INFORMS Open Forum

Next ENRE seminar 28 Jan: Andres Weintraub et al - Use of Analytics to design fuel management options to reduce impacts of forest fires

  • 1.  Next ENRE seminar 28 Jan: Andres Weintraub et al - Use of Analytics to design fuel management options to reduce impacts of forest fires

    Posted 9 days ago
    First of all, happy new year!

    We are continuing the INFORMS/ENRE online seminars in 2021, with an exciting programme ahead. See below for details of the first two events. For more information and recordings of past events, see our website at

    28 January 2021 15:00-16:30 GMT (on Zoom) | Andres Weintraub, Jaime Carrasco & Cristobal Pais (Universidad de Chile/UC Berkeley)
    Use of Analytics to design fuel management options to reduce impacts of forest fires.

    Abstract: With climate change, the already serious problem of forest fires is clearly becoming increasingly troublesome. This is happening in vast forest areas as well as in urban-rural interphase, with grave consequences to population living in or near forests. Analytic tools have been developed to support particular decisions on fire suppression: what resources to have in place, such as airplanes, helicopters, crews, and equipment. Once a fire has started, simulation models of fire spread have been quite successful in predicting the direction of fire, thus supporting decisions on how to deploy resources. Less emphasis has been given to preventive Landscape Design or Fuel Management, which leads to decisions on how to handle forests to minimize the impact of fires once they start. These decisions include harvesting, prescribed burnings, and others. This talk will present the different tools we have developed in this problem area. Our main effort is in integrating prediction analysis of fire ignition and spread, with decisions on landscape design. The techniques used include stochastic simulation, derivative-free optimization, machine learning, optimization, heuristics, and deep learning. We have started developing these techniques in a preliminary way in Chile, Spain, and Canada.

    Bios: Andres Weintraub (PhD UC Berkeley) is Professor Industrial Engineering at the University of Chile. His main interests are Operations Research in forestry problems, including management decision in forest firms , spatial planning for environmental considerations, forest fires, as well as other natural resources problems and logistics. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, winner of the INFORMS Edelman Prize with Chilean forest firms, and former President of the International Federation of OR Societies (IFORS). Jaime Carrasco (PhD University of Chile) is a Researcher at the Complex Engineering System Institute (ISCI, Chile). He has participated in several projects in Chile, Spain and Canada related to wildfire management. His research interests include the application of Operations Research and Machine Learning techniques on natural resources management and Ecology. Cristobal Pais is a Ph.D. candidate in the IEOR Department at UC Berkeley. His research interests include the application of Operations Research, Optimization, and Machine Learning techniques on complex system modeling, logistics, big data, and natural resources management.

    Link: (Meeting ID: 880 9795 1730, Passcode: enre1234)

    25 February 2021 15:00-16:30 GMT (on Zoom) | Antonio Conejo & Gonzalo Constante-Flores (Ohio State University)
    AC Unit Commitment

    Abstract: We approach the solution of the AC unit commitment (UC) problem using a three-step strategy. First, we solve a linearized UC version of the original AC UC problem to obtain an initial solution and to identify potentially congested lines. Second, we solve a second-order-conic relaxation of the original AC UC problem using an active set strategy regarding line congestion and using as initial solution that of step 1. Third, to ensure AC feasibility, we fix the binary variables to their optimal values in step 2 and solve a collection of increasingly accurate continuous and convex approximations of the original AC problem. For very large instances, we solve the relaxed problem in step 2 via Benders' decomposition. We provide results from an Illinois 200-node 49-unit 245-line system and a Texas 2000-node 544-unit 3206-line system.

    Bios: Antonio J. Conejo, professor at The Ohio State University, OH, received an M.S. from MIT, and a Ph.D. from the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. He has published over 220 papers in refereed journals, and is the author or coauthor of books published by Springer, John Wiley, McGraw-Hill and CRC. He has been the principal investigator of many research projects financed by public agencies and the power industry and has supervised 24 PhD theses. He is an INFORMS Fellow, an IEEE Fellow and a former Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, the flagship journal of the power engineering profession. Gonzalo E. Constante-Flores received the electrical engineering degree from Escuela Politécnica Nacional (EPN), Quito, Ecuador, in 2014, and the M.Sc. degree from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, in 2018, where he is currently working towards the Ph.D. degree in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. From 2013 to 2016, he was with the Department of Electrical Energy at EPN. His research interests include optimization and control of power systems, electricity markets, and the integration of renewable energy and electric vehicles into electric power systems.

    Link: (Meeting ID: 880 9795 1730, Passcode: enre1234)

    Miguel Anjos, President of ENRE
    Harry van der Weijde
    Lars Schewe

    Miguel F. Anjos, Ph.D., P.Eng., FHEA, SMIEEE, FEUROPT, FCAE
    President, INFORMS Section on Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment (ENRE)
    Chair of Operational Research, School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh, U.K.
    Inria International Chair
    Schöller Senior Fellow 2020