Two students walking in front of Aston Webb

Elvan Gokalp and Selim Cakir were awarded the medal for their paper, co-authored with Ioannis Kougkoulos of the American College of Greece, “Capacity management of migrant accommodation centers using approximate dynamic programming” published in the Journal of the OR Society (JORS).

The paper deals with a very serious current problem, and one that is likely to grow in future, with climate change and other factors. It deals with the management and funding of migrant centres. The problem is very complex, as arrival, departures, and other factors are randomly variable. The complexity could lead to impossible calculations. But the authors use an approximate dynamic programming method, leading to reasonable run times. The model is tested out on 5 Greek islands near the Turkish coast. What is particularly interesting is that the sensitivity of the variables can help managers evaluate options.

The Goodeve Medal is awarded in recognition of the most outstanding contribution to the philosophy, theory or practice of operational research (OR) published in the JORS within the relevant year. It was named in memory of Sir Charles Goodeve, who was one of the founders and pioneers of civilian operational research after World War 2 and a leader for many years of the OR Club and The OR Society.