OPM/IS 910 Operations & Information Systems Research Seminar

This seminar is organized for the Center of Doctoral Studies in Business (CDSB) in cooperation with the Area of Operations and Information Systems. Visiting researchers present their latest research.

Date Chair Location  Speaker
Prof. Stolletz O 48/50 Prof. Rob van der Mei, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands

"Saving Lives with Mathematics" and "How to Make Applied Mathematics Applicable"

In this talk I will give an overview of exciting ongoing research on the optimal planning of emergency services, including models for optimal locations of base stations, staffing, dynamic ambulance management, proactive relocations and optimal dispatching.

Short Bio
Prof. Dr. Rob van der Mei is the leader of the research theme Logistics and the Industrial Liaison Officer at the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI), and a full professor at the VU University, Amsterdam. Before going to academia, he has been working for over a decade as a consultant and researcher in the ICT industry, working for PTT, KPN, AT&T Bell Labs USA and TNO ICT. His research interests include performance modeling and scalability analysis of ICT systems, logistics, grid computing, revenue management, military operations research, sensor networks, call centers, queueing theory and applications of BigData. He is the co-author of some 125 papers in journals and refereed proceedings.
Prof. Fleischmann O 48/50 Prof. Mirko Kremer, Professor of Supply Chain Management, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Observational Learning – Crowds, Contrarians, and Congestion

I will discuss recent theoretical and empirical research on how consumer-to-consumer social learning processes affect the way Operations systems should be structured, and how Operations decisions modulate social learning processes. I will distinguish two broad classes of social learning. Under action-based social learning, customers make choices (e.g., join a queue or not) after observing the choices of previous customers, or an imperfect summary measure of previous customers’ choices (e.g., a queue). In contrast, under outcome-based “word-of-mouth” social learning, choices of previous customers in themselves may not be informative, but their post-choice experiences (e.g., of product quality) are informative if shared (e.g., through online buyer reviews).

Short Bio
Prof. Dr. Mirko Kremer is professor for Supply Chain Management at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management since July 2014. He received his Doctoral degree (Dr. rer. pol.) from the University of Mannheim (2008), writing his doctoral thesis on “Behavioral perspectives on risk sharing in Supply Chain Management”. Before joining Frankfurt School, he was an assistant professor for Supply Chain Management at the Pennsylvania State University, and held visiting positions at INSEAD and the Kellogg School of Management. His research focuses on the impact of managerial and customer (mis)behavior on the performance and design of Operations and Supply Chain systems, with a particular emphasis on micro-behavioral foundations of inventory management, sales forecasting, and queuing/service systems.
14:00 - 15:00
Prof. Becker O 129 Prof. Paul J. Kühn, Institute of Communication Networks and Computer Engineering, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Modeling and Performance Analysis of Control Processes in Computer and Communication Systems

The developments in mobile/wireless communications and internet-based services direct to a Future Internet which needs more control to meet the specific service qualities and flexibility to adapt to user requirements and operating challenges. The internet traffic grows exponentially and many new services require real-time performance which cannot be provided by the current architecture. The OpenFlow architecture offers new solutions for the control of communication processes based on distributed cloud data centers and a fast and efficiently operating control plane above the data plane. Developments of such fundamental changes cannot be mastered only by add-on prototyped extensions but require also methods and tools as a basis for planning and operation. Despite powerful simulation tools analytical queuing models and networks should be extended which allow a deeper insight in control process mechanisms and parametric dependencies. The presentation addresses these architecture developments shortly and their related problems with respect to modeling and performance evaluation methods. New and novel methods will then be addressed by three principal examples of resource management for the automatic operation of energy-efficient data centers, the efficiency of parallel computation processes in multi-core architectures, and the dynamic control of packet flows in OpenFlow environments. The specific solutions are based on FSM-controlled queuing systems and a novel task graph reduction method applicable for parallel computation processes and queuing networks with concurrent processes, respectively.
14:00 - 15:00
Prof. Heinzl O 129 Prof. Rolf Wigand, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA

"Virtual Coordination, Cooperation and Behavior in Organizations"

Since their introduction in the late 1970s, MMOGs (massively multiplayer online games) have developed from relatively simple text-based games with hundreds of players into complex 3D environments with millions of players. In this process, teams and organizations within these virtual worlds have become increasingly important for the gameplay as players must cooperate, coordinate, and strategize their actions to be successful, not unlike such efforts in traditional, i.e. non-virtual organizations. The social dynamics of MMOGs have increasingly attracted the attention of scholars from many disciplines (Bainbridge, 2007; Castronova and Falk, 2009; Drescher, Korsgaard, Welpe, Picot and Wigand, 2014). As microcosms of social and organizational phenomena, virtual settings hold great potential for innovative research in the social sciences, although such research is still in its relatively early stages (e.g., Picot, Assmann, Korsgaard, Welpe, Gallenkamp and Wigand, 2009; Williams et al. 2006). Castranova (2008) views these research opportunities as the “Petri dish approach to social science.” Accordingly, MMOGs can serve as ideal living laboratories for the study of social systems in ways that purport implications for other important contexts.
Here, we apply the study of MMOGs to actual work organizations. Specifically, we make a case for how the study of MMOGs can inform on the dynamics and effectiveness of conventional and virtual teams in work organizations. We first briefly review the literature on workgroups and teams as well as research on virtual teams and organizations with particular emphasis on the role of information and communication technology (ICT). We then discuss how these essential elements and dynamics of group functioning are present in MMOG play (using the Travian online game), and how studying MMOGs can lead to important insights. We draw conclusions and give an outlook on other applications of MMOGs for research. Finally we present results of a recent study funded by the U. S. National Science Foundation, “The Dynamics of Shared Leadership: Building Trust and Enhancing Performance” (Drescher et al., 2014), in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Short Bio
Prof. Rolf Wigand is Maulden-Entergy Chair and Distinguished Professor of Information Science and Business Information Systems, University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is past director of the Graduate Program in Information Management and founding director, Center for Digital Commerce, both at Syracuse University. Current NSF research grants (2007-2015) continue with standards development research in the mortgage, retail and automotive supply industries; the analysis of virtual organizations, networks in disaster settings and the analysis of online blogs and social media as instruments in collective action. Wigand authored eight books and over 300 articles, chapters, and monographs. His research has appeared in such journals as MIS Quarterly, Journal of MIS, Sloan Management Review, Journal of Information Technology, Journal of Communication, Electronic Markets, International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making, Journal of Applied Psychology, Knowledge Management: Research & Practice, International Journal of Management, Business & Information Systems Engineering, European Journal of Information Systems.