Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Railways improved by mobilizing Operations Research
A great article by PhysOrg.com on the values of Operations Research implemented in the Dutch railways. Improvements were able to be realized in train arrivals, passenger utilization in the cars, and operating profit. Many countries were impacted by the improved railway service all across Europe including Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland among others.
The team that implemented the Operations Research strategies for the railway improvement project is lead by Christos Zaroliagis, a professor of Computer Science and Informatics at University of Patras. Christos was part of the team that earned the 2008 Edelman Prize from INFORMS for "The New Dutch Timetable: The O.R. Revolution." The team of the ARRIVAL project is a consortium of several researchers from many European countries.
This is a great example of Operations Research in practice and how OR continues to improve the operations and lives of organizations. I really like sharing stories like this because I don't feel they often get their due respect. There is a lot of research and planning in the background of a good research project, let alone Operations Research, that does not get noticed.