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Seminar Series

Each semester the Department of Industrial Engineering hosts a seminar series to educate our students, faculty, alumni, and partners. The department invites guest presenters from prominent industrial engineering programs as well as features the research of our own faculty and students.

Seminar Series - Spring 2016

February 10 12:20 - 1:10pm Freeman Auditorium Ann Bisantz
Professor and Chair
University at Buffalo

Title: Cognitive Systems Engineering and Health Informatics: Analysis Outcomes and Design Implications

Abstract: Health information systems have been advocated as a solution to the problems of errors and adverse events in health care.  In emergency departments, electronic patient tracking systems are being implemented to replace manual status boards (“whiteboards”) that are commonly used for managing clinical work.  Manual status boards traditionally contained medical and logistical information about patients and provide staff with information about patients as well as higher level information regarding hospital state and team coordination information (assignments of providers to patients; status of on-call providers).  While electronic versions of the status boards may mimic the look and layout of manual boards, support automated recording keeping and reporting, and allow information on the status board to be accessed at different locations in the hospital, they also impose new constraints on use, miss a critical opportunity to best support the work of the healthcare providers, and introduce new failure modes with unanticipated consequences.  Such new technologies are often designed without an in depth understanding of the work they need to support, or are designed with a focus on administrative functions rather than patient care functions (e.g., record keeping; billing).  Without a careful understanding of how new technologies will be used in practice or the barriers to their use as expected, new technology can lead to unanticipated, undesirable consequences. This talk describes results from field studies and cognitive engineering analyses that can better inform the design of health IT for emergency situations.

February 26 12:20 - 1:10pm Freeman Auditorium Diana Negoescu
Assistant Professor
University of Minnesota

Title: Dynamic Learning of Patient Response Types: An Application to Treating Chronic Diseases

Abstract: Currently available medication for treating many chronic diseases is often effective only for a subgroup of patients, and biomarkers accurately assessing whether an individual belongs to this subgroup do not exist. In such settings, physicians learn about the effectiveness of a drug primarily through experimentation, i.e., by initiating treatment and monitoring the patient’s response.  We introduce a framework for developing adaptive, personalized treatments for such chronic diseases.  Our model is based on a continuous-time, multi-armed bandit setting, and acknowledges that drug effectiveness can be assessed by aggregating information from several channels: by continuously monitoring the (self-reported) state of the patient, but also by (not) observing the occurrence of particular infrequent health events, such as relapses or disease flare-ups.  We show that the model can be analyzed in closed form for several settings of interest, resulting in optimal policies that are intuitive and have practical appeal.  We showcase the effectiveness of the methodology by developing a treatment policy for multiple sclerosis.

April 6 12:20 - 1:10pm Freeman Auditorium Phil Smith
Professor, Integrated Systems Engineering
Professor, Adv Computing Ctr/Art & Design
Chair, Integrated Systems Engineering
Ohio State University

Title: Distributed Work in the National Airspace System and ISE Directions for the Future

Abstract:This talk will be given in two parts.

Distributed Work in the National Airspace System: Because of its cognitive complexity, the responsibility for operating the National Airspace System (NAS) is distributed among many organizations and individuals.  An understanding of how this distributed work system functions requires consideration not only of the allocation of control and responsibility, but also of the distribution of data, knowledge, processing capacities and characteristics, goals and priorities.  It further requires consideration of how alternative architectures for distributing work impact performance in the face of uncertainty, where the level of uncertainty changes over time.  The design of this distributed system in terms of how different architectures for distributing work have evolved within the NAS.  These architectures differ in terms of the nature of control (management by directive, by permission or by exception), in terms of the level of abstraction at which control is exercised, and in terms of the timing of control (through constraint propagation).

Industrial and Systems Engineering at OSU – Directions for the Future: Industrial and systems engineering has traditionally been a field that has developed conceptual advances that apply across a number of different application areas, while also having a real impact on the design and functioning of the systems within these applications.  This focus on new conceptual approaches and models as inspired by the needs and opportunities of specific applications has been a very effective strategy for generating important advances in the field.  Current demands from the workplace and from R&D funding sources, along with rapid advances in technologies for everything from sensing to communication to decision support to the design of advanced materials, provide the field both an opportunity and a challenge, and raise two questions that will be addressed:

  • What application areas will be most powerful in guiding the field to focus on opportunities for making major conceptual advances in the future?
  • What conceptual frameworks are most likely to inspire such major advances?
April 18 12:20 - 1:10pm Freeman Auditorium Phil Kaminsky
Professor and Department Chair of Industrial Engineering and Operations
Research & Chancellor’s Professor
University of California, Berkeley

Title: Centralized and Decentralized Warehouse Logistics Collaboration

Abstract: An emerging paradigm for horizontal logistics collaboration in the grocery industry centers on large third-party warehouses, sometimes known as mixing and consolidation centers, that multiple suppliers use as warehouses or mixing centers, and from which multiple retailers order mixed-product truckloads.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that these warehouses lower transportation costs by fully utilizing outbound transportation, and increase service level by increasing the frequency of deliveries to retailers.  These warehouses are typically operated in a decentralized fashion, where individual suppliers decide when to make deliveries to the warehouse, and retailers order from the inventory in the warehouse, so that limited effort is made to coordinate the orders of different retailers with the deliveries of different suppliers.  In this paper, we use a series of simple, stylized models to explore the impact of this decentralized approach to operating this system.  We first extend the classic continuous-time deterministic one-warehouse-multi-retailer model to a (centralized) multi-supplier setting.  Because even this simplified model is challenging to optimize, we develop and analyze a power-of-two heuristic for this model.  Next, we consider several decentralized version of this model, in which each supplier and retailer focuses on minimizing his or her own operating costs, and again develops a set of effective approaches for this decentralized, retailer-led setting.  Finally, we characterize the “cost of anarchy” in this system – the loss due to decentralized operation.  In a computational study, we explore the computational ratio of the cost of decentralized and centralized operations for a variety of examples, and the system characteristics that impact this ratio.