Designing an application program interface to efficiently handle optimisation problem data

Pinheiro, Rodrigo Lankaites and Landa-Silva, Dario and Qu, Rong and Constantino, Ademir Aparecido and Yanaga, Edson (2016) Designing an application program interface to efficiently handle optimisation problem data. Journal of Management Analytics, 3 (4). pp. 305-332. ISSN 2327-0039

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Abstract

Literature presents many APIs and frameworks focusing on providing state of the art algorithms and solving techniques for optimisation problems. The same can not be said about APIs and frameworks focused on problem data itself and the reason is simple: due to the peculiarities and details of each variant of a problem, it is virtually impossible to provide general tools that are broad enough to be useful for many people. However, there are benefits of employing such APIs, especially in a R&D environment where we have heterogeneous teams of researchers and developers. Therefore, in this work we propose a design methodology for tailored optimisation problems based on a data-centric development framework. Our methodology relies on a data parser to handle the problem specification files and on a set of efficient data structures to handle the information on memory in a way that it is intuitive for researchers and efficient for the solving algorithms. Additionally, we bring three design patterns aimed to improve the performance of the API and techniques to improve the memory access by the user application. Also, we present the concepts of a Solution Builder that can manage solutions objects in memory better than builtin garbage collectors. Finally, we describe the positive results of employing a tailored API to a project involving the development of optimisation solutions for workforce scheduling and routing problems.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Management Analytics on 30 November 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/23270012.2016.1233514
Keywords: Optimisation Problems, Data API, Efficient Data Structures, Research and Development Projects
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Identification Number: 10.1080/23270012.2016.1233514
Depositing User: Landa-Silva, Dario
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2016 09:50
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2017 09:57
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/38695

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