Research Interests of Faculty staff

Prof. Arik Sadeh, Ph.D. Texas A&M University,

Scheduling: Resource Constrained Project Scheduling Problem (RCPSP) under non-delay scheduling. Optimal allocation of resources among activities is an important question in economics and management. (Finding the Shortest Non-Delay Schedule for a Resource-Constrained Project. Int'l. J. of Operations Research and Information Systems, 3(4), 2012 (41-58) (with Cohen and Zwikael))

Product Life and Strategy: Research is about strategic type managerial decisions of when a firm should initiate a product cycle and when to terminate it. In developing the model I relay on the economic theory about optimal allocation of time as a resource. Short run (tactical) and long run (strategic) aspects of product lifecycle over many years are taken in consideration. The impact of technology and the willingness of consumers for new products are considered as well. The objective criterion is maximizing average cash flow. (Optimal Product Lifecycle and Partial Information with Active Learning Computational Economics, 21, 2003 (125-136))

Critical Success Factors: The focus of this study is the importance of organizational support provided to project managers. It is of specific interest to discuss which organizational support factors affect what success dimensions. The projects are categorized according to four scales: novelty, complexity, level of technological uncertainty and the pace of the project (Project Manager-Project (PM-P) Fit and Project Success International Journal of Operations and Production Management (IJOPM) 29(3), 2009 (268-291)). There is an ongoing joined research that focuses on the factors affecting high level decision makers when they decide whether or not to conduct a project. considering long term outcomes and short term outputs

Risk Management: The role of uncertainty at the early stages of project on the success of projects is the main issue to be analyzed. The research deals with managerial and organizational support factors being used in organizations in order to achieve better success. A statistical methodology is used to reveal how project managers confront risk and uncertainty. (Planning Effort as an Effective Risk Management Tool. Journal of Operations Management, 25, 2007 (755-767))

Dr. Eyal Brill, Ph.D. Hebrew University,

Abnormality detection in industrial systems: Abnormality detection is based on unsupervised learning algorithms. The research focus on methods for detecting abnormality in industrial systems which are characterized by large amount of data generated on time based and collected from sensors which are vulnerable to noisy and non-trusted data sources. Application of the above is demonstrated in the following publication: Implementing Machine Learning Algorithms for Water Quality Events Detection Theory and Practice.
International Practices for Protecting Water and Wastewater Infrastructure to be edited by: Robert M. Clark and Simon Hakim. Additional paper which is under construction is titled as: "Brownian Motion Based Abnormality Detection: The time domain".

Heuristics methods for water engineering systems: Applying heuristics methods for solving engineering problems in water systems. This includes the following topics:
  • "Optimal Location of Quality Sensors in a Water Distribution System: A Heuristic Approach"
    Technical paper that has been submitted for publication this quarter.
  • "Contamination source location without hydraulic model". Currently under research

Prof. Moti Frank, Ph.D. Technion – Israel Institute of Technology,

Systems Thinking: Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes and is what makes systems engineering different from other kinds of engineering. Systems thinking is hypothesized as a major high-order thinking skill that enables individuals to successfully perform systems engineering tasks. The larger, more complex, more dynamic, and more multidisciplinary technological projects get, the higher is the need for project managers and engineers with a capacity for systems thinking (sometimes called: systems view) of the project to ensure project success. The research examined the potential contribution of being engaged in a multidisciplinary technological project on developing Capacity for Engineering Systems Thinking (CEST) in project team members. (Developing systems thinking through engaging in multidisciplinary high-tech projects. Int. J. of Project Organization and Management, scheduled for inclusion in Volume 5, No. 3, 2013).

Competencies of Engineers with a High CEST: The research aimed at identifying the knowledge, abilities, cognitive characteristics (thinking skills) and personal traits (behavioral competences) of systems engineers with high capacity for engineering systems thinking or in other words, successful systems engineers. (Knowledge, Abilities, Cognitive Characteristics and Behavioral Competences of Engineers with a High Capacity for Engineering Systems Thinking. Journal of Systems Engineering, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 91-103, 2006).

Assessing Engineering Systems Thinking: In order to be a successful systems engineer, one must have both a will and an interest to be a systems engineer. The will and interest to be a systems engineer basically means the desire and interest to be involved with job positions that require CEST. In other words, we may hypothesize that there is a high positive correlation between the engineering systems thinking extent (CEST) of an individual and his/her interest in what is required from successful systems engineers. Interests may be assessed by an interest inventory which is a very common and frequently used to help people choose a profession, and as a selection tool - to determine whether a certain individual is suitable for a certain role in the recruiting process. The research aimed at developing a tool for assessing engineers' interest in what is required from successful systems engineers, or in other words, assessing the extent of the engineering systems thinking. (Assessing the interest for systems engineering positions and other engineering positions' required Capacity for Engineering Systems Thinking. Journal of Systems Engineering, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 161-174, 2010).

Systems Engineering (example of a research topic): In recent years, government and prime contractors have been expressing a growing demand, requesting that their defense R&D contractors shorten the Time To Market (TTM). The research aimed at investigating the implications of shortening TTM in defense projects. (Implications of pressure for shortening the Time To Market TTM in defense projects. Int'l. J. of Information Technologies and the Systems Approach, to be published in January 2013 issue).

Teaching and E-Learning in Higher Education: The research aimed at exploring the benefits that may be derived from courses' web sites that accompany lecture-based courses given in higher education institutions. Both the organizational and operational aspects are investigated. In particular, three pedagogical aspects related to course web sites are investigated: active learning, computerized feedback, and the effects on learning when using multimedia. (Implications of presenting pre-university courses using e-learning approach, Educational Technology and Society, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 137-147, 2002; Project-based technology: Instructional strategy for developing technological literacy. J. of Technology Education, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 39-53, 2006.

Prof. Arie Ben David, Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University

Data Mining: Also known as Machine Learning. My main interests are in various classification problems both from the theoretical point of view as well as in solving challenging real-world application problems.
On the theoretical side I am mostly interested in finding meters for comparing the predictive accuracy of data mining models. Many of those have been proposed over recent decades, but besides their benefits they do have some notable drawbacks (see for example in Arie Ben David, "What is wrong with hit ratio?" IEEE Intelligent Systems, 2006 (68-70), "A lot of randomness is hiding in accuracy" , Engineering Applications of Artificial
Intelligence, 20(7), 2007 (875-885) and also in U. Kaymak, A. Ben-David, R. Potharst, "The AUK: A simple alternative to the AUC", Int'l. Sci. J. Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, February 2012)
In classification I am mostly interested in ordinal problems, where at least the output (and possibly some or all the attributes) is on an ordinal scale of measurements. See for example in A. Ben-David, L. Sterling, T. Tran, "adding monotonicity to learning algorithms my imair their accuracy" Expert Systems with Applications, 36(3), 2009 (6627-6634).

Management Information Systems and Technology: In this area I am mainly interested in MIS project management. See D. Dvir, A. Ben-David, A. Sadeh, A.J. Shenhar , Critical Managerial Factors affecting Defense Projects Success: A Comparison between Neural-network and Regression Analysis, Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence , 19(5), 2006 (535-543), and also in A. Ben-David, R. Gelbard, I. Milstein, "Supplier ranking by multi-alternative proposal analysis for agile projects", Int'l J. of Project Management, 2012.

Dr. Sigal Koral-Kordova, Ph.D. Technion- Israel Institute of Technology,

Systems Thinking and Engineering Systems Thinking: Developing Capacity for Engineering Systems Thinking (CEST) of industrial engineering and technology management students (With Moti Frank). J. of Education, Informatics, and Cybernetics, 2(2), 2010 (47-50).
Developing the capacity for engineering systems thinking (CEST) of senior engineering management students: Learning in a project-based learning (PBL) environment (With Moti Frank). Proc. 7th Annual Conf. on Systems Engineering Research 2009 (CSER 2009) Loughborough University, UK, 20-23 April 2009

Project Management: Project in production management: From theory to practice: Instructions for the teacher. Project in production management: From theory to practice: Textbook. The Manufacturers Association of Israel, 2007.
Developing systems thinking through engaging in multidisciplinary high-tech projects (With Moti Frank). Int. J. of Project Organization and Management .September 2011 [scheduled for inclusion in Volume 5, No. 3, 2013]

Curriculum Design in Industrial Engineering and Management: The T-shape dilemma (depth against width) in industrial engineering and management curriculum design and its implication on the final project's outline (With Moti Frank). Proc. Int'l. Academy of Business and Economics Annual Conf.( IABE-2009) Las Vegas, USA, 18-21 October 2009, 6(1) (214-218).
From robots development to organizations management: The multidisciplinary of the industrial engineering and management discipline (With Moti Frank).16th Industrial Engineering and Management Conf. Tel-Aviv, Israel, 23-24, 2010.

Engineering Education and Technology Teaching: Interactive internet site for industrial engineering and management students in the area of 'Operations Management' (With Smadar Rainer).The Amal 1 Network Center, 2008.

Interactive internet site for industrial engineering and management students in the area of 'Statistics and Applied Statistics' (With R. Israeli and D. Reich). The Amal 1 Network Center, 2011.

Dr. David Raz, Ph.D. Tel-Aviv University,

Queueing: Fairness, predictability and other second degree measures in queueing, trying to find measures that capture both the issue of seniority and the issue of size. Using Fuzzy Control ideas in queueing with the idea that policies based on fuzzy control may be able to capture more fuzzy concepts such as fairness yet be efficient enough. Performance of queueing regimes and policies under inexact and missing information e.g. the performance of the Shortest Queue or Smallest Workload policies when queue lengths are unknown or inexact, the performance of "Shortest Customer" policy when customer sizes are inexact or missing. (B. Avi-Itzhak, H. Levy, D. Raz, "A resource allocation queueing fairness measure: Properties and bounds", Queueing Systems, 56, 2007 (65-71))

Logistics: Novel ideas for optimizing specific packing problems, specifically a pseudo-efficient frontier method for solving two-phase packing problems. Practical uses of the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) e.g. convoy routing, routing with outsourcing and optional customers. (D. Raz, A. Sadeh, "A pseudo-efficient frontier method for solving two-phase packing problems", Proc. Int'l. Conf. on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM2001), Singapore, 6-9 December 2011 (181-184))

Ad-hoc Networks: Studying the performance of on-demand routing algorithms in ad-hoc networks over time, the idea being to propose an optimal protocol for tasks which have a connectivity requirement and a time horizon, as opposed to current trends which ignore these. Studying the effect of the terrain type on the performance of such protocols, with the expectation that some protocols will be more efficient on rural terrains as opposed to urban terrains. (D. Raz and S. Levy, "A Study of the Connectivity Over Time Behavior of On-Demand Ad Hoc Path Selection Schemes", to be published)

Dr. Eran Rubin, Ph.D. University of British Columbia,
Economic Impacts of Information Systems: Measurement of the impact of Information Systems as enablers of improved information processes in financial markets. (Informed Investors and the Internet Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, 37(8), 2010 (841-865)). Measurement of economic impacts of information systems design (Tabulated Decision Aids and Pricing, Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 11(2), 2012 (159-170)).

Systems Analysis and Design: Improving information and knowledge processes under Agile development. Analysis of traditional processes and agile processes, resulting in enhanced methodologies to overcome agile deficiencies (Supporting Agile Software Development through Active Documentation, Requirements Engineering, 16(2), 2011 (117-132))

Information Systems and the Environment: The design of Information Systems to support environmental objectives and sustainability (Managing contaminated aquifers as sources of drinking water, J. of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability 6(5), 2010 (13-28). Measurement of socially responsible business processes (Measuring corporate responsibility in: Socially Responsible Finance and Investing John Nofsinger, Kent Baker (eds.(John Wiley & Sons. Inc, 2012 (323-341))

Dr. Irena Milstein, Ph.D. Tel-Aviv University,

Electricity markets: A series of papers on the optimal capacity mix in the competitive electricity market. They examine the effects of the number of generation technologies, the renewable vs. fossil technologies, different market structures and CO2 taxes on the industry's optimal capacity, capacity mix and profits, consumer surplus and social welfare. (The inevitability of capacity underinvestment in competitive electricity markets, Energy Economics, 34, 2012 (62-77) (with Tishler); Intermittently renewable energy, optimal capacity mix and prices in a deregulated electricity market, Energy Policy, 39, 2011 (3922-3927) (with Tishler); Capacity commitment and price volatility in a competitive electricity market, Energy Economics, 30, 2008 (1625-1647) (with Tishler and Woo))

R&D and Product Market Competition: Research predicts a U-shaped relationship between competition intensity and innovation in oligopoly markets, resulting from the impact of two opposing effects on the industry's R&D efforts. Another research examines the effect of product compatibility on firms' incentives to invest in innovation to improve the quality of differentiated products in markets characterized by network externalities. (R&D wars and the effects of innovation on the success and survivability of firms in oligopoly markets, Int'l. J. of Industrial Organization, 27, 2009 (519-531) (with Tishler))

RFP and Proposal analysis: Request for Proposals (RFP) and proposal analysis are significant milestones in Information Technology (IT) projects, regardless of the management and development approaches that are implemented. The study proposes a new method for objective multi-alternative proposal analysis, enabling the evaluation of multi-alternative proposals and the rankings of the suppliers. (Supplier ranking by multi-alternative proposal analysis for agile projects, Int'l. J. of Project Management, 30 (6), 2012 (723-730) (with Ben-David and Gelbard))

Definition of the Productivity of ICT: The goals of this research are conducting a comprehensive literature survey of the existing definition and attributes of ICT Productivity, creating a data depository on ICT and Productivity, analyze the findings and identify the missing concepts in the traditional definition of ICT Productivity, and generating revised theoretical concepts, models and a framework that will serve as a foundation for the conduct of empirical research. (Research grant of the Institute for Information, Innovation and Productivity (IIIP), USA)

Dr. Gil Greenstein, Ph.D. - Tel Aviv University,

The Productivity Paradox of ICT: The research centers on the relationship between the information system's time and content characteristics and the value of the information. It suggests a method to model the utility considerations that lead to the choice of an information system. The entailed models are employed to illuminate certain facets of the productivity paradox. The results of the analysis indicate that there is a direct relationship between systems accessibility and its informativeness. Consequently, there are some aspects of the "Productivity Paradox" that may be explained by using these results. The article proves a number of theorems and discusses the theoretical and practical interpretation of the results. (The impact of accessibility on the value of information and the productivity paradox European Journal of Operational Research, 161, 2005 (505-524), with N. Ahituv). This research can be expanded into further directions of research.

Decision Analysis of implementation of ICT: The research suggests a new normative model that attempts to analyze why improvement of versions of existing decision support systems do not necessarily increase the effectiveness and the productivity of decision making processes. Moreover, this research suggests some constructive ideas, formulated through a normative analytic model, how to select a strategy for the design and switching to a new version of a decision support system (DSS), without having to immediately run through a mega conversion and training process while temporarily losing productivity. Furthermore, this approach explains normatively the phenomenon of "leaks of productivity”, namely, the decrease in productivity of information systems, after they have been upgraded or replaced with new ones. (Evolution or revolution of organizational information technology – Modeling decision makers' perspective, J. of Service Science and Management, 3(1), 2010 (51-66), with N. Ahituv). This is an ongoing research that can be expanded into further directions of research.

Productivity of ICT: More than 20 years have passed since Robert Solow (1989) used the term "productivity paradox" of IT. About 9 years later, Brynlolfsson and Hitt (1998) identified that we are in the very early stages of an information revolution, whose effects are still unclear to the human community. Now, from a more mature perspective, we try to demonstrate some of the aspects that will affect productivity of ICT in the forthcoming years. DEPICT (Definition of the Productivity of ICT) is a research project aimed to "refresh” the approach to ICT Productivity. The goals of DEPICT are: Conducting a comprehensive literature survey of the existing definition and attributes of ICT Productivity. Create a data depository on ICT and Productivity. Analyze the findings and identify the missing concepts in the traditional definition of ICT Productivity. Generate revised theoretical concepts, models and a framework that will serve as a foundation for the conduct of empirical research. (Reviewing and Renewing the Definition of the Productivity of ICT in the Era of Cyberspace, Internet, Open Information and Shared Knowledge ,A Sponsored research by Institute for Information, Innovation and Productivity (IIIP), USA, 2009-2012, With N. Ahituv, E.A. Stohr, I. Milstein, A.Z. Balasiano, H. Jin ). This is an ongoing research.

Dr. Amnon Gonen, D.Sc. Operations Research, Technion, Haifa ,Israel.

Project Management Scheduling: Analyzing the project's duration for projects with several critical paths or near critical paths. Projects duration are analyzed for different probability distribution of the critical path. 11th International Workshop on Project Management and Scheduling (PMS 2008),

Risk Management: Selecting risks to be handled and mitigated according to their possible mitigations. This method saves the ranking difficulty of risk management. 13th International Conference on Project Management and Scheduling (PMS 2012), Leuven, Belgium and a special chapter at the book Risk Management, Publishers: Intech Europe, Croatia, May 2012.
Using risk management to increase the flexibility of transboundary water conflict resolutions. Int. J. Risk Assessment and Management, 10(4), 2008, (With N. Zeituni ) and Risk management of water resources in a changing climate in: Advances in Risk Management Publishers: Sciyo, Ch.10, 2010. (With N. Zeituni).
Increasing security of financial investments: A combined risk management Project management operations research approach Serbian J. of Management, 4(1), 2009 (With O. Zwikael)

Serious games for learning: We developed special games for teaching and research that were published in both refereed and refereed conferences. Project Execution Game (PEG): Training towards managing unexpected events J. of European Industrial Training, 31(6), 2007 (495-512) (with O. Zwikael) and Training project management using the Project Management Simulation (PMSIM) game published in Learning with Games 2007 , Sophia Antipolis, France, 24-26 September 2007 (with U. Istraeli)
Studies with business games and their contribution were published as Learning through business games – an analysis of successes and failures On the Horizon, 17(4), 2009 (with E. Brill and M. Frank), The contribution of on-line training for improvement of business decisions 38th Annual Conf. "Teaching and Learning through Gaming and Simulation" (Sagset 2008) Nottingham, UK, 17-18 July 2008 , (With e.Brill)
Organizing the Serious Games Symposium (SGS) 2008 – Games and Virtual Worlds for Learning and Training, Israel, 5 March 2008 presenting Decision makers: Internet based didactic and research simulator (with E. Brill) and The war games evolution.

Operations research and algorithms: set cover problem algorithms An improved heuristic algorithm for the set covering (with T. Avrahami) presented at the 23rd European Conference on Operational Research (EURO 2009), Bonn, Germany. And now preparing a paper on a new heuristic algorithm for set covering problem.