Section: Application Domains
Big optimization for complex scheduling
Three application domains are targeted: energy, health and transport and logistics. In the energy field, with the smart grid revolution (multi-)house energy management is gaining a growing interest. The key challenge is to make elastic with respect to the energy market the (multi-)house energy consumption and management. This kind of demand-side management will be of strategic importance for energy companies in the near future. In collaboration with the EDF energy company we are working on the formulation and solving of optimization problems on demand-side management in smart micro-grids for single- and multi-user frameworks. These complex problems require taking into account multiple conflicting objectives and constraints and many (deterministic/uncertain, discrete/continuous) parameters. A representative example of such BOPs that we are addressing is the scheduling of the activation of a large number of electrical and thermal appliances for a set of homes optimizing at least three criteria: maximizing the user's confort, minimizing its energy bill and minimzing peak consumption situations. In the health care domain, we are collaborating with the Beckman & Coulter company on the design and planning of large medical laboratories. This is a hot topic resulting from the mutualisation phenomenon which makes bigger these laboratories. As a consequence, being responsible for analyzing medical tests ordered by physicians on patient’s samples, these laboratories receive large amounts of prescriptions and tubes making their associated workflow more complex. Our aim is therefore to design and plan any medical laboratory to minimize the costs and time required to perform the tests. More exactly, the focus is put on the multi-objective modeling and solving of large (e.g. dozens of thousands of medical test tubes to be analyzed) strategic, tactical and operational problems such as the layout design, machine selection and confguration, assignment and scheduling. Finally, in transport and logistics, within the context of our potential collaboration (being set up) with the EXOTEC company we target the optimization of the robotic logistics of 3D warehouses. More exactly, the problem consists in efficient complex scheduling without collision of thousands of missions realized by a fleet of dozens of robots and several operators in a 3D logistics warehouse. The problem is identified in the literature as the parts-to-picker based order processing in a rack-moving mobile robots environment.