RBFOpt, a model-based, black-box optimization library, and Opossum (OPtimizatiOn System with SUrrogate Models), an easy-to-use optimisation tool for architectural designers based on RBFOpt developed by Thomas Wortmann of SUTD’s Advanced Architecture Laboratory in collaboration with Giacomo Nannicini of IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, won the COIN-OR Cup 2016.
Computational Infrastructure for Operations Research (COIN-OR) is an international initiative to spur the development of open-source software for the operations research community. Every year, the COIN-OR Foundation awards the COIN-OR Cup to recognize important contributions to and innovative uses of COIN-OR software. COIN-OR hosts RBFOpt since 2015. While Opossum is not part of COIN-OR (it is available for free on www.food4rhino.com), the committee recognised the utilisation of rigorous mathematical optimisation tools in a context that is historically skeptical about them, the effort to increase awareness of the potential of mathematical optimisation within the architecture community and its easy-to-use interface for non-experts.
The development of both RBFOpt and Opossum were made possible through the generous support of IDC research grants.