Automated Scheduling Optimisation and Planning (ASAP) Research Group
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About the Automated Scheduling, Optimisation and Planning (ASAP) research group

The research group carries out multi-disciplinary research into mathematical models and algorithms for a variety of real world optimisation problems.

The group is a truly international group with members located in both our University of Nottingham overseas campuses in Malaysia and Ningbo, China.

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Keys aims and expertise

ASAP research work aims to set the following research directions on the international agenda:

  • Modelling the complexity and uncertainty inherent in complex, real-world problems across a wide range of application areas including airport optimization, cutting and packing, educational timetabling, healthcare, network routing, personnel scheduling, portfolio optimization, production scheduling/rescheduling, public transport optimization, space allocation, transportation logistics optimization and vehicle routing.
  • Developing intelligent systems that can automatically aid the design and implementation of more efficient, effective, reusable, easier-to-implement/deploy/use general computational search methods that are applicable to a range of real-world problems.
  • Developing rigorous mathematical theories for a more profound understanding of real world problems and effective design of intelligent decision support systems.
  • Using methods from theoretical computer science and probability theory, we analyse the computational complexity of evolutionary algorithms and other meta-heuristics. Such analyses lead to insight into how the performance of meta-heuristics depends on their parameter settings and the characteristics of the optimisation problem.

Our expertise in Computer Science and Operational Research allows us to bring a unique and novel perspective to traditional Operational Research problems, and also to bring new real-world problems to the Computer Science community.

Current Projects

ENLIVEN project, funded by the European Commission, is within a consortium of 10 European countries. At the ASAP Group, we focus on knowledge discovery to establish case based reasoning systems to support policy making in lifelong learning across Europe.


OPTIMISED is a 10-party, 3 year, fully EU-funded consortium project, made up of SME’s, large companies and research institutions from across the EU. The ‘Optimised’ project name is a descriptive acronym for what the project will deliver: “Operational Planning Tool Interfacing Manufacturing Integrated Simulations with Empirical Data”.

The project will develop and demonstrate a manufacturing scheduling optimisation system that uses real-time smart sensors and big data analytics to react and improve manufacturing performance. Within this scope, the impact of energy management on factory planning & optimisation will be specifically addressed.

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We are actively involved in NATCOR, a collaboration between ten universities, to develop and deliver taught courses in Operational Research to PhD students. We host the course entitled Heuristics & Approximation Algorithms


Please visit our Projects pages for the full listing of our current and completed projects


  • ASAP group members along with ADAC analysts were invited to hand in the prizes in the Driver of the Year Awards Ceremony, held at the biggest Transport Conference in the UK, organised by Microlise. See the full story: Generating Impact on Transport Industry through Big Data Analytics
  • Wasakorn Laesanklang wins the Best Student Paper Award at the 4th International Conference on Operations Research and Enterprise Systems (ICORES 2015) for the paper "Mixed Integer Programming with Decomposition to Solve a Workforce Scheduling and Routing Problem." co-authored with Dario Landa-Silva and J. Arturo Castillo-Salazar.


  • Transport Management Systems provider Microlise, along with partner the University of Nottingham, has been awarded funding of £359,000 from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).
    The University of Nottingham will provide the extensive skills available through its' Automated Scheduling and Optimisation (ASAP), Advanced Data Analysis Centre (ADAC) and Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC) teams.


Academic Members

University of Nottingham - Malaysia Campus

  • Prof Graham Kendall -    Provost and CEO, University  of Nottingham Malaysia  Campus                                  Pro Vice Chancellor,  University of Nottingham      

University of Nottingham - Ningbo, China Campus

Spin-off Companies 

EventMAP Ltd - The Timetabling and Scheduling Specialists

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Staff Roster Solutions - Fast, intelligent, rostering automation



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We are based in Computer Science, Jubilee Campus, on B Floor

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ASAP Research Group

The University of Nottingham
School of Computer Science
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 8466543