INFORMS Annual Conference  

INFORMS Annual Meeting 2012, Phoenix, AZ, October 14-17

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COIN-OR Cup Winner Announced

by Michael Trick on October 15th, 2012

Open source optimization has been a big trend in operations research.  COIN-OR provides coordination for a number of operations research projects.  This evening, they announced the winner of the COIN-OR Cup.  The judges have given the award to a group of projects that don’t do optimization directly, but provide software for a necessary service:  interfacing!

After careful consideration of many excellent submissions, and much difficult deliberation, the COIN-OR Cup Judges have agreed on a 2012 COIN-OR Cup winner. The 2012 INFORMS COIN-OR Cup is awarded to a joint nomination of the managers and friends of three COIN-OR interfacing projects:

Bjarni Kristjansson for CoinMP,
Marcel Hunting and Marcel Roelofs for AIMMSlinks, and
Michael Bussieck, Steven Dirkse, and Stefan Vigerske for GAMSlinks.

In their deliberations, the committee members praised this team for the combined contributions they have made over many years to facilitate increased access to the COIN-OR solvers.

Bjarni Kristjansson has been developing and supporting CoinMP for 7 years now. COIN-MP provides easy access to COIN-OR solvers, such as CLP and CBC, from a variety of programming languages, including Bjarni’s own MPL Modeling System. A significant milestone for COIN-OR and CoinMP was the recent adoption of CoinMP for use in OpenOffice.

The COIN-OR AIMMSlink project was created in 2009 to build on and improve earlier work to integrate COIN-OR solvers with the AIMMS modelling system. Marcel Hunting and Marcel Roelofs both contributed to interfacing IPOPT and CBC with AIMMS. From 2010, these solvers have been distributed with the AIMMS software, making them available to all AIMMS users.

GAMS support for COIN-OR software dates back to Michael Bussieck’s work in 2004 with CBC. This work has continued and been extended so that GAMMS now also supports OSI, Ipopt, Bonmin, Couenne, SCIP, the Branch-Cut-Heuristic, and the Optimization Services project running on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS, and Windows. Members of the judging committee who have personally used GAMSlinks and found it very useful.

GAMS, AIMMS and the MPL Modeling System are significant players in the modeling arena and having interfaces to the COIN-OR solvers gives the COIN-OR solvers tremendous exposure.

During their development work, this team has also contributed to COIN-OR with solver improvements, bug reports and bug fixes. The judges were very pleased to learn that COIN-OR solvers are tested daily during GAMS and AIMMS regression runs on multiple platforms. It is thanks to the many years of high quality contributions from teams such as this that COIN-OR is so successful today.

The judges also wish to acknowledge the nomination by Andrea Lodi of Dr. Pierre Bonami as the main player in the development and contribution of Bonmin. It didn’t take much googling to see that Bonmin is making a huge impact in the optimisation community. Pierre’s most recent contribution is a nice piece of code that improves the performance of the Outer Approximation algorithm within Bonmin in the special case of Separable (Convex) MINLPs. The judges wish to formally recognise Pierre’s work by recording his contributions as being Highly Commended.

Coin-OR Cup Judges
Andrew Mason (OpenSolver)
Iain Dunning (OpenSolver)
Stu Mitchell (PuLP)
Kipp Martin (Optimization Services and COIN-OR Foundation member)

Congrats to the winners, and to the judges for recognizing this often unsung area!

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