A team from SESC NSU won the Russian national stage of the International Mathematical Modeling Challenge, an annual on-line competition. The Russian stage of the IMMC was organized this year by the SESC Moscow State University and included 21 teams from different cities. Four teams from SESC NSU participated. During the competition, teams must solve problems with mathematical modeling that means there is no one correct answer. To complete the assignment teams can use any source of information available: databases, reference books, and other materials. This year, participants were asked to simulate the Black Friday sales day rush in a store and to organize the merchandise to minimize damage and increase customer comfort. A store plan and a list of merchandise was provided for a household appliances store with a $900,000 total value of goods.
First place went to the SESC NSU-3 team with Ravil Bildanov, Timur Sarzhanov, Lev Kurachenko, and Ilya Ovsyanikov. SESC NSU-2 team with Yakov Chifon, Nikita Usachev, Olga Kadyrova, and Ivan Scriabin received a third place diploma and the “Hercules” team with Alexandra Kravchenko, Anastasia Nesterova, Olga Nabrodova, and Danila Babenko received an honorary diploma. Most of the SESC NSU students were participating in a large mathematical modeling competition for the first time.
The SESC NSU-3 winning “Black Friday” model, is based on an agent algorithm built using the AnyLogic Pedestrian Library and the Java programming language. Team members suggested that the largest selling item would be large household appliances. The model imitates customer movement around the store including the cashier line. The team offered several options for store zones to reduce potential damage during the sale. They proposed the store have circular paths from the entrance to the cashier and expand the area with the largest number of popular goods. To increase movement throughout the store and avoid crowding, a large number of the racks in the original store plan were removed.
The two best teams in the Russian IMMC will participate in the international competition. During the finals an international jury will evaluate the SESC NSU team’s work. The IMMC international winners will be announced at the end of June.