The Problem-Solving power of Hybrid Optimization

OscaR - Hybrid OptimizationAt N-SIDE, we develop most of our customized solutions on OscaR, a state-of-the-art hybrid optimization technology platform.

The development of this unique platform  was initiated at N-SIDE in 2009.

The complexity of today’s industrial and business problems often requires to combine several optimization methods to be solved optimally. This triggered the need to have our own software platform as existing third-party frameworks do not offer us the high level of customization that we require to ensure efficient, fast and reliable solutions overtime.  We built OscaR upon our strong expertise, making it more versatile to optimally solve our customers complex problems.

OscaR provides state-of-the-art implementation for the most efficient and complementary optimization techniques such as Constraint Programming, Mixed-Integer Programming, Local Search, Derivative-Free Optimization and Discrete Event Simulation. The platform has been designed specifically for an optimal hybridization of all these techniques.

Our goal is to keep OscaR at the edge of innovation in optimization technologies. As a direct consequence we decided to distribute OscaR under a free and open source license to allow contributions from universities. Nowadays Pierre Schaus, a former n-Sider who decided to continue his career as a professor in computer science and optimization at the university of Louvain (UCL), is the main contributor to the OscaR project with his team. N-SIDE R&D team and the CETIC (a regional research center in IT) remain key contributors and initiators of several modules of OscaR.

The project leaders from these three contributing organizations met each other more than ten years ago during their study and continue to exchange on a regularly basis to ensure a strong shared common vision on the future evolution of the platform. One important aspect is the standardization of the coding practices and designs to enable efficient hybridization across the modules. OscaR performance is monitored every night to ensure optimal reliability, stability and continuous improvement of its performance.

OscaR is implemented in Java and Scala, a new programming approach extensively used by innovative firms like Twitter and LinkedIn. This makes our OscaR powered solutions portable and easy to install.

Nowadays, N-SIDE has more than six highly complex solutions built upon OscaR and running reliably every day at customer sites.

 

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