Research — Engineering Management, Information, and Systems

The Department of Engineering Management, Information, and Systems (EMIS) research thrusts include: decision systems engineering, telecommunications software, and information engineering.  The unifying theme of these efforts is the application of engineering principles and techniques to enhance organizational performance.

The same systems-oriented, mathematical-model-based approach to design¾that has been the cornerstone of engineering for decades¾has powerful applications within organizations and their operations. EMIS research builds on its faculty’s international prominence in operations research, combining new mathematical models with advanced computing and information technologies to create value and competitive advantages for organizations.

Current Research in Decision Systems Engineering

Decision systems use software models to increase operational profitability, efficiency, reliability, and quality for industry and government. They require fast solutions to complex, large-scale problems that exceed the capability of traditional approaches. Engineering such systems requires inter-disciplinary expertise in mathematical modeling, applied optimization, economics, and business methods. Active research areas include:

n        Logistics, supply-chain, and supply-web: systems design and management

n        Benchmarking systems: methods for measuring and improving the performance and efficiency of an enterprise, including advanced Balanced-Scorecard models

n        Operations planning and management: resource allocation, personnel assignment, location, routing and scheduling, military targeting and target systems

Current Research in Telecommunications Software

Optimization software for telecommunications network design and management is a major EMIS research focus area. The underlying problems are computationally daunting and of strategic importance for the industry. This research addresses the challenges of telecommunications-based organizations by engineering advanced systems for increasing profitability, efficiency, reliability, and quality. Example projects include:

n        Optical telecommunications network design: minimum-cost high-bandwidth network design (mesh, SONET-ring, hierarchical, and hybrid), all-optical and WDM network design and optimization, capacity planning, multi-period implementation, quality-of-service considerations

n        Network management: circuit and wavelength optimization, automated provisioning, and dynamic re-configuration of telecommunications networks

n        Telecommunication network grooming and reliability models

Research in Information Engineering

Information engineering—the use of advanced information technologies as a competitive weapon in business management—is a growing EMIS research area. The existing effort will be significantly expanded, based on the department’s anticipated hiring plan. Current research topics include:

n        Data mining: Machine-learning and parallel processing approaches to knowledge discovery in large datasets

n        Microdata and micro-simulation modeling: dataset construction for policy models, data quality control

n        Scoring systems: discriminant models (e.g., credit-scoring models), clustering (large-dataset cluster identification), organizational failure-prediction