And to close the year, Nazaré Rego, Jorge Pinho de Sousa and I have published a paper on Health Care Management Science – A hybrid approach for integrated healthcare cooperative purchasing and supply chain configuration.
Here is the abstract:
This paper presents an innovative and flexible approach for recommending the number, size and composition of purchasing groups, for a set of hospitals willing to cooperate, while minimising their shared supply chain costs. This approach makes the financial impact of the various cooperation alternatives transparent to the group and the individual participants, opening way to a negotiation process concerning the allocation of the cooperation costs and gains. The approach was developed around a hybrid Variable Neighbourhood Search (VNS)/Tabu Search metaheuristic, resulting in a flexible tool that can be applied to purchasing groups with different characteristics, namely different operative and market circumstances, and to supply chains with different topologies and atypical cost characteristics. Preliminary computational results show the potential of the approach in solving a broad range of problems.
Simulation analysis of the impact of ignitions, rekindles, and false alarms on forest fire suppression
The Canadian Journal of Forest Research has just published a joint paper with Abílio P. Pacheco and Tiago Oliveira, Simulation analysis of the impact of ignitions, rekindles, and false alarms on forest fire suppression.
It is the first time that I co-author a paper with an abstract in French… donc voilà:
Les reprises de feu et les fausses alarmes sont des phénomènes qui occupent une place importante dans le système portugais de gestion des feux de forêt et qui ont un impact important particulièrement sur les ressources allouées à la suppression et de façon générale sur les ressources responsables de la gestion des feux. Dans cet article, nous proposons un modèle de simulation d’événements discrets d’un système de suppression des feux de forêt, conçu pour analyser l’impact conjoint des allumages, des reprises et des fausses alarmes sur la performance du système. Le modèle a été appliqué à une étude de cas dans le district de Porto, au Portugal, durant la période critique de la saison des feux de forêt, entre les mois de juillet et septembre 2010. Nous avons étudié le comportement du point de rupture du système en comparant le scénario de base réel à un scénario étalon élaboré avec des valeurs de référence pour les reprises de feu et les fausses alarmes et également en fonction du nombre de feux en tenant compte des variations historiques. Les résultats de l’analyse sont utiles pour prendre des décisions opérationnelles et fournissent des informations pertinentes au sujet des compromis entre les efforts de prévention et de suppression.
Edgar Jimenez, Jorge P. Sousa, and I recently published The airport business in a competitive environment, in the European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research.
The abstract is the following:
The liberalisation of the European air transport market has introduced new dynamics in the airport industry. In recent decades, airports evolved from infrastructure providers in a monopolistic context, to commercially orientated enterprises in a competitive environment. Current studies of airport strategic management lack a comprehensive perspective that enables airport operators to best identify the opportunities created by such dynamics. This paper analyses an airport as a multi-service firm that interacts with a network of stakeholders – the airport business network – to deliver several service packages to different groups of customers. An integrated conceptual framework was developed to aid academics and practitioners in the appraisal and design of competitive strategies for airports. Such framework covers a clear gap in existing literature, partly due to the fact that current perspectives on airport management fail to address the complexity of the industry in the present competitive environment.
Público has covered our recent paper in the Journal of Environmental Management, in ‘Floresta em Perigo‘, their very thoughtful and well-researched series on the 2013 forest fire season in Portugal. The online version is here.
Forest fire management to avoid unintended consequences: A case study of Portugal using system dynamics
Forest fire management to avoid unintended consequences: A case study of Portugal using system dynamics is a new paper with Ross Collins, Richard de Neufville, Tiago Oliveira, and Abílio Pacheco, in the Journal of Environmental Management.
Here is the abstract:
Forest fires are a serious management challenge in many regions, complicating the appropriate allocation to suppression and prevention efforts. Using a System Dynamics (SD) model, this paper explores how interactions between physical and political systems in forest fire management impact the effectiveness of different allocations. A core issue is that apparently sound management can have unintended consequences. An instinctive management response to periods of worsening fire severity is to increase fire suppression capacity, an approach with immediate appeal as it directly treats the symptom of devastating fires and appeases the public. However, the SD analysis indicates that a policy emphasizing suppression can degrade the long-run effectiveness of forest fire management. By crowding out efforts to preventative fuel removal, it exacerbates fuel loads and leads to greater fires, which further balloon suppression budgets. The business management literature refers to this problem as the firefighting trap, wherein focus on fixing problems diverts attention from preventing them, and thus leads to inferior outcomes. The paper illustrates these phenomena through a case study of Portugal, showing that a balanced approach to suppression and prevention efforts can mitigate the self-reinforcing consequences of this trap, and better manage long-term fire damages. These insights can help policymakers and fire managers better appreciate the interconnected systems in which their authorities reside and the dynamics that may undermine seemingly rational management decisions.
The 10th edition of COHiTEC in Porto will be next year. A great overview of this Technology Commercialization Program, that I have worked with since its beginning, is available in the videos below About COHiTEC and the COHiTEC Experience, in Act by COTEC’s website, or in the Roadshow sessions for the 2013 edition.
Together with Daniel Delgado, we have a new paper in the International Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems – Transmission network expansion planning under demand uncertainty and risk aversion.
The abstract is the following:
The explicit incorporation of uncertainty in transmission network design can help to improve the balance between different and important concerns such as network utilization, demand satisfaction, or dynamic sourcing from lower-cost generation options. The explicit study of mean-risk trade-offs in network design can also better support planners in risk-related decisions. With these motivations, we present in this paper a mean-risk mixed integer linear programming model for transmission network expansion planning. The model has the potential to be used in practical applications, but in the scope of the paper is used to search for network design insights, with a study of loss-averse design of three fundamental network building blocks–an independent design, a radial design, and a meshed design. The study illustrates how different network designs feature different trade-offs between mean cost minimization and risk mitigation, focusing on the impact of network structure, loss aversion, variability, and demand correlation.
My father in law, Walter Osswald, has just published a wonderful book about Cistercian Monasteries in Portugal.
“Mosteiros Cistercienses em Portugal – Pequeno Roteiro” is a fruit of his love for the Cistercian heritage, which has at heart his rehabilitation of Mosteiro de São Cristóvão de Lafões.
Spatial and commercial evolution of aviation networks: a case study in mainland Portugal is a new paper with Edgar Jimenez and Jorge Pinho de Sousa, in the Journal of Transport Geography.
Here is the abstract:
This paper applies network analysis to study the evolution of aviation networks. It takes a different approach from previous research that usually only explores airline networks. The aviation network of the airports of Lisbon, Faro and Porto, is modelled using the supply of seats and the passenger demand between 2001 and 2010. This analysis is complemented with a study of the commercial evolution of the three airports. It is noticeable the impact of low-cost carriers in the evolution of the configuration of the network over time. A de-concentration effect is also shown to occur, due to the interaction between airport and airline decisions that favour network development. The results of the analysis highlight how critical it has become for airport managers to assess and satisfy the real requirements of the different types of airlines, in order to reduce uncertainty and increase traffic.
Consumo em Verde (CEV), the first new business project to emerge from COHiTEC, signed an exclusive distribution and development agreement with FMC Corporation, for its unique patented fungicidal active ingredient. FMC Agricultural Products Group will develop and market the fungicide in the United States and Canada as Problad Plus™ for all crop and non-crop uses.
Read the press release here.