Journal of Optimization
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Journal of Optimization publishes research on both theoretical and applied aspects of mathematical programming and optimization methodologies in science and engineering.

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Journal of Optimization maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.

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Research Article

An Optimization Model for the Student-to-Project Supervisor Assignment Problem-The Case of an Engineering Department

Purpose. Empirical studies on the topic of assigning university project students to supervisors are currently underexplored. Such studies are critical to success of both the students and the university. Whilst extant research on this topic has contributed to an understanding of student assignments, what appears to be missing is application of a comprehensive framework to inform formulation and validation of a robust solution approach that takes account of both student and supervisor preferences, to optimize a real-life student-to-project supervisor assignment problem. Methodology. Questionnaire and interview surveys with project coordinators, project supervisors, head of department and students were conducted to identify factors surrounding the student-to-project supervisor assignment, through a case study approach in a university department offering engineering degree programs. This study not only develops a framework to understand an effective student-to-project supervisor assignment decision but also applies it in practice, through a case study in a University department offering engineering degree programs. An integer linear programming model was developed and implemented in an optimization software to optimize the student-to-project supervisor assignment, using data from the case study. Findings. Using OpenSolver, validated model results show improvements in matching both students and project supervisors’ preferences, whilst complying with supervisors’ workloads. These results also reveal an improvement in minimizing the project coordinator’s time in doing the assignment by introducing a standardized approach that concurrently considers all variables in a consistent manner. Originality. The contribution lies in: (1) development of a robust framework for student-to-supervisor assignments, (2) explicit consideration of contextual factors that recognize different assignment scenarios, (3) identification of feedback loops to recognize not only the need for continuous improvement in student-to-supervisor assignments but also links to performance in final year projects, (4) unique insights to guide project coordinators in relation to an efficient, effective, comprehensive, and standardized approach to the student-to-project supervisor assignment, and (5) a deeper understanding of a comprehensive range of factors that play a role in student-to-project supervisor assignments in higher education institutions.

Research Article

Optimal Control Analysis of Treatment Strategies of the Dynamics of Cholera

A nine-compartment deterministic cholera model was formulated, and the model describes interactions between human, Vibrio cholerae bacteria, and the enviroment that warrant the interaction. Realities and socioeconomic burden influence spread and control mechanism of the disease. The model investigated some effective ways of hindering cholera outbreak and spread. The existence and uniqueness of solution of the system of equations that the model comprises were ascertained. The basic reproduction number of the model was obtained using “next-generation matrix” method, and the most sensitive parameters were identified using “normalised forward sensitivity index” method. Three controls, hygiene consciousness denoted by X1, cholera vaccine X2, and cholera awareness programme X3, were chosen. Optimal control theory is applied to ascertain the level of effect of the controls in reducing susceptible, exposed, infected individuals and causative pathogen population. Pontryagin’s maximum principle is used to prove the optimal solution of the model, and the optimal system was derived and numerically solved. Simulations were made with graphs that show the effects of the controls on susceptible, exposed, infected, and Vibrio cholerae population. The findings are that simultaneous application of the three controls can be one of the fast and effective ways of controlling cholera. If two controls are to be selected, hygiene consciousness and vaccine are the best combination.

Research Article

Investigation of Bus Special Lane Performance Using Statistical Analysis and Optimization of the Signalized Intersection Delay by Machine Learning Methods

Nowadays, the performance analysis and evaluation of public transportation systems have great importance in traffic engineering science. So far, the bus system has not been very effective in some cities in Iran, and many management approaches such as the allocation of special lanes and regular bus scheduling, which are needed to increase the efficiency of this system, have not been sufficiently considered. The purpose of the present study is to optimize the delay of the signalized intersection of bus lane and investigate the factors affecting the urban bus usage by citizens in public transportation of Rasht city and especially their satisfaction. Therefore, the intersection delay was optimized by gathering the traffic volume data in peak hour time of a signalized intersection along the bus lane and using machine learning methods. In addition, by collecting two different questionnaires, taking 84 samples (first questionnaire) and 374 samples (second questionnaire), the satisfaction of citizens and business people on the boundary of the bus lane was considered. The results indicated that about 95% of the businesses around this route believe that the construction of the bus lane led to a decrease in the income of more than 110 dollars per month. Further to this, despite the lack of facilities, poorly designed routes, and lack of the bus system fleet, the bus lane of Imam Khomeini had a high degree of satisfaction among the citizens. The result of various models showed that the adaptive network-based fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) had the highest R2 and the lowest amount of root mean square error (RMSE). In fact, this model had a better performance to predict and optimize the delay of signalized intersection than the fuzzy model. The optimum amount of intersection delay was determined as 56 seconds. With this value, the delay of bus movements in the bus lane had a higher possibility of being reduced.

Research Article

Optimization for the Redundancy Allocation Problem of Reliability Using an Improved Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm

This paper presents an enhanced and improved particle swarm optimization (PSO) approach to overcome reliability-redundancy allocation problems in series, series-parallel, and complex systems. The problems mentioned above can be solved by increasing the overall system reliability and minimizing the system cost, weight, and volume. To achieve this with these nonlinear constraints, an approach is developed based on PSO. In particular, the inertia and acceleration coefficients of the classical particle swarm algorithm are improved by considering a normal distribution for the coefficients. The new expressions can enhance the global search ability in the initial stage, restrain premature convergence, and enable the algorithm to focus on the local fine search in the later stage, and this can enhance the perfection of the optimization process. Illustrative examples are provided as proof of the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed approach. Results show that the overall system reliability is far better when compared with that of some approaches developed in previous studies for all three tested cases.

Research Article

Optimum Design and Performance Analyses of Convective-Radiative Cooling Fin under the Influence of Magnetic Field Using Finite Element Method

In this study, the optimum design dimensions and performance analyses of convective-radiative cooling fin subjected to magnetic field are presented using finite element method. The numerical solutions are verified by the exact analytical solution for the linearized models using Laplace transform. The optimum dimensions for the optimum performance of the convection-radiative fin with variable thermal conductivity are investigated and presented graphically. Also, the effects of convective, radiative, and magnetic parameters as well as Biot number on the thermal performance of the cooling fin are analyzed using the numerical solutions. From the results, it is established that the optimum length of the fin and the thermogeometric parameter increases as the nonlinear thermal conductivity term increases. Further analyses also reveal that as the Biot number, convective, radiative, and magnetic parameters, increases, the rate of heat transfer from the fin increases and consequently improves the efficiency of the fin. Additionally, effects of the thermal stability values for the various multiboiling heat transfer modes are established. It is established that, in order to ensure stability and avoid numerical diffusion of the solution by the Galerkin finite element method, the thermogeometric parameter must not exceed some certain values for the different multiboiling heat transfer modes. It is hope that the present study will enhance the understanding of thermal response of solid fin under various factors and fin design considerations.

Research Article

Theoretical Analysis of an Imprecise Prey-Predator Model with Harvesting and Optimal Control

In our present paper, we formulate and study a prey-predator system with imprecise values for the parameters. We also consider harvesting for both the prey and predator species. Then we describe the complex dynamics of the proposed model system including positivity and uniform boundedness of the system, and existence and stability criteria of various equilibrium points. Also the existence of bionomic equilibrium and optimal harvesting policy are thoroughly investigated. Some numerical simulations have been presented in support of theoretical works. Further the requirement of considering imprecise values for the set of model parameters is also highlighted.

Journal of Optimization
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2021, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.