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.



Transport Management Systems provider Microlise, along with partner the University of Nottingham, has been awarded funding of £359,000 from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).
The University of Nottingham will provide the extensive skills available through its' Automated Scheduling and Optimisation (ASAP), Advanced Data Analysis Centre (ADAC) and Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC) teams.

» British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries), Canada announced a $252 million vessel replacement programme involving three Intermediate Class Ferries (media release). This decision was supported by independent research projects by Abraham Punnen and Daniel Karapetyan conducted in 2011-2013. The researchers validated the efficiency of the proposed fleet configurations in terms of the potential operational cost and level of service relative to the current vessels in service. Abraham Punnen and Daniel Karapetyan recently won the second Practice Prize at the Canadian Operational Research Society conference for their work with BC Ferries.

Daniel Karapetyan is currently working on a new project with BC Ferries, supporting the development of new schedules for the introduction of Intermediate Class Ferries in the Southern Gulf Islands region where two of the three new vessels will be operating..

» Prof Graham Kendall explains how football fixtures are set in an article in The Conversation.
» 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.

» 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.