A student team working at the Intelligent and Mobile Robotics Group (IMR), Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC) finished 2nd in the Junior category of the ROADEF Challenge 2020 optimization competition.
ROADEF Challenge is a traditional competition organized by the French Operations Research & Decision Support Society (ROADEF). It aims at identifying and solving new optimization problems, which are proposed every two years by an industrial partner – including Google, Renault, or SNCF in the past.
The 2020 challenge was formulated by the French electricity transmission network operator, RTE. The goal was to schedule maintenance of the national transmission network that is to create a year-long schedule of disconnecting individual power lines. The competitors had to consider multiple constraints, such as mutual exclusivity of some disconnections, limited workforce resources, or seasonal weather effects. In total, 74 international teams participated in the year and a half long competition, which was split into several elimination phases (qualification, semi-final, and final).
There was a separate Junior category for young researchers, defined by not being a PhD graduate.
The CIIRC team consisted of only two members – David Woller (PhD student led by Miroslav Kulich, IMR CIIRC CTU) and Jakub Rada (bachelor student, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, CTU). After winning the semifinal phase in the Junior category, the team ranked 2nd in the final phase in the category and 8th in the overall ranking.
“As first-time participants, we feel very encouraged by the results and hope that it will motivate more students to join us in the 2022 challenge,” says David Woller.