New Zealand / Auckland University / School of Engineering / Engineering Science / Andrew Mason : [Ambulances], [ORSNZ], [APC]

Dr Andrew J. Masons


Check out the Siren software that we have developed for emergency services with Optima, and the older simulation and rostering work this is based upon..
Optima's expertise was recognised as a joint winner (with Telemetry Research) at the 2006 PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.
During sabattical in Sweden, I worked with colleagues on a column generation model for supply chain optimisation in the pulp industry. This work won the 2001 Euro Award for Excellence in Practice. An early presentation and forthcoming paper are available below.
Cyclic Roster Builder V4.xls
RosterBuilderV8.xls
Wanting to build a cyclic roster (cyclic schedule) for your staff? This free scheduling spreadsheet may help you construct your roster. There is also a more advanced version RosterBuilderV8.xls which allows you to freely modify your planned cyclic roster to reflect staff requests etc.

Courses

Info on EngSci course restructuring

In 2008, first semester, I am teaching in Stats/Eng 255 FC/SC, EngSci 760 (Algorithms in Optimisation), EngSci 761 (Computational Optimization in Operations Research), EngSci 762 (Advanced Topics in OR). I also teach in EngSci311 (MM3).

Other courses I have been involved with include:

Engsci791 Advanced Linear Optimisation (ALO)
Engsci311 SC MM3
Engsci460 FC Operations Research (Year 4)
Engsci450 & 451 FC Computational Techniques 3A/B (Year 4)
Practical Set Partitioning and Column Generation (Linköping, Sweden 1999)
Mathematical Modelling 2
Stats255 Introduction to Operations Research
Engsci255 Modelling in Operations Research (Special EngSci TSP material)
Heuristics
Databases
Computer Systems (archived here)
Stats391 Optimisation in Operations Research
Engsci391 Optimisation in Operations Research
Engineering Design ST
All Eng Sci courses
Check out http://www.bruceeckel.com for an excellent C++ resource.


The Knack

Do you suffer from the knack? (287k WAV audio file)  Also available with pictures (2.3M mpeg file)


Rostering and Call Centre Work

Interested in more details on our rostering work? Read our Capability Statement. Click here for resources on rostering, including call centres, sleep issues etc, and a free staff scheduling spreadsheet to help you construct your cyclic roster..


Interests

I am interested in mathematical programming and optimization theory, Combinatorial optimization, genetic algorithms and other heuristic solution methods; personnel scheduling, rostering and network models; column generation and simulation techniques.

I am the developer for OpenSolver, www.opensolver.org, an enhanced, Solver-compatible open source linear and integer programming optimizer for Excel. OpenSolver uses the COIN-OR CBC optimization engine. OpenSolver is typically faster than Solver, can solve larger problems, and does so more reliably. OpenSolver also allows you to easily view your optimisation directly on your spreadsheet, making it much easier to check your model design.

I am currently a Council member (and de-facto Webmaster) in the Operational Research Society of New Zealand


As a member of INFORMS, I support their Analytics publication.

I enjoy sailing, and entered the Carson Challenge with a group of work colleagues; check out Margot's pictures. This movie (.avi, 963 KB) shows some of the yachting simulation work we do. I also enjoy tramping; I took this picture of the Mackinnon Pass on a recent trip through the Milford Track.

We did a bit of scrambling during the 2001 ORSNZ conference in Christchruch; Hala Jasim took some pictures: one, two (left to right: Kavinesh Singh (Yr 4), Faram Engineer (Yr 4), Portia Cerny (Masters), Matthias Ehrgott (staff), Andrew Mason (staff)), three (Faram, Andrew, Matthias, Hala Jasim, Kavinesh).

I have developed Windows software "Parallel Port Monitor 2000" (ParMon 2000) for monitoring and controlling the parallel port used in our Computer Systems course (archived here).

We went walking out on the West Coast in 2007 during Professor Linda Green's visit to Auckland. Linda is from Columbia University, New York, and works in healthcare.

Yacht Instrumentation and Software
We are developing open source software for working with NMEA 2000 (N2k) and NMEA 0183 messages. This complements existing open source navigation software (that has minimal N2k support), including:

Nautical Charts for NZ
Other software for working with N2k data includes:
There are other instrument display and data handling programs available, including:

Engineering Science 1963-

Did you know that the Department of Theoretical and Applied Maths (TAM) was formed in 1963, and had its first students (in their 2nd year - known as '1st Professional' - of a 4 year degree) in 1964? These students graduated in 1966, and included well known academics such as Peter Jackson (now at Canterbury University). You can read more about the history of the Engineering Science department in a humorous mock interview written by one of our early staff members, Mervyn Rosser, in 1992. Although the degree was always called "Engineering Science", the department only changed its name to this 1989.

You can view an advertising brochure from 1988 and another from 1992 (p1, p2). (These dates are approximate.) Also check out the 1988 Field Trip information sheet, our student version of this, and the 1987 student information sheet.

Historic photos. EngSci Field Trip 1993 EngSci Tramp 1993 TAM 2nd Pro 1986 TAM Graduation in 1988


  

Selected Publications

A. Mason, 1987, Speaker Matching, A 3'rd Pro Project in Engineering Science
Main PDF, Appendix PDF, Main compressed postscript, Appendix compressed postscript.

Andrew Mason and Andy Philpott, 1988, Speaker Pairing using Matching Algorithms, Asia Pacific Journal or Operations Research, 5, p101-116
PDF file, Compressed postscript file [0.5Mb].

Andrew J Mason, 1991, Partition Coefficients, Static Deception and Deceptive Problems for Non-Binary Alphabets, in R.K. Belew, and L.B. Booker, editors, Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Genetic Algorithms, Morgan Kaufmann, San Mateo, CA
PDF file, Compressed postscript file.

Andrew J Mason, 1995, A Non-Linearity Measure of a Problem's Crossover Suitability, IEEE International Conference on Evolutionary Programming, Perth
Viewable files, PDF file, Compressed postscript file [0.5Mb].

Andrew J Mason and Mikael Ronnqvist, 1996, Solution Methods for the Balancing of Jet Turbines, Computers and Operations Research 24(2):153--167
PDF file, Postscript file, Data Files

Kevin Broad, Andrew J Mason, Mikael Ronnqvist, Mark Frater, 1996, Optimal Robotic Component Placement, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 47:1343--1354

Andrew J. Mason, David M. Ryan, David M. Panton, 1998, Integrated Simulation, Heuristic and Optimisation Approaches to Staff Scheduling, Operations Research, Vol 46, Number 2, pp161-175
PDF file [0.5Mb], Compressed postscript file [0.5Mb].

Shane Henderson, Andrew J. Mason, 1998, Rostering by iterating integer programming and simulation in Proceedings of the 1998 Winter Simulation Conference, edited by D. Medeiros and E. Watson, Washington DC, December 13-16, 1998
PDF file , postscript file [104k]

Andrew J. Mason, Mark C Smith, 1998, A Nested Column Generator for solving Rostering Problems with Integer Programming in International Conference on Optimisation : Techniques and Applications, L. Caccetta; K. L. Teo; P. F. Siew; Y. H. Leung; L. S. Jennings, and V. Rehbock (eds.), Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia, p827-834, April 1998
PDF file , Zip compressed postscript file

Andrew J. Mason, David Nielsen, 1999, PETRA : A Programmable Optimisation Engine and Toolbox for Personnel Rostering Applications presented at the 15th Triennial International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS) Conference IFORS 99, August 16-20, 1999, Beijing, China; available as School of Engineering Technical Report 593
Powerpoint Presentation of talk (online), Technical report: Zip compressed postscript file (293k) PDF file,

Shane G. Henderson, Andrew J. Mason, Ilze Ziedins, Richard Thomson, 1999, A Heuristic for Determining Efficient Staffing Requirements for Call Centres, School of Engineering Technical Report 594, August, 1999
Zip compressed postscript file (420k) PDF file

Shane G. Henderson, Andrew J. Mason, 1999, Estimating Ambulance Requirements in Auckland, New Zealand, "Proceedings of the 1999 Winter Simulation Conference", Phoenix Arizona, December 1999
Postscript file (984k) Zip compressed postscript file (385k) PDF file
(See also our St John page.)

Andrew J. Mason, 1999, Branch and Cut and Integer Programming for Cyclic Rostering, "Proceedings of the 1999 Nordic MPS Conference", Västerås, Sweden, September 1999
Powerpoint Presentation (online), Postscript file (1476k) Zip compressed postscript file (431k) PDF file

Shane Henderson, Andrew J. Mason, 2000, Development of a Simulation and Data Visualisation tool to assist in Strategic Operations Management in Emergency Services , School of Engineering Technical Report 595, January 2000
Postscript file (5.7M) Zip compressed postscript file (582k) PDF file (363k)

Andrew J. Mason, Mikael Ronnqvist, 2000, Supply Chain Optimisation in the Pulp Mill Industry, presented at ANZIAM 2000, Waitangi, New Zealand, January 2000
Presentation

Andrew J. Mason, Andy B. Philpott, 2000, Stochastic Yacht Routing, presented at ANZIAM 2000, Waitangi, New Zealand, January 2000
Presentation

Toby Allsopp, Andrew Mason, Andy Philpott, Optimising Yacht Routes under Uncertainty, invited APORS session presentation, in Proceedings of the 2000 Fall National Conference of the Operations Research Society of Japan, Tokyo, September 2000, pp176-183
Postscript file (1.3M) Zip compressed postscript file (282k) PDF file (254k)

Toby Allsopp, Andrew Mason, Andy Philpott, Optimal Sailing Routes with Uncertain Weather, in Proceedings of the The 35th Annual Conference of the Operational Research Society of New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 1-2 December, 2000, pp 65-74
Postscript file (1,400k) Zip compressed postscript file (293k) PDF file (265k) Presentation (HTML) Full Masters Thesis (1132k PDF)

Andrew Mason, Shane Henderson, BartSim: A Tool for Analysing and Improving Ambulance Performance in Auckland, New Zealand, in Proceedings of the The 35th Annual Conference of the Operational Research Society of New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 1-2 December, 2000, pp 57-64
Postscript file (1,400k) Zip compressed postscript file (293k) PDF file (265k)

Andrew Mason, Andy Philpott, Optimising Yacht Routes under Uncertainty, in Proceedings of the 15th Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium [abstract], January 2001, Annapolis, Maryland, 10p
Postscript file (2,900k) Zip compressed postscript file (596k) PDF file (596k)

Andrew J. Mason, 2001, Elastic Constraint Branching, the Wedelin/Carmen Lagrangian Heuristic and Integer Programming for Personnel Scheduling. An updated version of this is available as "Elastic Constraint Branching, the Wedelin/Carmen Lagrangian Heuristic and Integer Programming for Personnel Scheduling" in Annals of Operations Research, 108(1), pp239-276, Nov 2001.
PDF file (372k) Postscript file (2092M) Zipped Postscript file (588k) DVI file (143k)

David Bredstron, Jan T. Lundgren, Mikael Ronnqvist, D. Carlsson, Andrew J. Mason, 2001, Supply Chain Optimisation in the Pulp Mill Industry --IP models, column generation and novel constraint branches, European Journal of Operations Research, Volume 156, Issue 1, 1 July 2004, Pages 2-22
Powerpoint Presentation Postscript file (3,9570k) Zip compressed postscript file (497k) PDF file (596k) (coming soon)
This paper won the 2001 Euro Award for Excellence in Practice

Tim Watson, Colin Christian, Andrew Mason, Murray Smith, Maintenance of Water Distribution Systems, in Proceedings of the The 36th Annual Conference of the Operational Research Society of New Zealand, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 30 November - 1 December, 2001, p57-66
PDF file (172k)

Andrew J Mason, Andy B Philpott, Development of FIDO - A Network Design Tool for Fibre Cable Layout, in Proceedings of the The 36th Annual Conference of the Operational Research Society of New Zealand, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 30 November - 1 December, 2001, p120-129
PDF file (172k)

Tim Watson, Colin Christian, Andrew Mason, Murray Smith, Renate Myers, Bayesian-based Decision Support System for Water Distribution Systems, in Fifth International Conference on Hydroinformatics, Cardiff University, UK, 1-5 July 2002 [mistakenly left out of proceedings]
PDF file (172k)

Joseph K. L. Wong, Andrew J. Mason, Michael J. Neve and Kevin W. Sowerby, An improved integer programming formulation for indoor base station placement, 2002
PDF file (172k)

Andy Philpott, Andrew J. Mason, Advances in optimization in Yacht Performance Analysis, 2002, High Performance Yacht Design Conference 2002, Auckland, NZ, December 2002, p229-236
PDF file (172k)

Mason, Andrew J; Panton, David, Cyclic Rostering Using Branch and Cut in Proceedings of the 37th Annual ORSNZ Conference, University of Auckland, 29-30 November 2002, p287-296
PDF file (149k)

Mason, A., P. Day, S. G. Henderson, J. Meyer, J. Snowdon, and J. Waite. 2003. Development of a simulation package for modelling emergency medical service operations. Proceedings of the 8th Annual International Conference on Industrial Engineering Theory, Applications and Practice, 556-559.
PDF file (114k)

David Panton, Maria John, Stephen Lucas, Andrew Mason, Flight test data cycle map optimisation, European Journal of Operational Research 146 (2003) 486-497

Philpott, A.B., Mason, A.J., Davenport, J., "FIDO: Telecom's Best Friend", OR/MS Today, 30, pp 36-41, April 2003
HTML copy

Henderson, S.G., Mason, A.J., Ambulance Service Planning: Simulation and Data Visualization, in Brandeau, M.L., Sainfort, F., and W.P. Pierskalla, Eds., Operations Research and Health Care: A Handbook of Methods and Applications, , Volume 70, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp77-102, 2004
PDF file (318k)

T. G. Watson, C. D. Christian, A. J. Mason, M. H. Smith and R. Meyer, Bayesian-based pipe failure model, Journal of Hydroinformatics 6 (2004) 259-264

Butt, S.E., Fredericks, T.K., Mason, A.J., Ryan, D.M., Fernandez, J.E., Mital, A.. Eds, Proceedings of the 9th Annual International Conference on Industrial Engineering Theory, Applications and Practice. Nov 27-30, Auckland, New Zealand, 2004.
www.ijienet.org/ijie04/

Mason, A.J., Ed., Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Operational Research Society of New Zealand, Nov 28-29, Auckland, New Zealand, 250pp, 2004
http://www.esc.auckland.ac.nz/Organisations/ORSNZ/conf39/index.html

Panton D, John M, Mason A, An Integer Programming Model for the Optimization of Data Cycle Maps, in Integer Programming - Theory and Practice, John K. Karlof, CRC Press, Florida, 2005, pp195-220, ISBN: 0-8493-1914-5 [Amazon.co.uk]

Joseph K. L. Wong, Andrew J. Mason, Michael J. Neve and Kevin W. Sowerby, Base Station Placement in Indoor Wireless Systems Using Binary Integer Programming, IEE Proceedings - Communications, 153, 771 (2006)
Reference  PDF File from IEE (171kb)

Mason, A.J., Siren: An Ambulance Simulation System, presented at Mathematical Models for Optimizing Transportation Services, The University of Auckland, 19 - 22 April 2005
PDF file (652k)

Mason, A.J., Technology Transfer - Successfully Delivering Operations Research Software, presented at Informs Practice Conference, Palm Springs, USA, 17 - 19 April 2005
PDF file (4,216k)

Mason, A.J., Emergency Vehicle Trip Analysis using GPS AVL Data: A Dynamic Program for Map Matching, in Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Operational Research Society of New Zealand, ISSN 0114-6602, 2-3 December 2005, Wellington, New Zealand, p295-304, 2005
PDF file (1872k)

Watson, T., Mason, A., A Hierarchical Bayesian Model For The Maintenance Of Water Pipe Networks, 7th International Conference on Hydroinformatics “HIC 2006,” Nice, France, pp8, 2006
PDF file (199k)

Mason, A.J., Faster Map Matching for Emergency Vehicle Trip Analysis, in Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference of the Operational Research Society of New Zealand, ISSN 0114-6602, 30 November - 1 December 2006, Christchurch, New Zealand, p19-28, 2006
PDF file (474k)

Andrew Mason, A Survey of Map Matching Algorithms, Engineering Technical Report TR664, School of Engineering, University of Auckland, 2008


Andrew Mason, Shane Henderson, A Model and Optimisation approach for Map Matching with Sparse GPS Data, Engineering Technical Report TR665, School of Engineering, University of Auckland, 2008

Mason, A.J., Dohn, Anders, Ryan, D.M., Customised Column Generation for Rostering Problems: Using Compile-time Customisation to create a Flexible C++ Engine for Staff Rostering, in Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference of the Operational Research Society of New Zealand, 3-4 December 2009, Christchurch, New Zealand, p172-179, 2009
PDF file (474k)

Lei Zhang, Andrew Mason, Andy Philpott, Optimization of a Single Ambulance Move up, in Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference of the Operational Research Society of New Zealand, 3-4 December 2009, Christchurch, New Zealand, p225-226

Mason, A.J., "Operations Research Society of New Zealand (ORSNZ)", Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, to appear in 2010

Jobs

A few of our students have headed off to Barclays, UK, for a great introduction to finance and IT. To quote Paul Hunnego, "You have to have the right to work in the UK; either a passport from any EU country or you can claim patriality and get a 4 year visa if your grandparents were English.. I think?!" Sam Tuck, sam.tuck@barclayscapital.com, one of our graduates from 1997, has pointed out you can receive over $100,000; check out http://www.barcap.com/graduatecareers/nzsa/job.shtml.
If you are interested in IT, check out this report on the IT job market in the USA. IT is not as much in demand as people like to think.


Students at Work

For a great example of what our students can do, check out www.derceto.com. One of my masters students, David Geary, has been a major contributor to this water optimisation project.


Did you know...

George Dantzig invented the Simplex Algorithm in 1947. One of the first applications of the simplex algorithm was to the determination of an adequate diet that was of least cost. In the fall of 1947, Jack Laderman of the Mathematical Tables Project of the National Bureau of Standards undertook, as a test of the newly proposed simplex method, the first large-scale computation in this field. It was a system with nine equations in seventy-seven unknowns. Using hand-operated desk calculators, approximately 120 man-days were required to obtain a solution. ... The particular problem solved was one which had been studied earlier by George Stigler (who later became a Nobel Laureate) who proposed a solution based on the substitution of certain foods by others which gave more nutrition per dollar. He then examined a "handful" of the possible 510 ways to combine the selected foods. He did not claim the solution to be the cheapest but gave his reasons for believing that the cost per annum could not be reduced by more than a few dollars. Indeed, it turned out that Stigler's solution (expressed in 1945 dollars) was only 24 cents higher than the true minimum per year $39.69. [ref]

The electricity market in NZ uses linear programming to decide how to optimally distribute electricity around NZ, and what prices should be paid for the electricity. A linear programming model is solved every 5 minutes to give up to date information on pricing and electricity flows.


Contact Details

Email: a.mason@auckland.ac.nz
Telephone: +64 9 3737599x87909
Fax: +64 9 3737468
Room: 439.319, Level 3, 70 Symonds St
Post: Dept of Eng Sci,
School of Engineering,
University of Auckland,
Private Bag 92019,
Auckland,
New Zealand

Big Brother is Listening

Did you know that the American National Security Agency (NSA) can read any encypted message sent by Netscape or Internet Explorer, read any fax and listen to any telephone call made overseas? And your NZ taxes help make this possible. Check out this EU "Echelon" report.


Fun & Projects

Cool optical illusion
Entertaining springs
So, Bill, which way does the world go around?
You can download my Excel/VB Sudoko solver
You may wish to download the simple Visual Basic.net Countdown Timer (plus Visual Studio 2007 source, and optional installer) we use in our student talks. We also have an older Visual Basic 6 count down timer (plus source) . (Requires VB libraries.)


Thought for the Day

Death

The return journey

back to the port

we once departed

in a ship

we know

as Birth

New Zealand / Auckland University / School of Engineering / Engineering Science / Andrew Mason


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