Automation, Logistics and Combinatorial Optimization (ALCO)

The research field of ALCO group is mainly Operations Research. Operations Research (OR) concerns the application of scientific methods for solving complex problems and providing tools for decision aid. These methods have a broad range of application, such as, for example, production scheduling (of goods and services), routing and timetabling. Also, these methods may be of different kind: exact or heuristic. An exact approach has to be developed when a solution to a problem requires to be optimal and no approximate approaches are acceptable whilst heuristic methods are suitable when the focus is to get a good quality solution to a problem in a controlled amount of time. Whenever part of a problem is affected by uncertainty and deterministic methods are not suitable, simulation approaches are applied.

The main expertise of the research group is about the design and development of optimization/simulation algorithms. In particular:

  • Exact Methods
    • Linear and Quadratic Mathematical Programming
    • Tree Based Search Procedures
    • Dynamic Programming
  • Heuristic / Approximation Methods
    • Greedy Constructive Approaches
    • Metaheuristics/Mat-heuristics
  • Simulation Methods
    • Discrete event simulation
    • Markov chains


Selected funded research projects

  • Geospatial based Environment for Optimisation Systems Addressing Fire Emergencies
    EU Marie-Curie RISE Program 
  • Methods and algorithms for appliance scheduling in smart home environment (Flexmeter)
    EU Horizon 2020  
  • Models and algorithms for autonomous route replanning for drones
    Alenia Aermacchi S.p.A              
  • Virtual bus: real time routing of shared vehicles upon request in a smart city environment
    Telecom Italia S.p.A
  • Real time Automated Guided Vehicles routing in a fully automated warehouse
    Electric 80
  • Algorithms for scheduling multi-stage automatic tires production lines
    Pirelli S.p.A



  • Discrete mathematics and combinatorics
  • Control theory and optimization
  • Algorithms, distributed, parallel and network algorithms, algorithmic game theory