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About

About

I am a researcher at INESC TEC and I have obtained my PhD in Engineering and Industrial Management at FEUP (Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto). My main field of research is Operations Research and Management Science. Within this scientific area, the application area I am studying is fleet management and pricing (and their integration) in mobility systems, especially in the car rental and car sharing businesses. From the techniques viewpoint, I have been using and developing Matheuristic approaches, which combine heuristics and metaheuristics with mathematical programming. I am generally interested in quantitative methods to support real-world decisions in a time- and cost-effective manner, with a special focus on hybridization techniques, especially those that consider uncertainty issues. Recently, I have also been also extending this interest to include other modelling approaches such as Constraint Programming or Dynamic Programming.

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Publications

2018

A dynamic programming approach for integrating dynamic pricing and capacity decisions in a rental context

Authors
Oliveira, BB; Carravilla, MA; Oliveira, JF;

Publication
Springer Proceedings in Mathematics and Statistics

Abstract
Car rental companies have the ability and potential to integrate their dynamic pricing decisions with their capacity decisions. Pricing has a significant impact on demand, while capacity, which translates fleet size, acquisition planning and fleet deployment throughout the network, can be used to meet this price-sensitive demand. Dynamic programming has been often used to tackle dynamic pricing problems and also to deal with similar integrated problems, yet with some significant differences as far as the inventory depletion and replenishment are considered. The goal of this work is to understand what makes the car rental problem different and hinders the application of more common methods. To do so, a discrete dynamic programming framework is proposed, with two different approaches to calculate the optimal-value function: one based on a Mixed Integer Non Linear Program (MINLP) and one based on a Constraint Programming (CP) model. These two approaches are analyzed and relevant insights are derived regarding the (in)ability of discrete dynamic programming to effectively tackle this problem within a rental context when realistically sized instances are considered. © Springer International Publishing AG 2018.

2018

Understanding complexity in a practical combinatorial problem using mathematical programming and constraint programming

Authors
Oliveira, BB; Carravilla, MA;

Publication
Springer Proceedings in Mathematics and Statistics

Abstract
Optimization problems that are motivated by real-world settings are often complex to solve. Bridging the gap between theory and practice in this field starts by understanding the causes of complexity of each problem and measuring its impact in order to make better decisions on approaches and methods. The Job-Shop Scheduling Problem (JSSP) is a well-known complex combinatorial problem with several industrial applications. This problem is used to analyse what makes some instances difficult to solve for a commonly used solution approach – Mathematical Integer Programming (MIP) – and to compare the power of an alternative approach: Constraint Programming (CP). The causes of complexity are analysed and compared for both approaches and a measure of MIP complexity is proposed, based on the concept of load per machine. Also, the impact of problem-specific global constraints in CP modelling is analysed, making proof of the industrial practical interest of commercially available CP models for the JSSP. © Springer International Publishing AG 2018.

2018

Integrating pricing and capacity decisions in car rental: A matheuristic approach

Authors
Oliveira, BB; Carravilla, MA; Oliveira, JF;

Publication
Operations Research Perspectives

Abstract
Pricing and capacity decisions in car rental companies are characterized by high flexibility and interdependence. When planning a selling season, tackling these two types of decisions in an integrated way has a significant impact. This paper tackles the integration of capacity and pricing problems for car rental companies. These problems include decisions on fleet size and mix, acquisitions and removals, fleet deployment and repositioning, as well as pricing strategies for the different rental requests. A novel mathematical model is proposed, which considers the specific dynamics of rentals on the relationship between inventory and pricing as well as realistic requirements from the flexible car rental business, such as upgrades. Moreover, a solution procedure that is able to solve real-sized instances within a reasonable time frame is developed. The solution procedure is a matheuristic based on the decomposition of the model, guided by a biased random-key genetic algorithm (BRKGA) boosted by heuristically generated initial solutions. The positive impact on profit, of integrating capacity and pricing decisions versus a hierarchical/sequential approach, is validated. © 2018 The Authors

2017

Fleet and revenue management in car rental companies: A literature review and an integrated conceptual framework

Authors
Oliveira, BB; Carravilla, MA; Oliveira, JF;

Publication
OMEGA-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE

Abstract
This paper aims to present, define and structure the car rental fleet management problem, which includes operational fleet management issues and problems traditionally studied under the revenue management framework. The car rental business has challenging and distinctive characteristics, which are mainly related with fleet and decision-making flexibility, and that render this problem relevant for academic research and practical applications. Three main contributions are presented: an in-depth literature review and discussion on car rental fleet and revenue management issues, a novel integrating conceptual framework for this problem, and the identification of research directions for the future development of the field.

2016

A GRASP algorithm for the vehicle-reservation assignment problem

Authors
Oliveira, BB; Carravilla, MA; Oliveira, JF;

Publication
Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems

Abstract