Pascal Van Hentenryck
Our research is concerned with evidence-based optimization, the idea of optimizing complex systems holistically, exploiting the unprecedented amount of available data. It is driven by an exciting convergence of ideas in big data, predictive analytics, and large-scale optimization (prescriptive analytics) that provide, for the first time, an opportunity to capture human dynamics, natural phenomena, and complex infrastructures in optimization models. We apply evidence-based optimization to challenging applications in environmental and social resilience, energy systems, marketing, social networks, and transportation. Key research topics include the integration of predictive (machine learning, simulation, stochastic approximation) and prescriptive analytics (optimization under uncertainty), as well as the integration of strategic, tactical, and operational models.
The video above is of a planned evacuation of 70,000 persons for a 1-100 year flood in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Region using both predictive and prescriptive analytics and large data sets for the terrain, the population, and the transportation network.