ASAP Group

The Automated Scheduling, Optimisation and Planning (ASAP) research group carries out multi-disciplinary research into mathematical models and algorithms for a variety of real world optimisation problems. ASAP research work aims to set the following research directions on the international agenda:

  • Modelling the complexity and uncertainty inherent in complex, real-world problems across a wide range of application areas including airport optimization, cutting and packing, educational timetabling, healthcare, network routing, personnel scheduling, portfolio optimization, production scheduling/rescheduling, public transport optimization, space allocation, transportation logistics optimization and vehicle routing.
  • Developing intelligent systems that can automatically aid the design and implementation of more efficient, effective, reusable, easier-to-implement/deploy/use general computational search methods that are applicable to a range of real-world problems.
  • Developing rigorous mathematical theories for a more profound understanding of real world problems and effective design of intelligent decision support systems.

Our expertise in Computer Science and Operational Research allows us to bring a unique and novel perspective to traditional Operational Research problems, and also to bring new real-world problems to the Computer Science community.


» Duc-Cuong Dang and Per Kristian Lehre's work on Evolution under Partial Information has been nominated for a best paper award at GECCO'2014 as only paper from the theory track. They show that populations in appropriately tuned evolutionary algorithms aggregate enough information to optimise problems efficiently, even when the quality of individual solutions is highly uncertain.
» Dr Daniel Karapetyan and Abraham Punnen received the second prize in the Practice Prize Competition at CORS 2014 for a work on Operational Research Models and Algorithms for Fleet Size Planning and Schedule Optimisation for the British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.
» Prof Graham Kendall explains the math behind exam timetabling in an article in The Conversation.

» The NATCOR course ‘Heuristics and Approximation Algorithms’ took place in the Jubilee Campus from the 28th of April to the 2nd of May 2014. The course was organised and mostly delivered by the ASAP Research Group with a couple of invited external lecturers. NATCOR delivers courses in Operations Research to PhD students and is sponsored by EPSRC. There were 50 participants in the course here in Nottingham and feedback from students indicates that it was a success.

» Journal of Operational Research Society, one of the highly respected journals in Operational Research, has selected ten of the most influential papers. Three of these 10 most influential papers are co-authored by members of ASAP: Jason Atkin, Graham Kendall, Ender Özcan, Rong Qu, Stefan Ravizza, and Huanlai Xing. All the 10 articles are available for download for free.