Real World Optimization

The working group’s objective is to promote mathematical optimization and its application in real world situations. It encourages and supports the communication and exchange of ideas among practitioners in industry, researchers, and commercial solution providers.

deutsche Version

The working group focuses on:

  • Reports on experience about practical applications of algorithms and software in the area of mathematical optimization.
  • Presentations about software tools used to solve real world optimization problems, e.g., modeling systems, modeling languages, and solvers.
  • Theoretical aspects relevant to solve real world optimization problems, e.g., model classes, algorithmic features, pre-solving techniques, new technologies, trends in the optimization community.
  • Mathematical models and classes of models used in certain applications fields, e.g., transport, supply chain, cutting stock.
  • Discussion about architectures and IT systems environment used to solve real world optimization problems, e.g., PCs, workstations, mainframes, parallel architectures (parallel clusters, SharedMemory, GRID).

The working group directors organize two meetings or workshops per year: one in spring hosted by an industrial company, and another one in autumn in the conference center of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft in Bad Honnef (Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, Hauptstr. 5, 53604 Bad Honnef, Germany) 20 minutes away from Cologne international airport. One of the annual meetings, usually the autumn meeting, has more the character of a scientific symposium. From the 71st, 76th and 78th workshop two books and one special issue of the Computational Management Science emerged as publication:

Josef Kallrath (Editor), Modeling Languages in Mathematical Optimization, Kluwer, 2004, ISBN 1-4020-7547-2 (71st Symposium).

Josef Kallrath, Panos Pardalos, and Steffen Rebennack (Editors), Computational Management Sciences, Springer, 2008, Volume 5. (76th Symposium).

Josef Kallrath, Panos Pardalos, Steffen Rebennack, and Max Scheidt (Editors), Optimization in the Energy Industry, Springer, 2008, ISBN 978-3-540-88964-9 (78th Symposium).

Averaged over 10 years we registered about 40 to 70 participants per workshop, and we are happy that about 30 to 50% are industrial participants. The working group has an international focus reflected in the increasing number of participants from foreign countries among them Austria, Brazil, Great Britain, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and United States.

As the workshops usually start on a Thursday morning or early afternoon and lasts until Friday late afternoon or early evening they provide enough time for intense discussions and exchange of ideas among the participants. Especially, the Physikzentrum in Bad Honnef provides an ideal atmosphere for getting together during the conference dinner in the local wine cellar. Part of the official program is usually a visit and a guided tour through the Adenauer Haus in Rhöndorf, the private house of our first chancelor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The various hosts among them ABB Forschungszentrum Deutschland (Ladenburg), BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany), Procom GmbH (Aachen), and Siemens AG (Munich), as well as psb intralogistics GmbH (Pirmasens), Lufthansa Systems Berlin GmbH (Berlin) and TNT (Duiven, The Netherlands), always add some new individual spirit to the conference, e.g., a guided tour through Aachen cathedral’s treasury, the various laboraties of ABB or BASF SE, the design workshops of psb, or the hub of TNT.

Applied Real Optimization also targets to have optimal workshops and to have the participants to return during the next workshop. Indeed, there is an increasing list of participants which have been regular show-ups over the last 8 years.

If interested, then please sign up for the e-mail mailing list here.

Next Meeting (last update: April 21th, 2018):

The 101st meeting will take place on November 22-23, 2018 under the title Mathematical Optimization meets Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Bad Honnef. Please find an announcement and further details of this meeting here.
Participants can register via the registration webpage.

Future Meetings (last update: April 21th, 2018):

The 102nd meeting will be hosted on April 11th-12th 2019 by Industrie- und Handelskammer Nordschwarzwald in Pforzheim ( Entitled with Mathematical optimization for hidden champions we will lighten up topics around optimization based analysis and decision making in particular from the perspective of small and medium production companies. Talks on methods, tools, applications and challenges are already welcome.

The 103rd meeting will take place in November 21st-22nd, 2019 entitled with Mathematical Optimization and Bioinformatics in Bad Honnef.

The 104th meeting will be hosted on April 23th-24th 2020 in cooperation with ITWM Kaiserslautern.

A further meeting is planned for April 2021 together with Prof Feichtinger in Vienna (Austria).

Interested speakers may contact the group leaders with proposals for presentations.

Previous Meetings:

The list of our previous meetings can be found here.



Dr. Jens Schulz
Deutsche Bahn AG
E-Mail: schulz_jens(at)
Prof. Dr. Julia Kallrath
Fachbereich Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften
Hochschule Darmstadt
Schöfferstr. 3, 64295 Darmstadt
Tel.: 06151 – 1637738
E-Mail: julia.kallrath(at)
Prof. Dr. Josef Kallrath
67273 Weisenheim am Berg
E-Mail: josef.kallrath(at)

Registrations to working group meetings, workshops and symposia should be sent directly to the working group directors.