In this talk, we present two novel applications of process flexibility. Process flexibility is a manufacturing concept that describes the ability of a production facility to produce different products in response to variations in supply and demand. Our first application considers the application of process flexibility in baseball. In particular, we investigate the value that flexible baseball players, those who can play multiple defensive positions, bring to their team. We find that top teams can attribute at least one or two wins per season to flexibility alone. Other analyses include the impact of flexibility on individual performance and uncovering the true “MVP” of a team. In the second application, we study the flexibility of linear accelerators that deliver radiation as a treatment for various types of cancer. We develop a novel machine learning-based heuristic to design a sparse flexible treatment network and demonstrate that its performance is comparable with the state-of-the-art.
Timothy Chan is the Canada Research Chair in Novel Optimisation and Analytics in Health, an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Director of the Centre for Healthcare Engineering at the University of Toronto. His primary research interests are in optimisation under uncertainty and the application of optimisation methods to problems in healthcare, medicine, global engineering, sustainability, and sports. He received his B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from the University of British Columbia, and his Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before coming to Toronto, he was an Associate in the Chicago office of McKinsey and Company, a global management consulting firm. During that time, he advised leading companies in the fields of medical device technology, travel and hospitality, telecommunications, and energy on issues of strategy, organisation, technology and operations.
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