December 2021

Future of COIN-OR

17 December 2021 (200 words)

COIN-OR

The COIN-OR Foundation is seeking support to continue providing open-source optimization software for the operations research community. They have published an article, Future of COIN-OR, describing their challenges in securing funding and the participation of community members to continue operating.

COIN-OR are responsible for the development of more than 70 projects that are widely used in optimization tools, including:

  • Pyomo, a Python-based optimization modeling language.
  • PuLP, a Python library for linear optimization.
  • CBC, the default mixed integer linear programming solver used in OpenSolver and elsewhere.
  • Bonmin and Couenne, non-linear mixed integer programming solvers.

The COIN-OR Foundation presents three possible future directions:

Option 1: Wind down the COIN-OR Foundation activities related to maintenance and development of common infrastructure and existing codes that are not otherwise maintained.

Option 2: Continue operating in a haphazard fashion and hope that the community will eventually take up the cause as things slowly degrade.

Option 3: Find a path to funding the current activities of the COIN-OR Foundation in a sustainable way.

To achieve Option 3, the Foundation needs your support. You can either donate to COIN-OR, or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss how you can help.


Project crashing: Time-cost trade-off

2 December 2021 (1,879 words)

Project crashing

Project crashing is the process of compressing a project plan by using additional resources to reduce the duration of some tasks.

Using additional resources incurs additional cost, so it is important that the resources are deployed to the tasks that produce the greatest benefit. A project manager must decide an appropriate trade-off between time and cost for each task, leading to the best revised project plan. Given the dependencies between project tasks, making these trade-offs can be complex and difficult, even for a small project.

This article describes an example of project crashing using an optimization model to help the project manager decide what to do.


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