The expertise of USC’s Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering was on display during the 2019 International Conference on Stochastic Programming (ICSP XV) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, from 29 July to 2 August.
A large group of faculty and students took part in the Trondheim conference, which is the premier event of the Stochastic Programming Society (SPS). The conference brought together researchers using engineering to plan and defend against stochastic, or randomly-determined, events. This area covers methods used in many machine learning problems, however the event focused on the methodology rather than machine learning.
There were a total of 10 talks by USC faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and students over the course of the week. Highlights of the conference included a mini-plenary lecture hosted by Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Phebe Vayanos, titled Doing Good with Good Robust Optimization. Vayonos was elected to the Committee on Stochastic Programming (COSP), an international committee serving as an international body to promote the field.
Vayanos said the lecture showcased how methodological work in data-driven optimization can help solve important societal challenges. Speakers discussed cases where they were partnering with organizations to help address these societal challenges and potential results from real world deployment.
Assistant Professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering Meisam Razaviyayn presented a mini-plenary lecture titled Learning Via Non-convex Min-max Games.
Razaviyayn said the session examined min-max games and proposed algorithms which can improve the state-of-the-art results in different applications such as generating images with artificial intelligence or developing defense mechanisms against adversarial and cyber-attacks to neural networks. The project features the work of ISE students Tianjian Huang, Maher Nouiehed, as well as Maziar Sanjabi (Electronic Arts), Jason D. Lee (Princeton University), and Jimmy Ba (University of Toronto, Vector Institute).
Epstein Family Chair and Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Jong-Shi Pang presented a plenary lecture at the conference and student Junyi Liu presented as a finalist in the student paper prize. Others in attendance included Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Suvrajeet Sen, Andrew and Erna Viterbi Early Career Chair Mahdi Soltanolkotabi, Assistant Professor at USC Marshall School of Business Vishal Gupta, ISE postdoctoral researcher Ying Cui and ISE PhD student Shuotao Diao.