Set-Oriented and Indicator-based Multi-Criteria Optimization (SIMCO)


… when even the largest whiteboards become too small ….

The fascination of science is sometimes hard to understand for people who have not yet discovered it on their own. If people do not understand why coffee breaks at conferences are always too short, some discussion, writing, or coding must be completed although it is late at night, they surely cannot understand the distinctiveness and uniqueness of a Lorentz-Center workshop.

I guess the only situation during our time in Leiden where most of the colleagues really lost the connection to their scientific work was a beautiful sunset on the Kaag lakes during the workshop’s dinner boat cruise. However, this was not the only thing perfectly organized by the Lorentz Center staff. Many thanks to them, also for making the scientific organizers establish moderators for each workshop day. This made the whole workshop much more stress-relieved and, thus, a scientific success for the scientific organizers as well.

Significant scientific progress was accomplished during our days in Leiden. We began to merge two distinctive scientific fields to learn from and about each other. We agreed upon a terminology to be used in upcoming publications and improved our understanding in set and indicator based approaches a lot.

But did we achieve all our scientific aims? We do not think so. For example, there was this working group discussing a special topic for hours in the afternoon sessions, even during coffee break of course. In the following plenary session (a daily event planned for 30 min., 60 would have also been too short …) a colleague pointed them to a paper he knew where possibly some of their results have already been discussed. Of course, the group postponed dinner in downtown Leiden for more then 2 hours just recognizing that their afternoon discussion was more or less reinventing the wheel, and of course, they were disappointed at first. But, who can imagine what, in terms of work, money, etc., actually has been saved by the group having been made aware of this paper? Moreover, they of course continued their work but now with the bar set one or two steps higher.

But apart from the stated aims of the workshop, in which we also progressed, these lucky coincidences are also what made this workshop so useful, even invaluable. All in all, due to the contribution of all participants we were privileged to have inspiring talks and discussion sessions. The organizers want to particularly thank all speakers and moderators, namely Ana Custódio, Mădălina Drugan, Viviane Grunert da Fonseca, Andreia Guerreiro, Jürgen Branke, Karl Bringmann, Tobias Glasmachers, Carlos Fonseca, Joshua Knowles, Luís Paquete, Jan Vahrenhold, and Marc van Kreveld.

Finally, another important result of the workshop was an up-to-date inventory of results and open mathematical questions that will be maintained as a public Wiki-list.  Moreover, 10 high priority research themes to be addressed in future work were determined in a plenary discussion on the final day of the workshop. We stopped with just 10 … before even the large whiteboard in the lecture room got too small again …