119th European Study Group

with Industry

June 27th to July 1st 2016, Porto, Portugal

The 119th European Study Group with Industry will take place from June 27th to July 1st in Portugal, at the Porto Design Factory of Polytechnic of Porto.

These meetings were created with the aim of renovating and reinforcing the links between Mathematics and Industry.

This meeting is part of the series of European Study Groups and will bring together several European experts with a large experience in this type of events.

More information on study groups and related aspects is available at the International Study Groups website, the Smith Institute and the European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry. For a fairly comprehensive list of problems and respective reports which have appeared in previous study groups see here.


Information for Companies

If you think that your company might have something to gain from discussing a problem with us, do not hesitate to contact the 119ESGI organizers. We will be more than happy to visit you, at no cost and without any need for an immediate commitment, for an initial discussion about formulating such a problem. The confidentiality of the data provided is assured.

Almost all industrial problems have some mathematical aspect to them, although the mathematics is not always recognizable at first. Indeed, from our own experience, some of the most successful study group problems were not well-defined in mathematical terminology at the start of the study group. Study group problems can come from a wide range of industrial areas, such as Engineering, Electronics, Transport, Agriculture, Energy, Banking, Medicine. For more information on past study groups, including a description of some of the problems which have been presented at previous meetings, see Past Study Groups.

The fee for a firm to present a problem at the study group will depend on the size of the enterprise.

Companies may be present only on the first day (to expose their problems) and on the last day (for the results), but they may also stay the entire week to brainstorm ideas.

After the event, a report on each problem will be sent to the company. Optionally, one of the academics may visit the company to discuss the solution.


Information for Academics

The academic participants are a diverse group of people, including PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors, with expertise in Mathematical fields such as Operations Research, Optimization, Statistics, Numerical Analysis, Computer Sciences, Physics, Finances, among others.

At the beginning of the week, a representative from each company presents their industrial problem to the participating mathematicians. The participants allocate themselves to a group, each of which works in one of the proposed problems with the industrial partner. The work will be developed in full-time over the next days. On the last day, each group will make a presentation of the results obtained and all participants share suggestions for further work.

After the study group, a report on each problem will be sent to the corresponding firm. Apart from the results obtained during the study group, this report may contain suggestions for further collaboration.

Proceedings with the technical reports produced by the participating groups will be published. Additionally a booklet containing the summaries of the results and success stories of the collaborations will be sent to potential future partners, companies and funding institutions.


Study Group Problems

See the booklet here.

For the proceedings contact the organization commitee.

PROBLEM 1: Time Raeduction of the Packaging Process 


Savana is a company in the footwear sector which has more than 27 years old and has more than 150 employees. This company specializes in children’s footwear and sells shoes from size 18 to 40. Each pair of shoes is individually packed in a cardboard box customized for each client. The ideal size of each box size depends on the shoe model and the position in which is placed within the box. These boxes are ordered from an external supplier that has only a few available measures, so it will have to use the same size boxes for various sizes and models.

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Due to the constant introduction of new models in production, the size of the boxes is initially set manually in an experimental procedure (testing), often time consuming. Savana challenges ESGI’s participants to study their packaging process, in order to reduce the variety of box sizes, the empty waste of space inside the boxes and to eliminate the need to perform testing, thereby reducing the time and increasing the efficiency of the packaging process.

Furthermore, the orders of each customer are packed in larger cardboard box. Within one of these big boxes various designs and sizes to be delivered to a single client can be included. These larger boxes have dimensions, weight and forms of inner organization subject to customer specifications. In this context, Savana intents to determine automatically the size of the big boxes to send to each customer and how to dispose the individual boxes for each clients’ order.



PROBLEM 2: Revenue Management Pricing in Douro Hotels 

DOURO_Palace    DouroRoyalValley

In Hospitality and Tourism, Mathematical tools are already widely used with regard to data analysis. Revenue Management has taken advantage of some of these tools. Using Mathematics, it is possible to create models that help decision making and carry out actions based on facts and not merely on intuition.

The volume of data available in most hotel and tourism units allows, through the application of various Statistical techniques, for example, to identify patterns of guests that did not repeat stays; booking cancellations; bookings in advance; expenditure patterns of “loyal” customers; consumption of food and beverages due to the segmentation of the guests.

In addition, it is also possible to identify the relationship between revenues and costs versus occupation / guest segmentation; to make forecasts of demand / occupancy and revenue of other departments depending on guests’ segmentation.

The company intends to find an algorithm that generates the ideal price to practice for a given date, based on the Hotel records of previous years and in the occupation and prices of the competition. Reservations already confirmed for future dates, the existence of events in the guests town or in the hotel area, bank holidays, popularity ratings on hotel search engines, among others, may also be considered.

Ideally, the algorithm should react whenever significant changes occur in the competition prices. The final goal is to move towards price management automation in these Hotel units.


PROBLEM 3: Improving the grape reception process – Harvest


Preserving until today its family-oriented, Aveleda has evolved over time combining dedication, tradition and technology and ensuring careful management allows it to follow, in the best way, the prompts and growth of markets and improve the quality of its products and services.

Aveleda is a world leader in the production of “vinho verde”, annually exporting more than half of its production to over 70 countries worldwide.

In all harvest periods and especially at certain hours of the day, Aveleda faces extensive waiting lines of its suppliers for discharging the grapes.

Most worrying is the fact that the processing capacity of wine house is far from its maximum processing capacity, since the grape flow is not regular throughout the day.

There are many aspects to consider when trying to minimize the waiting queues and manage the unused capacity of the wine house in less “crowded” hours. The aim is to mathematically model this problem and point improvements of the existing process.


PROBLEM 4: PRIMAVERA Manufacturing Software – Optimization of Production Planning


For nearly 10 years, PRIMAVERA BSS has had in its product portfolio a standard industrial production management solution for which covered key features across various industries (see  here a description of this solution). It is a very competitive solution in regards to logistics, product engineering, budgeting, MRP and MES.

However, although it offers a good user experience and it is an agile tool in a graphical environment, it is also somewhat limited in the manufacturing planning aspect, both in terms of the optimization criteria and in setting production priorities.

After investing a few years in these areas, PRIMAVERA BSS considers it is time to give its customers other innovative solutions in the field of management planning by applying production optimization and prioritization algorithms.

The aim is to meet the industry’s needs in an increasingly global and competitive environment, where it is necessary to apply new concepts based on efficient methods, in order to increase production capacity and performance.

Given a set of jobs, operation times and costs, delivery dates, available resources, work centers, time schedules and calendars, the objective is create the algorithms and heuristic data that can provide the best response to a combination of optimization criteria, such as minimizing the lateness in deliveries, the makespan, and the setup times, or maximizing the load level of the work centers, and the throughput rate, also by considering one or more sorting rules (earliest due dates, shortest processing times,…).

PRIMAVERA BSS wants to find an effective scheduling algorithm that can add new features to their software, with a good performance (being able to run in less than 10 minutes), and that can be sufficiently generic and adaptable to be used by different industries (metal, furniture, wood, textile, and food industry).


PROBLEM 5: Pattern Simulation


EDP – Energias de Portugal, with nearly 14 000 MW (2012 update and excluding wind power) of installed capacity in the MIBEL (Iberian Electricity Market), is the only company in the Iberian Peninsula with generation, distribution and supply (both electricity and gas) activities in Portugal and Spain. EDP is present in Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Poland, Romania, Italy, United Kingdom, United States and Brazil being the third largest wind operator worldwide with a strong presence in the USA, as well as in Europe.

We integrate the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes World for the eighth consecutive year, the world’s most demanding ranking, that distinguishes the best performing companies on issues related to transparency, sustainability and excellence in economic management and social environment.

Being active in the electricity market, we are interested in simulating electricity prices not only for risk measures purposes but also for scenario analysis in terms of pricing and strategy. The daily market electricity prices EDPimag1, is a strip of prices (one for each hour of the day), all simultaneously observed once at a given time of each day. Therefore the daily market prices can be interpreted as a time dependent multivariate random variable. For simplification, we may suppose that EDPimag2 is multivariate normal random variable with an inner variance-covariance matrix (constant in time) and with an auto-regressive structure for time dependence. Although simulating multivariate normal distributions is a straightforward exercise we need (and purpose) to simulate it subject to restrictions on the sum of Yt. We also welcome some insights on the estimation side when this conditioning on the sum of Yt is made.

Organizing Committee

Eliana Costa e Silva, CIICESI/ESTGF-IPP
Isabel Cristina Lopes, LEMA/ESEIG-IPP

Adérito Araújo, LCM-CMUC
Manuel Cruz, LEMA/ISEP-IPP
Pedro Freitas, FMH-UL/GFM-UL

Contact us at esgi@estgf.ipp.pt


Travel information

About the venue

The event will take place at Porto Design Factory (PDF), located in R. Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 537, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal.

Porto International Airport has regular flights to the main international cities by several flag companies, as well as low cost companies. From the airport you can take the metro to the city centre and to the venue.

The venue is well served by public transportation, being the closest the metro station IPO (yellow line) and the several bus stations at Hospital de S.João.

For a quick, low budget, lunch, the participants can use the canteen in one of the faculties nearby. There are also several restaurants and coffee shops in the surrounding area, including a shopping center, hotels and a main public hospital.


The suggested accommodation is Hotel IBIS Campus S.João, which is 350 meters distance. More comfortable options, also within walking distance, are Eurostars Oporto and Belver Beta Hotel. Another option is  Hotel Moov Porto Norte (5 min by car or bus).  There are also several budget hotels and hostels (http://pt.hostelbookers.com/albergues/portugal/porto/) downtown, near the main metro station Trindade, or along the metro yellow line.

About Porto

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal, with a vast surrounding of industrial tissue, and it is famous worldwide by its wine production, cork, footwear, textile and furniture. Situated in the heavily industrialized northwest, many of the largest Portuguese corporations from diverse economic sectors are headquartered in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto.
Porto is also a beautiful city that has attracted tourism lately: its historic centre was recognized in 1996 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and Porto has been voted more than once as best European city break.

Funding options for travelling and accommodation

All participants are responsible for organizing and funding their own travel to and from Porto as well as their accommodation.
We can issue an official invitation letter for international participants who need it for a visa application.


There is no fee for academic participants, but the registration is mandatory.

List of Participants

Adérito Araújo – CMUC, Department of Mathematics, University of Coimbra – Portugal
Aldina Correia – CIICESI, ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Eliana Costa e Silva – Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Isabel Cristina Lopes – LEMA, ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Manuel Cruz – LEMA/ISEP/Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal

Abdul Hanan Sheikh – QUEST Nawabshah University – Pakistan
Adelaide Cerveira – UTAD, INESC – Portugal
Aduide Rosa – Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Aleksandra Sidorowicz – Wroclaw University of Technology – Poland
Alexandra Braga – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Alexandre Trocado – Universidade Aberta – Portugal
Alfredo Soeiro – FEUP University of Porto – Portugal
Ali Farajzadeh – Razi University – Iran
Américo Jorge Marques – ISEP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Ana Borges – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Ana Clara Santos – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Ana Monteiro – Savana – Portugal
Ana Moura – ISEP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Ana Paula Lopes – ISCAP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Ana Raquel Ferreira – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Ana Rita Ferrás – ESTGF – Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Ana Rita Mendes – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
André Pinho – Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Andreia Monteiro – Universidade do Minho – Portugal
António Costa – ISEP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
António Pinto – Engenho e Rio – Portugal
Azadeh Hosseinpour – Naresuan University – Thailand
Burcu Gürbüz – Celal Bayar University – Turkey
Carla Andreia Alves – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Carla Santos – Instituto Politécnico de Beja and CMA- Univ. Nova Lisboa – Portugal
Carla Santos Pereira – Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique – Portugal
Charles Vicent – CENTRUM Católica Graduate Business School, PUCP – Peru
Cláudio Branco – ASPEA-PR – Portugal
Cristina Dias – Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre – Portugal
Daniel Lopes – ISEP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Daniela Jordão – Universidade de Coimbra – Portugal
Daniela Pinho – Engenho e Rio – Portugal
Diogo Couto – Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Eduarda Pinto Ferreira – ISEP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Eduardo Miguel Fernandes – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Elisete Correia – UTAD – Portugal
Fátima De Almeida – CIICESI, ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Fernanda Amélia Ferreira – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Fernanda Otília Figueiredo – CEAUL and Faculdade de Economia do Porto – Portugal
Filomena Soares – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Flávio Ferreira – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Flora Ferreira – University of Porto – Portugal
Hélder Sousa – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Isabel Vieira – ISCAP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Ismael Vaz – University of Minho – Portugal
Issaadi Badredine – University of Bejaia – Algeria
Joana Gomes – Engenho e Rio – Portugal
João Ferreira – ISCAP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
João Gonçalves – Primavera BSS – Portugal
João Luís Soares – CMUC, Department of Mathematics, University of Coimbra – Portugal
Joel Leite Costa – ISEP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Jorge Fernandes – Savana – Portugal
Jorge Mendonça – ISEP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Jorge Orestes Cerdeira – CMA and FCT, NOVA University of Lisbon – Portugal
Jorge Santos – LEMA, ISEP Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Jose Carlos Mendes – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
José Duque – Universidade da Beira Interior – Portugal
José Ferreira – CMUC, University of Coimbra – Portugal
José Moniz Fernandes – Universidade de Cabo Verde – Cabo Verde
José Oliveira – Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Jose Pedro Fernandes – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
José Reis – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Jussara Dagostim – Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Katarzyna Hubicka – Wroclaw University of Technology – Poland
M. Filomena Teodoro – Escola Naval – Portugal
M. Luísa Morgado – CMAT-UTAD – Portugal
Madinakhon Khojimurodova – TITU Tashkent – Uzbekistan
Manuel Soares – Aveleda – Portugal
Manuel Vieira – CMA and FCT, NOVA University of Lisbon – Portugal
Manuela Oliveira – Engenho e Rio – Portugal
Maria Paula Nunes – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Maria Teresa Pereira – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Mariana Ferreira – ASPEA-PR – Portugal
Mariana Mattos – Mindshake – Portugal
Marílio Meireles – Universidade do Minho – Portugal
Marina Alexandra P. Andrade – ISCTE Instituto Universitário de Lisboa – Portugal
Meriem Bahij – Fac. Ciências Universidade do Porto, University of Hassan I Settat – Morocco
Mohamed Nabil Bendris – National Office of Meteorology – France
Nuno Figueiredo – ESTGF-Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Nuno Jesus – ESEIG Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Patrícia Tepim – ASPEA-PR – Portugal
Paula Amaral – FCT UNL and CMA – Portugal
Pedro Dinis Faria – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Pedro Pereira – Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Raquel Menezes – Mathematics Center, Minho University – Portugal
Ricardo Costa- Université Paul Sabatier / Universidade do Minho – Portugal
Ricardo G.M. Jr. Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Rogério Francisco – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Rui Almeida – Universidade da Beira Interior CMA – Portugal
Rui Borges Lopes – University of Aveiro – Portugal
Sara Dias – Aveleda – Portugal
Sara Raquel Marques – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Sónia Dias – Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, INESC-TEC – Portugal
Stella Abreu – ISEP/LEMA Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Teófilo Melo – CIICESI, ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Teresa A. Oliveira – Universidade Aberta and CEAUL – Portugal
Teresa Vaz – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Tilahun Ferede Asena – Hawassa University – Ethiopia
Valter Ferreira – Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Vitor Oliveira – ESTGF Polytechnic of Porto – Portugal
Yüksel Ikiz – Pamukkale University – Turkey
Yusuf Aliyu – University of Porto – Portugal

(updated 29 june 16:15)


Other information

The poster of the event can be downloaded here.

A flyer can be downloaded here.

The menu for lunches can be downloaded here.


News and Follow up


  • Industry meets Mathematics at the 119th European Study Group with Industry

Webpage of P.Porto

here and here

  • E. Costa e Silva, I. C. Lopes, and A. Correia. Dez anos de encontros ente a matemática e a
    industria em portugal. Gazeta de Matemática, (180):40-50, 2016