Vendor Workshops

Take advantage of in-depth training in software solutions provided by leading analytics companies. There is no charge for these workshops if you register for the INFORMS Annual Meeting. All workshops take place on Saturday, October 5, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Sign up for any of these workshops when you register for the meeting. If you have already registered, call 800-446-3676 or 443-757-3500, ext. 591 to add workshops.


 9:00am - 11:30am  12:00pm - 2:30pm  3:00pm - 5:30pm

Maximal Software

McGraw Hill
Game-Based Learning

SAS Global
Academic Program


American Optimal

AnyLogic North America

Gurobi Optimization

JMP Software from SAS


Palisade Corp.


Frontline Systems

GAMS Development Corp




WORKSHOPS – 9:00am - 11:30pm

Maximal Software, Inc.

Deploying Optimization Models on Servers and Mobile Platforms Using MPL OptiMax
The IT industry is currently undergoing a major shift, away from traditional standalone applications, to new platforms such as servers, clouds, tablets, and mobile phones. In this workshop, we will demonstrate a new server-based version of the MPL OptiMax Component Library, which makes implementing real-world optimization applications a relatively quick and easy process. We will take you through all the steps of implementing optimization projects, including formulating the model, integrating it seamlessly with data in different formats, and then finally deploying the project on a server for servicing both web and mobile clients, using standard programming languages, such as CSharp, Visual Basic, C/C++, or Python.


McGraw-Hill Game-Based Learning

Incorporating Game Based Learning into Your Introductory Operations Management Course
Practice Operations puts players in the role of an operations decision maker for a clothing manufacturing company. Operations is the engine that drives a business. Play begins with an overview of the heart of that engine, managing the production process. Players review the contract specifications as well as the production process by walking through the production floor and shipping area. Players then analyze the receiving department functions of managing the supply chain and material inventories to ensure client needs can be met. In order to grow the business, players chose which new contracts to pursue and to optimize their receiving, production and shipping departments accordingly. This growing business then challenges players to manage both the human and facility resources in order to meet capacity challenges. Customer satisfaction is a key metric for success. And finally, the company puts players in complete control over all areas of operations at the New Branch, with the challenge to build the most profitable company possible.


SAS Global Academic Program

SAS Visual Analytics
F. Michael Speed, PhD, Analytical Consultant
SAS Visual Analytics is a web-based solution that leverages SAS in-memory analytics technologies to enable organizations to explore data of virtually any size. This workshop teaches the basics on how to explore data and build reports using SAS Visual Analytics. You will learn how to get started using SAS Visual Analytics to 1) interact with the environment via the SAS Visual Analytics hub; 2) explore data using the SAS Visual Analytics explorer; 3) create reports with the SAS Visual Analytics designer and 4) view reports using the SAS Visual Analytics viewer and SAS Mobile BI.


WORKSHOPS – 12:00pm - 2:30pm

AIMMS (Paragon Decision Technology)

AIMMS for Advanced Optimization
Peter Nieuwesteeg, Deanne Zhang
This AIMMS workshop will concentrate on how AIMMS can help you solve complicated optimization models using pre-built building blocks to meet customized requirements. We will demonstrate the AIMMS Benders Decomposition library for large MIP models, AIMMS’ multi-start library for NLP models, and AIMMS’ Outer Approximation algorithm for MINLP models. We will also show you how to use these “straight out of the box” tools and how to modify these libraries to meet the needs of your particular problem. These advanced algorithms in AIMMS will give you the power and flexibility to tackle the most complicated problems. More information is available at


American Optimal Decisions

Portfolio Safeguard
Portfolio Safeguard is an advanced nonlinear mixed-integer optimization package used in risk management, financial engineering, military, medical and other applications. Design and solve complex optimization problems with built-in functions (linear, quadratic, maximum, StDev, variance, probability, VaR, CVaR, cardinality, fixed-charge, etc.). See real-life case studies in Windows and MATLAB at, including

  • Portfolio hHedging
  • Calibrating Probabilistic Distributions (Copulas) with Relative Entropy
  • Portfolio Optimization with CVaR, VaR, Drawdown Constraints
  • Structuring Collateralized Obligations with Probability (Rating) Constraints
  • Quantile Regression
  • Logistics with Uncertain Environment (e.g., Optimal Crop Production)
  • Bond Portfolio Cash Matching
  • Optimizing Radiation Therapy

AnyLogic North America

Multi-Method Modeling in AnyLogic
Scott Hebert, Consulting Engineer
AnyLogic is the only simulation platform that lets you combine agent-based, system dynamics and discrete-event models integrated with each other within one tool. Don't miss your chance to learn more and see how AnyLogic can help your business and join us for the AnyLogic workshop where we will focus on the most common simulation methodologies in place today. You see how multi-method models are built and will have the option of building one yourself. Please install AnyLogic evaluation version if you plan to do so. A Q&A session will conclude the seminar. This workshop is open to anyone and there are no special requirements.


Gurobi Optimization

Recent Improvements in Gurobi Solvers
Gurobi solvers deliver the high performance necessary for solving large scale optimization problems. This workshop will give an overview of recent improvements in the Gurobi solvers. We will discuss the compute server and parameter tuning features of our 5.5 release, and also include a discussion of tuning beyond the use of the tuning tool. In addition, the performance improvements of our MIP and barrier solvers in the anticipated, new 5.6 release will be discussed.


JMP Software from SAS

JMP® Workshop: Interactive and Visual Data Analysis with JMP 11
Jian Cao
JMP®, developed by SAS Institute, is dynamic and interactive desktop software for data analysis, visualization and modeling. JMP is also an analytic hub, integrating with SAS, R, Excel and MATLAB, to provide a point and click user interface. In this workshop we’ll demonstrate JMP tools for interactive exploratory data analysis and statistical modeling. We’ll also review the new features in JMP 11 such as generalized models, repeated measures/mixed models, response screening, uplift, categorical data  as well as integration with MATLAB.



MOSEK: A Software Package for Large-Scale Linear and Conic Optimization
This workshop contains three parts. Part 1 provides a general overview of the capabilities in MOSEK, which is a software package for solving large-scale linear and conic optimization problems. Part 2 discusses semi-definite optimization modeling with MOSEK. Finally, Part 3 gives an extensive presentation of Fusion - a unique tool for building conic optimization models rapidly.


Palisade Corporation

  • Risk & Decision Assessment Using @RISK
    The course starts with a brief review of some core principles, best practices and tools involved in the building of good Excel models (such as those relating to model design, structure and format, sensitivity analysis, etc.), before highlighting some of the limitations of such methods, and discussing how Palisade’s tools add value.
    • Have some knowledge of key principles and best practices in general Excel modeling, including the ability to recognize where pure Excel-based approaches are insufficient;
    • Recognize situations where @RISK could be of use;
    • Have sufficient knowledge of @RISK to build simple yet powerful models for realistic applications in risk modeling, decision analysis, and optimization.


WORKSHOPS – 3:00pm - 5:30pm


Introducing Xpress-NonLinear and Optimization on the FICO® Analytic Cloud
Oliver Bastert, Dawn Mazzanti, Rick Marshall, Jim Williams
We will introduce optimization on the FICO Analytic Cloud, including the latest release of the FICO® Xpress Optimization Suite version 7.5. You will learn a new way of deploying optimization models instantly so you can quickly begin generating revenue with your valuable IP. We demonstrate how to turn an optimization model into a full application in minutes using Xpress-Insight and deploy it as a web application on the FICO Analytic Cloud. Once your optimization model or application is hosted on FICO Analytic Cloud others can subscribe to them immediately. They can use them as is, or build more complex applications by adding business rules or predictive analytics with the FICO® Decision Management Platform. The new component, Xpress-NonLinear, integrates different non-linear technologies into one solver and makes them accessible through a new modeling experience. Learn how Xpress-NonLinear delivers unmatched accuracy and performance. This and our new non-linear modeling experience make non-linear optimization easily accessible to a broad audience.

Frontline Systems, Inc.

Data Mining, Simulation and Optimization in Microsoft Excel and Office 365
Prepare to be surprised by the ease and power of predictive and prescriptive analytics we’ll show in this workshop, by Excel Solver developer Frontline Systems. See how one integrated toolset can meet your needs for forecasting and data mining, Monte Carlo simulation and risk analysis, and conventional and stochastic optimization–without the complexity and high cost of “enterprise” solutions. Easily build models in Microsoft Excel or your favorite programming language, without getting “locked in” to custom languages. You’ll see the latest state-of-the-art tools, from new multi-dimensional models using Excel PivotTables to cloud-based Solvers working with Office 365 and SharePoint 2013.

GAMS Development Corp.

An Introduction to Model Development with GAMS
In this workshop we start with the basics of using GAMS to develop algebraic models and solve them using state-of-the art solvers. We'll introduce the fundamentals (e.g. sets, data, variables, equations) using simple LP models, and show how GAMS supports an easy growth path to larger and more sophisticated models (e.g. NLP, MIP). Along the way we'll look at some of the data management tools included in the GAMS system and give an overview of the many useful capabilities found in the GAMS IDE. We'll conclude with an example application showing how all of these things can be integrated and deployed as part of a larger application.



Building a Smarter Planet with Decision Optimization
Learn about the latest innovations in CPLEX Optimization Studio including optimizer performance and options for distributed computing. Learn how to make best use of this technology with expert tips and tricks provided by the CPLEX Optimization Studio team. See examples of building a decision optimization application for business users starting with their data and adding the optimization, visualization, collaboration and what-if features available in ODM Enterprise as well as get some ideas on how to address the concerns of different stakeholders. Also included will be a presentation on the IBM Academic Initiative, which provides software and curriculum at no cost to qualified academic institutions.



Solving Business Problems with SAS Analytics and OPTMODEL
SAS provides diverse analytic capabilities, including data integration, statistical analysis, data/text mining, and forecasting, all integrated with OPTMODEL’s optimization modeling and solution capabilities. OPTMODEL provides unified support for LP, MILP, QP, and NLP models, with an expanding suite of standard solvers and support for customized algorithms. We’ll demonstrate OPTMODEL’s power and versatility in building and solving optimization models, especially noting the significant improvements resulting from recently added and upcoming features. We’ll also emphasize its integration with SAS data, analytic, and reporting capabilities, focusing primarily on case studies drawn from our successful work with customers across a broad range of industries.