Josef Ressel-Zentrum for Heuristic Optimization

Head Prof. (FH) Priv.-Doz. DI Dr. Michael Affenzeller
Researchers DI Andreas Beham
Stefan Forstenlechner BSc
Johannes Karder BSc
DI(FH) Monika Kofler
DI(FH) Michael Kommenda MSc
DI Dr. Gabriel Kronberger
DI (FH) Dr. Erik Pitzer
Prof. (FH) DI Dr. Stefan Wagner
Prof.(FH) DI Dr. Stephan Winkler
Duration 2008 - present
Research focus Software technology and application  
Research institutions University of Applied Sciences, Upper Austria, Hagenberg Campus
Research Center Hagenberg
Project description

Optimal decision making under time pressure and under consideration of a multitude of different factors is one of the main challenges in achieving and maintaining a successful business. Companies are continuously faced with often widely different optimization tasks that need to be addressed in a timely manner. Obtaining the competence to solve these problems effectively and quickly increases profitability and allows these businesses to strengthen their market position.

Especially production processes benefit from a continuous analysis and optimization in order to enhance product quality, customer satisfaction and adherence to schedules. The manufacturing sector is challenged to minimize bounded capital, throughput times, transportation times and the amount of defective goods. In these real and complex scenarios exact methods of mathematics and informatics are often unable to solve the problem in time.

One compromise thus is to use heuristic methods which trade the guarantee to find the best solution in exchange for a much lower computation cost. These heuristics, which are simpler algorithms, aim to find good solutions by estimation. Many heuristics have proven to be well suited to replace exact methods if the goal is to find not necessarily the best, but a good solution in just a short amount of time. With the increase of problem complexity however and because of an ever growing field of optimization problems the applicability is limited and the development of new heuristics for every new problem is a more and more complex tasks.

Metaheuristics have mitigated this problem by defining only the strategy with which to search for close to optimal solutions and reduce the optimization task to find only a small amount of problem dependent operations. Several of these metaheuristics are currently developed and applied in fields such as medicine, biology, chemistry, physics, economy and engineering with a lot of success.

The goal of HEUREKA! is to establish a compentence centre for heuristic optimization at the faculty of Information, Communication and Media Hagenberg at the Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences. The competence centre shall become a recognized business partner.