National Science Foundation 



Multi-disciplinary Workshop at the Interface of Cyber infrastructure,

and Operations Research, with "Grand Challenges" in

Enterprise-wide Applications in Design, Manufacturing and Services

August 30-31, 2004







The Westin Embassy Row, Washington D.C.

   2100 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

Washington, District of Columbia  20008

United States
Phone (202) 293-2100  Fax (202) 293-0641


Sponsored by   

Shared Cyberinfrastructure (CISE) and Operations Research ( ENG/DMII )


Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) forms the basis for research in a variety of scientific communities.  The use of new CSE methods on novel distributed platforms has been credited with numerous advances in science and engineering.  A major sub-discipline within CSE deals with Operations Research, especially optimization, in its various forms: stochastic, combinatorial, continuous, discrete, and many others.  The widespread use of these methods in academic research, and industrial problems may be attributed not only to the development of efficient algorithms, and software implementations, but also new software resources such as high level languages, open source libraries, and widely available web services that bring the latest developments to the researcher’s desktop. Optimization methods are also at the heart of the science underlying several engineering applications of national need, such as energy, health-care, manufacturing, supply chains, transportation, etc.  Despite these advances, major challenges remain in making a Cyberinfrastructure available for researchers in areas of national need.  For instance, certain major applications in supply chain design require the use of several optimization tools (e.g. stochastic programming, Markov Decision Processes, and Reinforcement Learning) for decision-making under uncertainty.  However, such tools, as well as the software implementing these methods are not designed to inter-operate.  Similarly, research in multi-scale models is thwarted by the inability to have seamless coordination between models of different scales. The “Grand Challenges” associated with the avoiding cascading “black-outs,” integrating RFID technology into large scale global supply chains, advanced health-care systems (e.g. cancer treatment planning) etc. will all require the inter-operable tools that can be used by a collaborative team of researchers.  

This workshop will bring together researchers representing “Cyberinfrastructure” (CI), “Operations Research” (OR), and “Grand Challenges” associated with enterprise-wide applications, including design, manufacturing, and services.  These applications have a long tradition of using modeling tools, especially Optimization, Simulation, and more generally, Operations Research for improving the performance of  enterprises.  The computing and communications resources that constitute CI will make it possible for researchers to undertake modeling activities far beyond current capacity.  This workshop is intended for researchers to explore the development of a research agenda which will make it possible to integrate CI and OR for application in a vast array of  domains represented by enterprise-wide systems.  It is expected that this exercise will eventually lead to the development of principles which will permit us to share scientific and engineering resources among several domains, without having to build, and maintain every piece of a CI for each individual domain.