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INESC TEC research selected for special issue of international journal

The research work The pallet loading problem: a review of solution methods and computational experiments, by Elsa Silva and José Fernando Oliveira, researchers at INESC TEC, and Gerhard Wäscher, professor at Otto-von-Guericke University, in Magdeburg (Germany), was one of 30 papers selected to feature in the edition marking the 30th anniversary of the International Transactions in Operational Research (ITOR) journal.

28th March 2023

Considered one of the 30 representative and influential papers in the history of ITOR, the research work focused on a pallet loading problem, presenting a review of the solution methods. “The goal was to determine the arrangement of identical rectangular boxes on a single rectangular pallet to maximise the use of space. The research addressed theoretical aspects about the problem and a comprehensive analysis of reference instances in the literature used in computational tests, in order to evaluate different solution and performance approaches”, explained Elsa Silva.

According to the INESC TEC researcher, the analysis allowed to identify “which are the most challenging instances of the problem, not yet adequately solved in the literature, and which are the lines of research to follow”. The work was developed within the CPackBenchFrame project, promoting “a concrete line of research and technology transfer”, which materialised in projects like CrossLOG (promoted in partnership with JPM Industry) or the recently approved mobilising agendas part of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) – Produtech R3 and the CIBELE project.

“We were very proud when we learned that our paper was selected as one of 30 representative and influential articles in the history of this prestigious journal. This selection, among thousands of works published over the last 30 years, confirms the relevance and impact of our scientific work in terms of Operational Research”, mentioned Elsa Silva – highlighting that the paper had already won the second place in the IFORS/ITOR/Wiley Best Paper Awards in 2019 (Surveys and Tutorials category). “It is an honour to feature on this list, and we are excited to know that our work will influence future research.”

It’s important to mention that this Special Issue features another paper made-in INESC TEC: Operations Research in Healthcare: a survey, by Ana Viana, researcher at INESC TEC, identifies the main contributions related to problem optimisation in healthcare between the late 1990s and 2010.

The researcher Elsa Silva is associated with INESC TEC as an external researcher (U.Minho). José Fernando Oliveira is associated with INESC TEC and UP-FEUP.