Optimisation and System Dynamics

A6_approachThe main subject of investigation In the CRC 1026 “Sustainable Manufacturing” are ways to design the transition from the presently predominant consumption-oriented economy to a sustainable economy. In the project A6, the global economy is therefore considered as a complex system of interconnected components.

Such a system is accessible to mathematical modelling. Based on dynamic simulations of the model its future development can be investigated. The model contains additional control functions that correspond to tolls, taxes, duties or subsidies in the real world. Methods of mathematical optimisation are used to find an ideal way to control the system, where “ideal” is measured by an objective function that takes aspects of sustainability into account.

The work in the first funding period has focused on the creation of a tool that can be used by political and economical decision-makers to rethink the consequences of their actions (or inactions) and support them to take the necessary actions. At the core of this tool is a a software for providing solutions to the aforementioned optimisation problems, together with a quality indicator for that solution. By implementing new algorithmic ideas tailored towards these types of problems, we are now able to conduct automated reachability analyses for small and medium sized problems, and quickly find local optima. Furthermore, we were able to significantly improve the bounds on the difference between those local and the globally optimal solution.

Learn more about challenges, approach and results of project A6 in this Powerpoint presentation