Melbourne Chapter

If you are not a member (shame on you!), become one. Application forms are available.

2000 Program

Date Day Time Where Event Speaker Title
Feb 9 Wed 5:30-7:00PM Room 8:9:66, RMIT Seminar Gerhard Waescher Item-Location in an Order-Picking Warehouse - A Case Study
Feb 29 Tue 5:30PM Room 8:9:66, RMIT Seminar Bob Chapman Cancelled
March 15 Wed 5:30-7:00PM Room 8:9:66, RMIT AGM + seminar Greg O'Brien From Certainty to Chaos - a Personal Perspective on 35 years of OR in Australia
August 30 Wed 6:00-7:30PM Room 8:9:66, RMIT Seminar Dudley Foster OR AS THE ULTIMATE ENABLER FOR BPR
September 20 Wed 5:30-7:30PM Room 8:9:66, RMIT Seminar Flitman and Churilov SAP and OR
October 11 Wed 12-5PM Room 8:9:66, RMIT Conference You !?!?!?! Student Conference 2000
November 14 Tue 9:00AM-5PM Room 8:9:66, RMIT Conference You!!!!????? Recent Advances 2000

TITLE Item-Location in an Order-Picking Warehouse - A Case Study
SPEAKERGerhard Waescher, Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg,Germany
WHEN5:30-7:00PM, Wednesday, February 9, 2000
WHERERoom 8:9:66, RMIT

Order-picking is often looked upon as the most costly activity in a distribution warehouse. This is particularly true for manual picker-to-product systems, of which type is the system considered in this talk. Here, the order picker starts from a depot, and travels through the warehouse picking one by one the items demanded by an order from the various locations in the warehouse, and finally returns to the depot. The length of the picker¼s tour and, likewise, the time he spends in the warehouse is strongly dependent on the location of the various items he has to pick.

In the warehouse which is considered in this talk the location of the items was found to be rather unsatisfactory and it was decided to rearrange them. An analysis revealed that finding improved locations for the items involves solving a combined assignment and routing problem. As the size of the problem prohibited the application of exact methods, the search for an appropriate solution methods was restricted to heuristics. In particular, a local search method has been developed which can be used to generate near optimal distributions of items across the warehouse. Application of this method to order-book data provided by the distribution company generated solutions by which the total length of the travel paths of all order pickers can be reduced significantly.

Profile of Gerhard Waescher

Dr. Gerhard Waescher is Professor of Production and Logistics at Martin-Luther-Universitaet in Halle/Saale, Germany. He studied Business Administration with a specialisation in Production Management and Operations Research at Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum, where from he also received his Ph.D. After some time in industry with a german food manufacturer he returned to academia and finished his habilitation at the University of Stuttgart. He held positions as a professor of Business Administration at the University of Heidelberg, and as a professor of Operations Research at the Technical University Braunschweig before he moved to his present position in Halle in 1995. His research interest include the development and the application of quantitative methods for planning problems in production and logistics.


TITLE MONITORING WORKPLACE SAFETY: Optimization in a Statistical Model
SPEAKERBob Chapman, Mathematics and Statistics Department at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada)
WHEN5:30PM, Tuesday, February 19, 2000
WHERERoom 8:9:66, RMIT

Given a cluster of enclosed work areas, the problem is to maintain frequent monitoring of the atmosphere in each area, to estimate the concentrations of hazardous contaminants. A central mass spectrometer, which can be viewed as a linear statistical model, monitors each location in turn. The need for frequent monitoring imposes a constraint on the time spent at each location, and thus on the precision of the responses in the linear model. An algorithm is presented that maximizes precision in estimation of the concentration of the contaminants, subject to the time constraint.

A secondary problem is to detect the presence of unanticipated compounds, or strangers. A test of hypothesis is developed, and a method for enhancing the power of the test is discussed.

This work is the outcome of a Mathematics Clinic project, in which senior undergraduate students work on industrial problems. Consequently, the mathematics is relatively elementary, with an emphasis on the industrial application.

Personal Notes:

G.R.(Bob) Chapman obtained a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of Liverpool, in 1969. Since then he has held a position in the Mathematics and Statistics Department at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada), with a cross appointment in the Department of Computing and Information Science (1990-). From 1985 to 1995, he coordinated the Mathematics and Statistics Clinic, a vehicle for involving senior undergraduate students in the solution of industrial problems.


AGM and Lecture
TITLE From Certainty to Chaos - a Personal Perspective on 35 years of OR in Australia
SPEAKERProf. Greg O'Brien, La Trobe University
WHEN5:30-7:00PM, Wednesday, March 1,5 2000
WHERERoom 8:9:66, RMIT

AGM: 5:30-6:00PM

Greg O'Brien is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Law and Management at La Trobe University and holds the Chair in Econometrics and Economic Systems in that Faculty. He is the trustee of CEDA and has held a number of directorships.

Professor O'Brien took honours in pure and applied mathematics at the University of Queensland in 1961 and then a PhD at ANU, and for the last forty years has taught and researched in the broad area of decision sciences. He has held visiting Professorships in America, the UK and Europe. He has written more than 70 papers and three books and supervised more than 65 PhD theses and a large number of masters and honours theses.while pursuing his academic career.

Over the last forty years, he has observed the growing importance of operations research in undergraduate and postgraduate programs. He will discuss this in the context of the evolution of the disc ipline and of theoretical advances and the growth of computing. He will examine the changing views of OR in the public and private sector and report from his perspective on the growth and disintegra tion of the discipline and its prospects in the twenty-first century.

SPEAKERDudley Foster, DNF Decision Sciences
WHEN6:00-7:30PM, Wednesday, August 30, 2000
WHERERoom 8:9:66, RMIT

This talk will be a revised and updated version of presentation first given at the APORS Conference in 1997. The abstract for that talk read as follows:-

Within the BPR literature the point has often been made that installing or developing new IT systems is not of itself doing BPR. Rather, IT is an enabler of BPR - something which makes it possible to radically redesign Business Processes. The question then arises, what about OR: is it just about optimising the existing system or is OR also a potential enabler of radical change? A review of papers which have won the Edelman Prize over the years indicates that the best OR (more specifically, projects judged by the leaders of the OR community to be the best projects) very often does involve radical change in business processes. Reflection on the achievements of the author¼s own career confirms that this is also true within his own experience - although on a much more modest scale. Further reflection suggests that where OR projects are less successful than they might have been, this is often because of a failure to adequately consider the need for related change in business processes. To an extent, this is just restating an old message, but it is a message which needs to be restated.
The revisions and updates discuss the implications of developments in ERP systems (SAP and all that), supply chain optimisation software (GAINS, i2 and the like) and developments in e-commerce (web enabled re-engineering). The opportunity will also be taken to explore the following issues:
  • The distinction between Administrative systems and Performance systems: this is Ford terminology (and, in this context the word "system" means "process"). With respect to this distinction, Ford provides some particularly pertinent examples.
    • An Administrative system re-engineered by Ford and sometimes cited by BPR practitioners is their Accounts Receivable System: physical receivers (i.e. storemen) were made responsible for both checking the goods and authorising payment.
    • A Performance system re-engineered by Ford is the new product design process which was both speeded up and changed in a way which facilitates collaboration between design teams in different continents.
  • Recent discussions of productivity improvements in the Australian economy: there were two major articles in the Age on Saturday, 5th August, one quoting research by Goldman Sachs and the other Peter Forsyth of Monash University.
    • The Goldman Sachs paper deals with the issue of segregating productivity improvements into those flowing from åmicro economic reform¼ and those flowing from åthe new economy¼ (e-commerce, especially B2B e-commerce).
    • Peter Forsyth (who spoke at a Reserve Bank Conference) focuses more on the costs of change, especially those costs which economist tend not to measure.
SPEAKERProf. A. Flitmant and Dr Leonid Churilov, Monash University
WHEN5:30-7:00PM, Wednesday, September 20 2000
WHERERoom 8:9:66, RMIT

In the first part of this presentation we provide a brief overview of SAP R/3 business enterprise software, its main concepts, and methodology. Special attention is paid to SAP's business process design tools, including business reference model. New initiatives of SAP, such as are also discussed.

The second part of the presentation is dedicated to the discussion of possible interfaces between SAP's ERP methodology and OR. In particular, we concentrate on methodological (OR as a methodology to convert IMS into DSS), operational (Advanced Planner and Optimizer module), and implementational (Architecture of Integrated Information Systems toolkit) issues. The objective of this presentation is to define a wide scope for cross-fertilization between OR and industry business solutions, such as SAP.

TITLE ASOR (Melbourne Chapter) Student Conference 2000
WHENWednesday, October 11, 2000
WHERERoom 8:9:66, RMIT
Call for participation

Students enrolled in operations research subjects and programmes are encouraged to participate in this event.

PROGRAM (October 2, 2000):

  • 2:15pm: Lunch
    2000 ASOR Melbourne Chapter Honours Scholarship Award Procedure

  • 1:00pm: Yeh, Annie
    "Network Design for Multi-Hour Traffic Profile"
  • 1:30pm: Jeremiejczyk, Brian and Glasson, Sam
    "Simulation of beach volleyball tournaments"
  • 2:00pm: Siew, Eu-Gene
    "Bed Management Techniques: an OR perspective"
  • 2:30pm: Youngman, Jim
    "The Optimisation of Field Service Territories"
  • 3:00 Afternoon Tea
  • 3:30pm: Yeo, Ai Cheo
    "Effect of Premium Changes on Retention Rates"
  • 4:00pm: Glick, Jeremy
    "Computing the Worst Conditional Expectation"
  • 4:30pm: Boonyanunta, Natthaphan
CONTACTLeonid Churilov, Tel: 9905 5802, E-mail:
TITLE Recent Advances 2000
WHEN9AM-5PM, Tue, Nov 14, 2000
WHERERoom 8:9:66, RMIT

Registration Fee:

ASOR members $50
student members $20
non-members $70

The registration fee is to cover the cost of lunch, morning and afternoon tea plus the printing of abstracts and other administrative costs.

Registration on the day is accepted - DO NOT miss this opportunity to find out some of the current activy in Melbourne.

We have a full, interesting and diverse programme as follows.


9:00 Registration

9:15 Alan Brown and Patrick Tobin
Regression Models for Electricity Spot Market Forecasts

Lauren J. Zhang
Stochastic Decomposition Methods

Vicky Mak and Natashia Boland
Polyhedral Study of the Asymmetric Travelling Salesman Problem with Replenishment Arcs (RATSP)

10:45 - 11:00 Morning Tea

11:00 William Haebich
Sometimes Formal Methods for Specification do Work

B D Craven,
Multiobjective optimization - simple criteria

Angie Byrne and Moshe Sniedovich
Recent Advances in tutOR

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch

1:30 Prof. Yukihiro Maruyama
Multiobjective routing problems with associative path costs

Dino Appla, Simon Goss, Clint Heinze, Michael Papasimeon
Miltary OR as a Driver for Modelling and Simulation Development

Lauren J. Zhang
The Recent Advances in The Optimal Value Function Theory and its Applications

3:00 - 3:15 Afternoon Tea

3:15 Leonid Churilov
"Who tops medals table at Sydney 2000 Olympics: A DEA Perspective"

Dudley Foster
Why do reporters not do their homework!

Harry Gielewski
4:45 CLOSE

CONTACTPaul Lochert, Tel: 9903 2647, E-mail:

We regret that we cannot offer free parking to participants.


Chairperson: Harry Gielewski (Mr)
28 Kennedy Street
Phone: (w) +613 9350 4726
Mobile Phone: 0414 650 110
Vice Chairperson: Moshe Sniedovich (Dr)
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Melbourne
Parkville 3052
Phone: (w) +613 9344 5559
Fax: +613 9344 4599
Secretary: Patrick Tobin (Mr)
School of Mathematical Sciences
Swinburne University of Technology
P O Box 218
Phone: (w) +613 9214 8013
Fax: +613 9819 0821
Treasurer: Paul Lochert (Assoc Prof)
Department of Mathematics
Monash University
P.O. Box 197
Phone: (w) +613 9903 2647
Fax: +613 9903 2227
Committee: Lutfar Khan (Dr)
Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences
Victoria University of Technology
P O Box 14428, MCMC
Phone: (w) +613 9688 4687
Fax: +613 9688 4050
Angie Byrne (Dr)
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
The Uniuversity of Melbourne
Parkville VIC 3052
Phone: (w) +613 8b344 5558
Fax: +613 8344 4599
Dudley Foster (Mr)
23 Wolseley Crescent
Phone: (w) +613 9894 0355
Fax: +613 9894 0244
Mobile: 0417 342 272
Kaye E. Marion (Ms)
Department of Statistics & OR
360 Swanston Street
Phone: (w) +613 9925 3162
Fax: +613 9925 2454
Leonid Churilov (Dr)
School of Business Systems
Monash University
Phone: (w) +613 9905 5802
Fax: +613 9905 5159
Editor: Harry Gielewski
David Sier
Division of Mathematics & Statistics
Private Bag 10, Rosebank MDC
Phone: +613 542 2646
Fax: +613 9542 2474
Office Manager: Kaye E. Marion (Ms)
Department of Statistics & OR
360 Swanston Street
Phone: (w) +613 9925 3162
Fax: +613 9925 2454
Ex-Officio: David Noble (Mr)
School of Computing
Staffordshire University
Leek Road
Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2AZ
Phone: 1782 294158
Fax: 1782 294026


Top of page