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  • 1.
    Carling, Kenneth
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Statistics.
    Meng, Xiangli
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Statistics.
    Confidence in heuristic solutions?2015In: Journal of Global Optimization, ISSN 0925-5001, E-ISSN 1573-2916, Vol. 63, no 2, p. 381-399Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Solutions to combinatorial optimization problems frequently rely on heuristics to minimize an objective function. The optimum is sought iteratively and pre-setting the number of iterations dominates in operations research applications, which implies that the quality of the solution cannot be ascertained. Deterministic bounds offer a mean of ascertaining the quality, but such bounds are available for only a limited number of heuristics and the length of the interval may be difficult to control in an application. A small, almost dormant, branch of the literature suggests using statistical principles to derive statistical bounds for the optimum. We discuss alternative approaches to derive statistical bounds. We also assess their performance by testing them on 40 test p-median problems on facility location, taken from Beasley’s OR-library, for which the optimum is known. We consider three popular heuristics for solving such location problems; simulated annealing, vertex substitution, and Lagrangian relaxation where only the last offers deterministic bounds. Moreover, we illustrate statistical bounds in the location of 71 regional delivery points of the Swedish Post. We find statistical bounds reliable and much more efficient than deterministic bounds provided that the heuristic solutions are sampled close to the optimum. Statistical bounds are also found computationally affordable.

  • 2.
    Han, Mengjie
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Statistics.
    Computational study of the step size parameter of the subgradient optimization methodManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The subgradient optimization method is a simple and flexible linear programming iterative algorithm. It is much simpler than Newton's method and can be applied to a wider variety of problems. It also converges when the objective function is non-differentiable. Since an efficient algorithm will not only produce a good solution but also take less computing time, we always prefer a simpler algorithm with high quality. In this study a series of step size parameters in the subgradient equation is studied. The performance is compared for a general piecewise function and a specific p-median problem. We examine how the quality of solution changes by setting five forms of step size parameter.

  • 3.
    Meng, Xiangli
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Statistics.
    Optimization heuristic solutions, how good can they be?: With empirical applications in location problems2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Combinatorial optimization problems, are one of the most important types of problems in operational research. Heuristic and metaheuristics algorithms are widely applied to find a good solution. However, a common problem is that these algorithms do not guarantee that the solution will coincide with the optimum and, hence, many solutions to real world OR-problems are afflicted with an uncertainty about the quality of the solution. The main aim of this thesis is to investigate the usability of statistical bounds to evaluate the quality of heuristic solutions applied to large combinatorial problems. The contributions of this thesis are both methodological and empirical. From a methodological point of view, the usefulness of statistical bounds on p-median problems is thoroughly investigated. The statistical bounds have good performance in providing informative quality assessment under appropriate parameter settings. Also, they outperform the commonly used Lagrangian bounds. It is demonstrated that the statistical bounds are shown to be comparable with the deterministic bounds in quadratic assignment problems. As to empirical research, environment pollution has become a worldwide problem, and transportation can cause a great amount of pollution. A new method for calculating and comparing the CO2-emissions of online and brick-and-mortar retailing is proposed. It leads to the conclusion that online retailing has significantly lesser CO2-emissions. Another problem is that the Swedish regional division is under revision and the border effect to public service accessibility is concerned of both residents and politicians. After analysis, it is shown that borders hinder the optimal location of public services and consequently the highest achievable economic and social utility may not be attained.

  • 4.
    Valyukh, Iryna
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Materials Technology. Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper.
    Optical Characterization and Optimization of Display Components: Some Applications to Liquid-Crystal-Based and Electrochromics-Based Devices2009Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation is focused on theoretical and experimental studies of optical properties of materials and multilayer structures composing liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and electrochromic (EC) devices.

    By applying spectroscopic ellipsometry, we have determined the optical constants of thin films of electrochromic tungsten oxide (WOx) and nickel oxide (NiOy), the films’ thickness and roughness. These films, which were obtained at spattering conditions possess high transmittance that is important for achieving good visibility and high contrast in an EC device.

    Another application of the general spectroscopic ellipsometry relates to the study of a photo-alignment layer of a mixture of azo-dyes SD-1 and SDA-2. We have found the optical constants of this mixture before and after illuminating it by polarized UV light. The results obtained confirm the diffusion model to explain the formation of the photo-induced order in azo-dye films.

    We have developed new techniques for fast characterization of twisted nematic LC cells in transmissive and reflective modes. Our techniques are based on the characteristics functions that we have introduced for determination of parameters of non-uniform birefringent media. These characteristic functions are found by simple procedures and can be utilised for simultaneous determination of retardation, its wavelength dispersion, and twist angle, as well as for solving associated optimization problems.

    Cholesteric LCD that possesses some unique properties, such as bistability and good selective scattering, however, has a disadvantage – relatively high driving voltage (tens of volts). The way we propose to reduce the driving voltage consists of applying a stack of thin (~1µm) LC layers.

    We have studied the ability of a layer of a surface stabilized ferroelectric liquid crystal coupled with several retardation plates for birefringent color generation. We have demonstrated that in order to accomplish good color characteristics and high brightness of the display, one or two retardation plates are sufficient.

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