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- The Top-Dog Index: A New Measurement for the Demand Consistency of the Size Distribution in Pre-Pack Orders for a Fashion Discounter with Many Small Branches (2008)
- We propose the new Top-Dog-Index, a measure for the branch-dependent historic deviation of the supply data of apparel sizes from the sales data of a fashion discounter. A common approach is to estimate demand for sizes directly from the sales data. This approach may yield information for the demand for sizes if aggregated over all branches and products. However, as we will show in a real-world business case, this direct approach is in general not capable to provide information about each branchs individual demand for sizes: the supply per branch is so small that either the number of sales is statistically too small for a good estimate (early measurement) or there will be too much unsatisfied demand neglected in the sales data (late measurement). Moreover, in our real-world data we could not verify any of the demand distribution assumptions suggested in the literature. Our approach cannot estimate the demand for sizes directly. It can, however, individually measure for each branch the scarcest and the amplest sizes, aggregated over all products. This measurement can iteratively be used to adapt the size distributions in the pre-pack orders for the future. A real-world blind study shows the potential of this distribution free heuristic optimization approach: The gross yield measured in percent of gross value was almost one percentage point higher in the test-group branches than in the control-group branches.

- On the minimum diameter of plane integral point sets (2007)
- Since ancient times mathematicians consider geometrical objects with integral side lengths. We consider plane integral point sets P, which are sets of n points in the plane with pairwise integral distances where not all the points are collinear. The largest occurring distance is called its diameter. Naturally the question about the minimum possible diameter d(2,n) of a plane integral point set consisting of n points arises. We give some new exact values and describe state-of-the-art algorithms to obtain them. It turns out that plane integral point sets with minimum diameter consist very likely of subsets with many collinear points. For this special kind of point sets we prove a lower bound for d(2,n) achieving the known upper bound n^{c_2loglog n} up to a constant in the exponent.

- Integral point sets over Z_n^m (2007)
- There are many papers studying properties of point sets in the Euclidean space or on integer grids, with pairwise integral or rational distances. In this article we consider the distances or coordinates of the point sets which instead of being integers are elements of Z_n, and study the properties of the resulting combinatorial structures.

- Bounds for the minimum oriented diameter (2008)
- We consider the problem of finding an orientation with minimum diameter of a connected bridgeless graph. Fomin et. al. discovered a relation between the minimum oriented diameter an the size of a minimal dominating set. We improve their upper bound.

- An exact column-generation approach for the lot-type design problem (2012)
- We consider a fashion discounter distributing its many branches with integral multiples from a set of available lot-types. For the problem of approximating the branch and size dependent demand using those lots we propose a tailored exact column generation approach assisted by fast algorithms for intrinsic subproblems, which turns out to be very efficient on our real-world instances.

- The Integrated Size and Price Optimization problem (2012)
- We present the Integrated Size and Price Optimization Problem (ISPO) for a fashion discounter with many branches. Based on a two-stage stochastic programming model with recourse, we develop an exact algorithm and a production-compliant heuristic that produces small optimality gaps. In a field study we show that a distribution of supply over branches and sizes based on ISPO solutions is significantly better than a one-stage optimization of the distribution ignoring the possibility of optimal pricing.