with Tags:
optimization
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## Top Posts For 2015
I wish all my readers, their families, and their friends, all the best for 2016. May your dreams come true. I also want to warmly thank you, my readers, for your continued interest. This led me write more entries than ever, with 54 entries in 2015. I still blogged on optimization and how it fits within the analytics and data science landscape, but I added two more streams in 2015: Emerging technologies for cloud computing, like Docker. Python as a language of choice for data science and technical computing. These streams... [More]
Tags: docker anaytics data_science optimization python cloud big_data machine_learning |

## Perception Matters
I lenjoyed reading the following from Dear Mona, Which Is The Fastest Check-Out Lane At The Grocery Store? (You should read it all, as it provides an interesting crash course on queuing theory in practice): After airline passengers wouldn’t stop complaining about the time they spent at baggage claim (even when more staff were added and wait times fell) a Houston airport simply moved the arrival gates so that passengers spent more of their “wait” time walking to... [More]
Tags: analytics optimization psychology |

## Analysts Views On Optimization
According to leading analyst firms, the corporate world should invest more in advanced analytics in general, and optimization in particular. Here are few examples. Last week at IBM Insight conference, Forrester's Mike Gualtieri presented with my colleague Eric Mazeran an interesting view on prescriptive analytics. Here is one of their slides. I like it because it propose a comprehensive view of where optimization lies within an end to end flow from data to actions. For those who never read my blog before, mathematical... [More]
Tags: prescriptive analytics optimization |

## Solving Sudoku In Python With DOcplex On DOcloud
Sudoku is a great example to introduce prescriptive analytics: it is well known, and it is not trivial to solve manually. I will use docplex Python api to implement a web application that solves Sudoku problems. The code is available in a notebook on github and nbviewer . More information on docplex can be found here . DOcplex can be installed via pip as any other Python package: !pip install docplex Once installed, we can use it to create arbitrary math programming models. These models can either be solved using our... [More]
Tags: cloud optimization docplex docloud python sudoku analytics |

## Optimizing Car (And Cyclist) Speed
What is the optimal way to adjust one's car speed in order to minimize fuel consumption (or CO2 emission) while meeting desired travel time? The answer to that question came to me after I wrote my last blog entry on Predicting Cyclist Speed . In that post I explained how an endurance cyclist, Dave Haase , was using his power. He wasn't using constant power as most cyclists do. This made me think about what would be the best strategy. Use constant power, or use something closer to what Dave was doing? After... [More]
Tags: green math sustainable optimization analytics |

## Predicting Cyclist Speed
I have been the 'data scientist' on the IBM team that helped Dave Haase run the Race Across America (RAAM) this year. This project exemplified quite a few of the classical tips of data science documents in The Inconvenient Truth About Data Science : Data is never clean. You will spend most of your time cleaning and preparing data. 95% of tasks do not require deep learning. In 90% of cases generalized linear regression will do the trick. Big Data is just a tool. You should embrace the Bayesian... [More]
Tags: data_science optimization python analytics |

## Prescriptive Analytics Is Easier And More Profitable Than Predictive Analytics
When you hear about algorithms these days, chances are that you hear about machine learning or predictive analytics. (Some make a distinction between machine learning and predictive analytics, but the distinction is not material for this post. I'll use both interchangeably here). A quick search returns recent discussion in the news of machine learning algorithms: Using Algorithms to Determine Character , When Algorithms Discriminate ,... [More]
Tags: optimization predictive prescriptive analytics |

## Where Is Operations Research In Social Media?
Michael Trick's State of Operations Research Blogging discusses the fact that OR blogging is vanishing while twitter activity around OR is increasing. As an example of the latter, look for #ismp2015 on twitter and you'll get the most detailed ever journal of an OR conference I have seen. Mike further links blogging decline to the disappearance of Google Reader. I do think that there is another reason to the decrease in OR blogging. There is definitely a trend where OR is being... [More]
Tags: optimization analytics data_science |

## CPLEX Optimization Studio 12.6.2
We are proud to announce the latest CPLEX release. It will ship in electronic form on June 12 for commercial users. Academic users can get it from the Academic Initiative site . Improvements include: The ability to solve larger problems faster as a result of improvements to the optimizers. In some cases the difference is really impressive. The ability to submit Optimization Programming Language (OPL) models to the DOcloud service from its desktop Integrated Development environment (IDE). Better support of... [More]
Tags: analytics optimization |

## Analytics For The Perfect Race
Big data analytics proponents keep saying that is can now be used to make better decisions in a whole set of new domains. Here is a great example we have been working on for the past few months. This example also touches topics like Internet Of Things, Mobile, and Cloud. It all started with a call from Doug Barton, an IBM colleague of mine who is also a triathlete. Doug asked me if optimization technology could help an ultra cyclist named Dave Haase . Dave is set to race the most demanding cycling race... [More]
Tags: mobile cloud iot analytics optimization |

## A Sudoku Web App Based On DOcloud And Python
In our previous posts ( here and here ) we have shown how to use Python and the DOcloud service for solving any Sudoku puzzle. This was nice but we had to manually modify our Python code each to time we wanted to solve a new grid. We present today a simple web app that lets user input hints on a grid and have it solved. It looks like this. We will start from our previous code . It used as input: A connection to DOcloud An OPL model for solving Sudoku An input string containing the hints of the grid we want to solve... [More]
Tags: optimization cloud analytics docloud python cplex opl |

## Solving Optimization Problems On The Cloud With Python
The availability of an api for solving optimization problems via DOcloud is opening new ways to develop an application: you can use the implementation language of your choice. Granted, at the time of writing, we only provide a client api for Java. But we also provide a REST api , which is what matters here. As an example, we present a very simple client api for Python that wraps the REST api. All you need to do is to provide as input a list of files that define the problem to be solved. These files can be created as... [More]
Tags: cplex optimization analytics cloud |

## Solving The Hardest Sudoku In Python With DOcloud
The more I use Python, the more I like it. Here is yet another example of why. I looked for Sudoku solvers written in Python and found quite a few. I particularly like the one Peter Norvig describes in Solving Every Sudoku Puzzle . As a matter of fact Peter wrote a constraint programming solver tailored to Sudoku. I recommend reading his blog entry if you want to learn Python. I also recommend it if you want to understand the basics of a constraint programming (CP) solver. Indeed, his CP... [More]
Tags: analytics optimization python cloud saas |

## Computing The Longest Tour Across The USA
My previous post Computing The Really Optimal Tour Across The USA On The Cloud With Python generated some interest (like all answer's to Randy Olson's original article ). One reader asked a seemingly simple question that got my interest: My first reaction was to ask what was the definition of a maximal tour? Indeed, without further information, we can get tour of arbitrary length by circling. For instance, let us consider two point only. What would be the longest route between those two points? Well,... [More]
Tags: python optimization analytics |

## Computing The Really Optimal Tour Across The USA On The Cloud With Python
When Randy Olson's Computing the optimal road trip across the U.S. resulted in articles in the Washington Post , NY Daily News , Daily Mail , People Magazine , NY Times , NPR , and many other outlets, the mathematical optimization community got surprised, and almost shocked. It got surprised for a couple of reasons. First reason to be surprised, the road trip computed by Randy Olson was not optimal, i.e. there is a shorter tour. The first to publish the shorter tour was Bill Cook in... [More]
Tags: cloud analytics optimization python |