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Presented By: U-M Industrial & Operations Engineering

SEMINAR: "Optimization Models to Increase Supplier Autonomy and Resource Utilization" – Jennifer Ann Pazour

Jennifer Ann Pazour, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Jennifer Ann Pazour, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Jennifer Ann Pazour, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The Departmental Seminar Series is open to all. U-M Industrial and Operations Engineering graduate students and faculty are especially encouraged to attend.

Title: Optimization Models to Increase Supplier Autonomy and Resource Utilization

Underutilized resources exist all around us. When at a stoplight, notice the empty seats and cargo spaces in the vehicles around you. Think about the monolithic distribution centers that are a mismatch for most businesses’ seasonal and fluctuating space and throughput requirements. To harness these and other underutilized resources, organizations need to think differently about how resources are acquired, managed, and allocated to fulfill requests. This talk will focus on one such solution: on-demand systems that match requests to independent, decentralized suppliers who are not employed nor controlled by the platform. In these situations, the platform cannot be certain a supplier will accept an offered request. To mitigate this selection uncertainty, a platform can offer each supplier a menu of requests to choose from. However, such menus need to be created carefully because of the trade-off between increasing selection probability and reduced systematic control. In addition to a complex decision space, supplier selection decisions are vast and have systematic implications, impacting the platform’s revenue, other suppliers’ experiences (in the form of duplicate selections) and the request waiting times. Thus, we present a multiple scenario approach, repeatedly sampling potential supplier selections, solving the corresponding two-stage decision problems, and combining the multiple different solutions through a consensus algorithm. Our specialized dynamic methods to create and push personalized recommendations to a set of freelance suppliers have broad applications to crowdsourced delivery, ride sharing, and volunteer management where providing choices can help interleaving of tasks with other activities and has the potential to increase resource utilization of decentralized assets. Extensive computational results using the Chicago Region as a case study illustrate that our method outperforms a set of benchmark policies, and is tractable for real-time deployment. We quantify the value of anticipating supplier selection, offering menus to suppliers, offering requests to multiple suppliers at once, and holistically generating menus with the entire system in mind. Our method leads to more balanced assignments by sacrificing some easy wins towards better system performance over time and for all stakeholders involved, including increased revenue for the platform, and decreased match waiting times for suppliers and requests.

This research is partially funded by the National Science Foundation award 1751801 and through a Johnson and Johnson WiSTEM2D fellowship. This is joint work with kind and talented people, including Rosemonde Ausseil, Hannah Horner, John Mitchell, Shahab Mofidi, and Marlin Ulmer.

Jen Pazour is an Associate Professor and the Undergraduate Coordinator of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. Her research and teaching focus on the development and use of mathematical models to guide decision making for logistics and supply chain challenges. Jen is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2018), a Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D Scholars Award (2018), a National Academies of Science Gulf Research Program Early-Career Fellowship (2016), and a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research (2013). She was awarded the 2019 Rensselaer Alumni Teaching Award, the 2018 IISE Logistics and Supply Chain Division Teaching Award, and the 2017 IISE Dr. Hamed K. Eldin Outstanding Early Career IE in Academia Award. She is an Associate Editor of IISE Transactions and Military Operations Research. She has served as the chair of the INFORMS professional recognition committee, chair of the INFORMS undergraduate operations research prize, the communications chair of the IISE Logistics and Supply Chain division and is on the IISE Transaction Social Media Team. She proudly holds three degrees in Industrial Engineering (a B.S. from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas). More information can be found at her research and teaching blog:
Jennifer Ann Pazour, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Jennifer Ann Pazour, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Jennifer Ann Pazour, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Livestream Information

November 18, 2021 (Thursday) 3:00pm
Meeting ID: 98676246489

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