Kathryn. A. Dowsland.

Company email: support@goweralg.co.uk

Personal (academic) email: k.a.dowsland@btconnect.com  

 

 

 

 

Research Interests:  

Combinatorial optimisation: in particular the use of meta-heuristics (tabu search, simulated annealing, genetic algorithms, ant systems), graph theoretic modelling, and integer programming in the solution of cutting, packing, scheduling and other practical problems.

Qualifications:

BSc (1st class Honours) Pure Mathematics, University of Wales Swansea, 1977.

MSc in Operational Research, University of Wales Swansea, 1982.

PhD in Operational Research, University of Wales Swansea, 1985.

Employment History.

1977-1980

O.R. Officer, British Steel, Tinplate Division.

1980-1981

Voluntary programmer, Remap - Computer systems for the disabled.

1981-1982

Tutorial Assistant, Dept. of Man. Sci., University of Wales Swansea.

1982-1985

Research Demonstrator, Dept. of Man. Sci., University of Wales Swansea.

1985-1996

Lecturer, E.B.M.S. University of Wales Swansea

1996- 1999

Senior Lecturer, E.B.M.S. University of Wales Swansea

1999-2001 Reader in Operational Research, E.B.M.S., University of Wales Swansea.
2001-2008 Research Consultant, ASAP Research Group, School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham, UK. (part-time)
2001- Research Director, Gower Optimal Algorithms Ltd (http://www.goweralg.co.uk)
2001-May 2010 Department of Mathematics, Cardiff University. Research Fellow. 

Teaching Interests:  

Modern heuristics, operational research techniques.

Professional Activities: 

  • Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College. 
  • Associate Editor (Combinatorial Optimisation) for OR Insight (until 2013). 
  • Past member of the OR Society Accreditation Panel.
  • Regular referee for a wide range of OR / Management Science / Computer Science journals. 
  • Member of several conference organising committees (e.g. PATAT, GECCO, MISTA, ANTS etc.)
  • Member of the OR Society, the South Wales OR Discussion Society, the European Special Interest Group in Cutting and Packing.

Research Overview.

My research interests lie in the area of Discrete Optimisation, and originally focused on the provision of exact solutions via graph theoretic models. Since the late 1980's I have become involved in the development and implementation of meta-heuristics including simulated annealing, tabu search and evolutionary algorithms. A common theme throughout my work has been the exploitation of problem specific knowledge to produce powerful and robust solution approaches to complex real life problems, particularly in the fields of cutting and packing, and timetabling and scheduling. 

In the past I have been involved in a number of research projects with staff at Nottingham University including:

Novel Metaheuristics Research Directions in Healthcare Personnel Rostering. Project with Prof. E.K. Burke, Dr S. Petrovic and Dr G. Kendall (University of Nottingham), together with ORTEC Consultants BV and KaHo St.-Lieven. Funding by EPSRC - £191,581. 

An Investigation of Cutting / Packing and Planning using Automated Algorithms Selection. Project with Dr G. Kendall, Prof E.K. Burke (University of Nottingham), Dr J. Bennell (University of Southampton). Funding by EPSRC - £153,670. 

PLATFORM: Towards More General Optimisation / Search Systems. Project with Professor E.K. Burke (and co-investigators), University of Nottingham. Funded by EPSRC - £422,908. 

and I am currently involved in helping to support a PhD study at the University of Southampton.

Most recent papers:

'Simulated Annealing - Theory and Applications'. Chapter for 'Handbook of Natural Computing' ,eds Rozenberg et al. v4, 1625-1657 (2010).

'An Investigation into two bin packing problems with ordering and orientation implications. (with R. Lewis, X. Song and J. Thompson. EJOR 213,1,52-65 (2011).

Hybridising GRASP and network flows in the solution of a medical school scheduling problem. with J.Thompson, M. Goodman. Journal of Scheduling v15,6,717-731 , (2012).

'Classical Techniques', Chapter 2 for Search Methodologies (2nd ed) : Introductory Tutorials in Optimization and Decision Support Techniques', p 19-67. Eds: E.Burke, G.Kendall, Springer (New York) (2014).

'A Comparative Review of 3D Container Loading Algorithms'. ITOR v23, 287-320 (2016)

Publications.

Refereed Journals 2001 - date.

'The irregular cutting-stock problem - a new procedure for deriving the no-fit polygon', Computers and Operations Research, 28 (2001) 271-287 (with J.A. Bennell and W.B. Dowsland).[ISSN 0305-0548]

'Hybridising tabu search with optimisation techniques for irregular stock-cutting', (2001) Management Science, V47 ,8 1160-1172. (with J.A. Bennell).

'Enhanced direct and indirect genetic algorithm approaches for a mall layout and tenant selection problem', Journal of Heuristics, 8(2002), 503-514.  (with U Aickelin)

'An algorithm for polygon placement using a bottom-left strategy', (2002) European Journal of Operational Research. 141(2) 371-381 (with S. Vaid and W.B.Dowsland)

Entries for 'The Informed Student Guide to the Management Sciences' - Bin Packing and Container Packing, Timetabling. ed. H. Daellenbach and R.Flood,  Thompson Learning. (2002)

'Diseño de Heuristicas y Fundamentos del Recocido Simulado', Inteligencia Artificial, Special Issue on Metaheuristics, 19 (2003) 93-120.(with A.Diaz)

'An Indirect Genetic Algorithm for a Nurse Scheduling Problem', Computers and Operations Research 31 (2004) 761-778. (With U.Aickelin)

'How to impose microscopic reversibility in complex reaction mechanisms', Biophysical Journal 86(6), 3510-8 (2004) with David Colquhoun, Marco Beato and Andrew J.R. Plested, .

'Ant Colony Optimisation for the examination scheduling problem', Journal of the OR Society, with J. Thompson, Journal of the OR Society 56 (2005),4 426-439.

'Using tree-search bounds to enhance a genetic algorithm approach to rectangle packing problems', European Journal of OR, v168, 390-402 (January 2006). With E.A. Herbert, G.Kendall and E.K. Burke. 

'Search Methodology: Introductory Tutorials in Optimization and Decision Support Techniques', Chapter 2: Classical Techniques (pp 19-68), Eds: E.Burke, G.Kendall, Springer (New York) 2005, ISBN-13 978-0387-23460-1.

Combinatorial Optimisation - Tools for Practical Problem Solving, with W. Dowsland. OR Insight v19, 3, 3-13 (July 2006).

A local search approach to a circle cutting problem arising in the motor cycle industry', with M.Gilbert and G.Kendall. Journal of the OR Society 58, 429-438 (2007).

'A simulated annealing based hyperheuristic for determining shipper sizes for storage and transportation', with E. Soubeiga and E. Burke. European Journal of Operational Research v179, 3, 759-774 (16th June 2007).

'An improved ant colony optimisation heuristic for graph colouring', with J.M. Thompson, Discrete Applied Maths 156,3, 313-324 (2008).

'A GRASP-Knapsack hybrid for a nurse scheduling problem', with M. Goodman and J.M. Thompson, Journal of Heuristics 15,4,351-379 (2009).

Refereed journals 1984-1990.

'The three-dimensional pallet chart: an analysis of the factors affecting the set of feasible layouts for a class of two-dimensional packing problems', Journal of the Operational Research Society 35, 10, (1984) 895-905 [ISSN 0160-5682]

'Packing it may not be easy', New Zealand Mathematics Magazine, 22, (1984) 190-195.[ISSN 0549-0510] (with W.B. Dowsland)

'A graph-theoretic approach to a pallet loading problem', NZOR 13 (1985) 77-86 [ISSN 0110-6392]

'Determining an upper bound for a class of rectangular packing problems', Computers and Operations Research 12 (1985) 201-205 [ISSN 0305-0548]

'A combined database and algorithmic approach to the pallet loading problem', Journal of the Operational Research Society 38 (1987) 341-345 [ISSN 0160-5682]

'An exact algorithm for the pallet loading problem', European Journal of Operational Research 31 (1987) 78-84 [ISSN 0160-5682]

'A timetabling problem in which clashes are inevitable', Journal of the Operational Research Society 41 (1990) 907-918. [ISSN 0160-5682]

'Efficient automated pallet loading', European Journal of Operational Research 44 (1990) 232-238. [ISSN 0160-5682]

'Hill-climbing, simulated annealing and the steiner problem in graphs', Engineering Optimisation, 17 (1991) 91-107 [ISSN 0305-215X]

'Optimising the palletisation of cylinders in cases', OR Spektrum 13 (1991) 204-212 [ISSN 0171-6468].

'Packing Problems', European Journal of Operational Research 56 (1992) 2-14 [ISSN 0377-2217] (Invited review, with W.B. Dowsland)

'Some experiments with simulated annealing techniques for packing problems', European Journal of Operational Research 68 (1993) 389-399.[ISSN 0160-5682]

'Collision avoidance in bi-directional AGV systems', Journal of the Operational Research Society 47 (1994) 817-826 [ISSN 0160-5682] (With A.M. Greaves)

'Solution Approaches to Irregular Nesting Problems', European Journal of Operational Research 84 (1995) 506-521[ISSN 0377-2217] (Invited review with W.B. Dowsland)

'TISSUE wipes away exam time tears', OR Insight 8, 4 (1995) 28-32 [ISSN 0953-5543] (With J.M. Thompson)

'Genetic Algorithms - a tool for OR?' Journal of the Operational Research Society 44 (1996), 550-561 [ISSN 0160-5682]

'A family of genetic algorithms for the pallet loading problem', Annals of Operations Research 63 (1996) 415-436 [ISSN 0254-5330] (With E.A. Herbert)

'Variants of simulated annealing for the examination timetabling problem', Annals of Operations Research 63 (1996) 105-128 [ISSN 0254-5330] (with J.M. Thompson)

'Jostling for position - local improvement for irregular cutting patterns', Journal of the Operational Research Society 49 (1998), 647-658 [ISSN 0160-5682] (with W.B. Dowsland and J.A. Bennell).

'Nurse scheduling with tabu search and strategic oscillation', European Journal of Operational Research 106 (1998) 393-407 [ISSN 0377-2217]

'A robust simulated annealing based examination timetabling system' Computers and Operations Research 25 (1998) 637-648 [ISSN 0305-0548] (with J.M. Thompson)

'A tabu thresholding implementation for the irregular stock cutting problem', International Journal of Production Research, 37, 18 (1999) 4259-4275. [ISSN:0020-7543]. (with J.A. Bennell)

'Exploiting problem structure in a genetic algorithm approach to a nurse rostering problem' Journal of Scheduling, 3 (2000) 139-153 [ISSN:1094-6136] (with U Aickelin)

'Solving a nurse scheduling problem with knapsacks, networks and tabu search' Journal of the Operational Research Society 51 (2000) 825-833 [ISSN:0160-5682] (with J.M. Thompson)

Refereed chapters in books.

'Using simulated annealing for efficient allocation of students to practical classes', in R.V.V. Vidal (ed) Applied simulated annealing. Lecture notes in economics and mathematical systems 396, (Berlin: Springer Verlag , 1993) 125-150 [ISBN 3-540-56229-X]

'Variants of Simulated Annealing for Practical Problem Solving', in V. J. Rayward-Smith (Ed) Applications of Modern Heuristic Methods, (Henley-on-Thames, Alfred Waller, 1995) 3-16 [ISBN 1-872474-28-4]

'Simple tabu thresholding and the pallet loading problem' in Meta-heuristics: theory & applications, (ed. IH Osman and JP Kelly), Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996, 379-406 [ISBN 0-7923-9700-2]

'Simulated annealing solutions for multi-objective Scheduling and Timetabling', in Modern Heuristic Search Methods, (ed. VJ Rayward Smith, IH Osman, CR Reeves and GD Smith), John Wiley, 1996 155-166 [ISBN 0-471-96280-5].

'General Cooling Schedules for a Simulated Annealing Based Timetabling System', in Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1153, (ed. E Burke and P Ross) Springer-Verlag 1996. (with JM Thompson) [ISBN 3-540-6174-9]

'Off-the-peg or made to measure: timetabling and scheduling with SA and TS' in Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling II, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1408, E.Burke and M.Carter (eds) (1997) [ISSN 0302-9743]

Entries for 'The Informed Student Guide to the Management Sciences' - Bin Packing and Container Packing, Timetabling. ed. H. Daellenbach and R.Flood,  Thompson Learning. (2002)

Edited chapters in books.

'Simulated Annealing', in Colin Reeves (ed) Modern heuristic techniques for combinatorial problems. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993) 20-63 [ISBN 0-632-03238-3]

'Have your (box of) cake and eat it!', in C. Jones and A. Watkins (eds). Building a better mousetrap - Studies in the Science of Management. (Wieden; Regensburg: eurotrans-Verlag 1995) [ISBN 3-929318-36-9]

Selected Presentations.

Off the peg or made to measure! Timetabling and scheduling with SA and TS. School of Computer Science, Cardiff - Seminar Programme - 7/2/2007.

Off the peg or made to measure! Timetabling and scheduling with SA and TS. (Variant of the above talk - South Wales OR Society, Cardiff  6/2/2007.

'Don't lose it, use it! - using problem specific information in the solution of real-life combinatorial problems'. Keynote address, Combinatorial Optimisation 2004, Dept of Management, University of Lancaster, March 2004.

Dowsland K.A., Pugh N., Thompson J. (2002), 'Examination Timetabling with Ants', PATAT 2002, August 2002.

Dowsland K.A. (2000),'Combinatorial Optimisation - a personal view', Keynote address at OR42, Swansea, September 2000.

Dowsland K.A. and Fuller E.J. (2000),'Using problem specific knowledge to improve the efficiency of an integer programming approach to two scheduling problems'. PATAT III, Konstanz August 2000.

Dowsland K.A., Dowsland W.B. (2000), 'Solving a Shipper Rationalisation Problem by Local Search', presentation at 17th European Conference on Operational Research, Budapest, July 16-19, 2000.

Dowsland K.A., Herbert E.A., Dowsland W.B. and Bennell J.A. (1999), 'Incorporating Tree-Search Bounds into Genetic Algorithms for Packing Problems', Proceeding of 3rd International Metaheuristics Conference - MIC'99, Angra dos Reis, Brazil. July 19-23 1999. pp 189-192.


 

Last updated: 1st December 2017