Jagtenberg, Caroline

Organizing an International Optimization Challenge

Caroline Jagtenberg1 and Joaquim Gromicho2

1. Department of Engineering Science, University of Auckland

2. ORTEC, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands

Optimization challenges are important because they stimulate research in new topics and provide the means to compare algorithms objectively. The organization of such a challenge involves many aspects, and the process is typically not visible to anyone outside the organizing committee. This article, however, describes an international optimization challenge - the third edition of the VeRoLog Solver Challenge - from the perspective of the organizers. The challenge was hosted by ORTEC, one of the world’s leaders in optimization software and analytics solutions. The problem central to the challenge was based on a rich Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) that occurs in practice at one of ORTEC’s customers. In total, 28 teams world wide participated in the challenge that ran for eight months. This article describes the background of the challenge and reflects on the organization. Hopefully, this will provide useful insights for anyone who considers hosting an optimization challenge in the future, as well as inspire researchers to participate in the next VeRoLog Solver Challenge.

YoungPrac This presentation is eligible for the ORSNZ Young Practitioners Prize.