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POEM 4: A Platform for Optimization


       16/01/2020: After roughly six months of intensive development, ENGINEST upgraded its POEM optimization platform to version 4.0. POEM's application products benefit directly from the improved optimization algorithms and visualization & integration functions. For example, computation speed of POEM APS is more than doubled.


       Capable of running a range of applications on a single optimization platform is a milestone progress made by POEM 4. In addition to the general-purpose APS product, after several months of efforts ENGINEST's PlanSuite system (formerly an on-the-measure system for planning gas distribution) has also been transplanted onto POEM. The new system supports strategic level depot optimization and transport planning as well as operational level distribution optimization. POEM PlanSuite is versatile: It optimizes for multi-division, multi-user, multi-depot, multi-product, multi-day, multi-tour (short or long) operations with multiple objectives (number of vehicles, number of tours, profit, cost, mileage, working time, makespan, etc.) subject to complex constraints such as vehicle capacity, route time, service time-windows, work regulations, etc. Moreover, POEM also supports some new type applications such as expert system. For example, inference engine and learning machine with a knowledge base can be logically modeled using POEM’s NCL language.


       The mathematical language NCL combines a mathematics recognition technology (AI) and an operations research algorithm library based on logic and set programming. Thanks to its increasingly complete algorithm library, NCL is entering a fascinating period: The platform and its applications tend to constitute a fast improvement cycle, that is, a research effort over some months can probably double NCL’s computation speed for its applications.


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