Self-organizing Systems
This research, much of it in collaboration with John J. Batholdi, III, explores how to induce desirable global behavior spontaneously, from the local interactions of agents. There have been a number of applications and implementations:

  • BUCKET BRIGADES, a self-organizing protocol for sharing work on an assembly-line. (This has been especially successful in organizing order-pickers in warehouses.)

  • A scheme by which BUSES spontaneously coordinate themselves on a route to equalize headways. It has been implemented on the Georgia Tech Trolley System.

  • A scheme to recover cyclic schedules after a disruption is described in this paper.

Public Sector Logistics
Here are a couple of papers with Ananth. V. Iyer describing our work for the city of Chicago.

  • In this paper we describe a model and implementation of improving the logistics of the central Chicago Public School warehousing operation.

  • In this paper we describe a statistical model and Markov decision model of the garbage collection for the city of Chicago.

Hospital Operations

  • Email me for a copy of our working paper that describes how a hospital administrator should allocate bed capacity into wings, where each wing is allotted a set of care types and an allocation of beds. Our optimization model makes the trade-off between pooling of bed capacity, and the advantages of focusing care.

Warehousing and Distribution

  • I have taught a PhD course in the area using journal papers and the book Warehouse & Distribution Science by Bartholdi and Hackman that is freely available to download. Here is a paper of mine in this area on the design and analysis of an order picking system.