Universiteit Leiden

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This Week’s Discoveries | 1 March 2016

1 March 2016
This Week's Discoveries
Gorlaeus Laboratories
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden
De Sitterzaal

First Lecture

Title “High biogenic carbon footprints of wood products require a careful management of wood resources: a case study for Switzerland”

Speaker Bernhard Steubing (CML)
Bernhard is an assistant professor at the Industrial Ecology group at the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) of Leiden University. His research focus is the analysis of the environmental impacts related to products and services as well as the improvement of associated methodologies such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

Wood products, which have conventionally been regarded as climate neutral, have recently been shown to be associated with biogenic carbon footprints due to the time lag between carbon emissions and sequestration. The new accounting rules have been applied in a case study of the consumption of wood products in Switzerland. The difference in the evaluation with and without the climate neutrality assumption is striking. The climate performance of wood products is substantially lower when the climate neutrality assumption is dropped and other management strategies will be necessary to generate climate benefits from using wood products.

Second Lecture

Lorentz Center highlight
Title “Breaking the Billion Variable Barrier in Real-World Optimization”

Speaker Kalyanmoy Deb (Michigan State University)
Kalyanmoy Deb is Koenig Endowed Chair Professor at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Michigan State University, USA. Prof. Deb's research interests are in evolutionary optimization and their application in optimization, modeling, and machine learning. He was awarded Infosys Prize, TWAS Prize in Engineering Sciences, CajAstur Mamdani Prize, Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT Kharagpur, Edgeworth-Pareto award, Bhatnagar Prize in Engineering Sciences, and Bessel Research award and Humboldt Fellowship from Germany. He is fellow of IEEE, ASME, and three Indian science and engineering academies. He has published over 410 research papers with Google Scholar citation of 76,000 with h-index 91. He is in the editorial board on 20 major international journals. More information about his research contribution can be found from http://www.egr.msu.edu/~kdeb. He is one of the participants of the “SAMCO: Surrogate-Assisted Multi-Criteria Optimization” workshop that is being held in the Lorentz center from 29 Feb 2016 through 4 Mar 2016

Scalability of optimization algorithms is a longstanding issue that every researcher and applicationist is worried about. An algorithm working extremely well in low-dimensional problems may not work at all for large-sized problems. In this talk, we present a population-based optimization algorithm that finds a near-optimal solution to an industry-sponsored real-world integer linear programming problems for a wide range of problem sizes, extending to a staggering billion variable problem. This is remarkable and probably stands as the first-ever optimization study on such a large-sized real-world problem, as standard commercial softwares cannot solve more than 1,000 variable version of the problem. Reasons for the success of the proposed approach will be discussed.