Raghavan and Gamvros win EURO strategic innovation prize

Professor S. Raghavan (BGMT/ISR) has been awarded the 2010 Management Science Strategic Innovation Prize by the European Association of Operational Research Societies (EURO). The award was for a paper jointly authored with his former student Ioannis Gamvros (now at IBM), “Multi-Period Traffic Routing in Satellite Networks.” It was presented at EURO’s annual conference in Lisbon, Portugal, in July. This is one of EURO’s major awards.

The paper deals with a strategic multi-period demand routing problem in satellite networks that has strong implications for revenue management.

In the satellite communications industry networks are somewhat dynamic as satellites are retired when they age, and new satellites are launched periodically. Further, customer demands change from year to year. Due to the structure of satellite communication networks, changing the route that a customer’s traffic follows in the satellite network over time incurs a very significant penalty. This is because the customers’ network must be shut down to re-point their satellite dish. This is not usually acceptable to customers.

Therefore, in the satellite industry it is desirable to try and route traffic over time without occurring significant rerouting penalties. The notion of these re-routing penalties requires network planners to look at routing decisions over multiple time periods and introduces novel challenges that have not been considered previously in the mathematical programming literature.

The paper develops an elegant mathematical approach to successfully solve this multi-period traffic routing problem with route change penalties. The computational work in the paper validates this approach, and was estimated by the satellite provider to potentially save them several hundred million dollars in costs.

Published July 28, 2010