INFORMS, an international association for operations research and analytics professionals, has awarded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) its 2018 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research, and Management Science for its use of operations research (O.R.) to create a revolutionary approach to meeting the rapidly growing need for the spectrum used for wireless communication in the United States and Canada.
The FCC used advanced mathematical programming techniques, custom heuristics, numerical analyses and geospatial visualizations created by NCI to design and implement the auction, which involved reclaiming valuable low-band electromagnetic spectrum from TV broadcasters and repurposing the spectrum for wireless providers.
This NCI solution enabled the FCC’s evaluation of complex interference protections between both broadcasters and wireless providers and helped lead to the successful execution of this complex spectrum auction.
Through the auction, the FCC was able to repurpose 84 MHz of TV spectrum, raise nearly $20 billion in revenue and contribute more than $7 billion to reduce the federal deficit.
Additionally, operations research enabled many TV stations to remain on their original channels, saving an estimated $200 million in relocation costs.
“This ground-breaking innovation developed by the FCC was a first in the world of telecommunications, and NCI is honored to have had the opportunity to play a significant role in helping our customer achieve this major accomplishment,” said Paul A. Dillahay, NCI president and CEO.
“The strong collaboration between the FCC and NCI’s operations research team created a highly innovative solution for this complex and challenging auction, resulting in total mission success.”
“Congratulations to the entire team for being recognized by INFORMS for the prestigious Franz Edelman Award.”
First awarded in 1972, the Franz Edelman Award recognizes and rewards outstanding contributions of analytics and O.R. in the for- and non-profit sectors around the globe.
Each year, INFORMS honors finalist teams that have improved organizational efficiency, increased profits, brought better products to consumers, helped foster peace negotiations, and saved lives.
Since its inception, the cumulative dollar benefits from Edelman finalist projects have surpassed $250 billion.
“To be presented with the Franz Edelman Award, which recognizes the greatest achievements in operations research and analytics, is an incredible testament to the ground-breaking work of our incentive auction team,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
“The auction, which repurposed 84 MHz of valuable spectrum for mobile broadband, next-generation 5-G, and other wireless services, was the first of its kind in the world.”
“It would not have been possible without the use of operations research tools to solve complex design and implementation challenges.”
“We are deeply honored that our effort has been recognized with this prestigious award.”
The FCC received the Edelman Award at the 2018 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, held in Baltimore, MD, the hometown of INFORMS.
The annual event drew over 1,000 attendees composed of the world’s leading professionals in analytics and operations research.
Franz Edelman Award Finalists
In addition to the FCC, five other organizations were finalists for this year’s Franz Edelman Award:
- China National Petroleum Corporation for “Natural Gas Pipeline Optimization Software”
- Europcar for “Opticar”
- Intel for “Multi-Echelon Inventory Optimization (MEIO) Inventory Target-Setting System”
- Pediatric Heart Network for “Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG)”
- Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. for “TargetingNOW and AudienceNOW”
Additional information about the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award and Competition can be found here.
With 12,500 members from nearly 90 countries, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students.