio 12.7?