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About

I am a researcher at Centre of Industrial Engineering and Management at INESC TEC and invited Assistent Professor at Department of Production and Systems at University of Minho.
I have a PhD degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering in 2012 from the University of Minho. My main research interests include the ability to solve hard and large combinatorial optimization problems arising in various domains by using hybrid approaches of linear programming and metaheuristics. The main areas of application of my research are the cutting and packing problems and retail operations.

Interest
Topics
Details

Details

001
Publications

2019

Data mining based framework to assess solution quality for the rectangular 2D strip-packing problem

Authors
Júnior, AN; Silva, E; Gomes, AM; Soares, C; Oliveira, JF;

Publication
Expert Syst. Appl.

Abstract

2019

Data mining based framework to assess solution quality for the rectangular 2D strip-packing problem

Authors
Neuenfeldt Junior, A; Silva, E; Gomes, M; Soares, C; Oliveira, JF;

Publication
Expert Systems with Applications

Abstract
In this paper, we explore the use of reference values (predictors) for the optimal objective function value of hard combinatorial optimization problems, instead of bounds, obtained by data mining techniques, and that may be used to assess the quality of heuristic solutions for the problem. With this purpose, we resort to the rectangular two-dimensional strip-packing problem (2D-SPP), which can be found in many industrial contexts. Mostly this problem is solved by heuristic methods, which provide good solutions. However, heuristic approaches do not guarantee optimality, and lower bounds are generally used to give information on the solution quality, in particular, the area lower bound. But this bound has a severe accuracy problem. Therefore, we propose a data mining-based framework capable of assessing the quality of heuristic solutions for the 2D-SPP. A regression model was fitted by comparing the strip height solutions obtained with the bottom-left-fill heuristic and 19 predictors provided by problem characteristics. Random forest was selected as the data mining technique with the best level of generalisation for the problem, and 30,000 problem instances were generated to represent different 2D-SPP variations found in real-world applications. Height predictions for new problem instances can be found in the regression model fitted. In the computational experimentation, we demonstrate that the data mining-based framework proposed is consistent, opening the doors for its application to finding predictions for other combinatorial optimisation problems, in particular, other cutting and packing problems. However, how to use a reference value instead of a bound, has still a large room for discussion and innovative ideas. Some directions for the use of reference values as a stopping criterion in search algorithms are also provided. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

2018

Allocating products on shelves under merchandising rules: Multi-level product families with display directions

Authors
Bianchi Aguiar, T; Silva, E; Guimardes, L; Carravilla, MA; Oliveira, JF;

Publication
Omega (United Kingdom)

Abstract
Retailers’ individual products are categorized as part of product families. Merchandising rules specify how the products should be arranged on the shelves using product families, creating more structured displays capable of increasing the viewers’ attention. This paper presents a novel mixed integer programming formulation for the Shelf Space Allocation Problem considering two innovative features emerging from merchandising rules: hierarchical product families and display directions. The formulation uses single commodity flow constraints to model product sequencing and explores the product families’ hierarchy to reduce the combinatorial nature of the problem. Based on the formulation, a mathematical programming-based heuristic was also developed that uses product families to decompose the problem into a sequence of sub-problems. To improve performance, its original design was adapted following two directions: recovery from infeasible solutions and reduction of solution times. A new set of real case benchmark instances is also provided, which was used to assess the formulation and the matheuristic. This approach will allow retailers to efficiently create planograms capable of following merchandising rules and optimizing shelf space revenue. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

2018

An intercontinental replenishment problem: A hybrid approach

Authors
Silva, E; Ramos, AG; Lopes, M; Magalhaes, P; Oliveira, JF;

Publication
Springer Proceedings in Mathematics and Statistics

Abstract
This work addresses a case study in an intercontinental supply chain. The problem emerges in a company in Angola dedicated to the trade of consumable goods for construction building and industrial maintenance. The company in Angola sends the replenishment needs to a Portuguese company, which takes the decision of which products and in which quantities will be sent by shipping container to the company in Angola. The replenishment needs include the list of products that reached the corresponding reorder point. The decision of which products and in which quantity should take into consideration a set of practical constraints: the maximum weight of the cargo, the maximum volume the cargo and financial constraints related with the minimum value that guarantees the profitability of the business and a maximum value associated with shipping insurance. A 2-stage hybrid method is proposed. In the first stage, an integer linear programming model is used to select the products that maximise the sales potential. In the second stage, a Container Loading Algorithm is used to effectively pack the selected products in the shipping container ensuring the geometrical constraints, and safety constraints such as weight limit and stability. A new set of problem instances was generated with the 2DCPackGen problem generator, using as inputs the data collected in the company. Computational results for the algorithm are presented and discussed. Good results were obtained with the solution approach proposed, with an average occupation ratio of 92% of the container and an average gap of 4% for the solution of the integer linear programming model. © Springer International Publishing AG 2018.

2018

The two-dimensional strip packing problem: What matters?

Authors
Neuenfeldt Junior, A; Silva, E; Miguel Gomes, AM; Oliveira, JF;

Publication
Springer Proceedings in Mathematics and Statistics

Abstract
This paper presents an exploratory approach to study and identify the main characteristics of the two-dimensional strip packing problem (2D-SPP). A large number of variables was defined to represent the main problem characteristics, aggregated in six groups, established through qualitative knowledge about the context of the problem. Coefficient correlation are used as a quantitative measure to validate the assignment of variables to groups. A principal component analysis (PCA) is used to reduce the dimensions of each group, taking advantage of the relations between variables from the same group. Our analysis indicates that the problem can be reduced to 19 characteristics, retaining most part of the total variance. These characteristics can be used to fit regression models to estimate the strip height necessary to position all items inside the strip. © Springer International Publishing AG 2018.

Supervised
thesis

2017

The Two-Dimensional Rectangular Strip Packing Problem

Author
Álvaro Luiz Neuenfeldt Júnior

Institution
UP-FEUP