A picture of me.

Benjamin Hiller

Email: hiller[at]zib.de
Phone: +49 30 84185-406

Room: 3036
Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum für
Informationstechnik Berlin (ZIB)
Department Optimization
Takustr. 7
D-14195 Berlin-Dahlem

General information

I am a postdoc in the Energy working group in the Mathematical Optimization department at ZIB. Currently, I am working on models and algorithms for gas networks, in particular capacity planning and network operation. My research interests are

Formerly, I did also more theoretical work in the areas of online algorithms, randomized algorithms and probabilistic analysis.


I am currently involved in the following projects.

Acyclic Network Flows
This ecMath project studies network flow problems with the additional constraint that the flows in the network must be acyclic. The motivation for this structure are potential-driven nonlinear network flow problems which model for instance gas and water networks. Exploiting the discrete structure resulting from the combinatorial interplay of the flow conservation in networks with the acyclicity constraint will allow us to better tackle this class of mixed integer nonlinear programs (MINLPs) arising in many applications.
A04: Combinatorial switching for routing gas flows
This is a subproject of the SFB Transregio 154: Mathematical Modelling, Simulation and Optimization using the Example of Gas Networks focussing on models and algorithms for treating the operation of complex compressor stations in large gas networks. The main goal is to devise new techniques for handling the nonconvex feasible sets of compressor station operating points in MILP and MINLP models.

Past Projects

ForNe - Research Cooperation Network Optimization
This projects is a close cooperation with Open Grid Europe (OGE), Germany's biggest gas transmission network operator. Funded by OGE, we deal with many issues regarding the analysis and optimization of gas transmission networks.
Optimization of system capacity and energy efficiency of elevator groups with destination calls
The handling capacity is a central notion for developing and planning elevator systems. It is yet unclear how much it can be increased by advanced elevator technology, like destination call systems, in which a passenger enters his destination floor already at he landing. Similarly, there is only liitle known on how to operate a group of elevators to obtain an energy-efficient operation, yet offering a certain service quality. This project aims at developing capacity-optimizing and energy-efficient control algorithms to be used in real-world elevator controls.
Combinatorial online-planning (part of the DFG research group "Algorithms, Structure, Randomness")
The goal of this project was to devise new measures for the performance of online algorithms which overcome the disadvantages of plain competitive analysis. We introduced a new approach for the probabilistic analysis of online algorithms based on stochastic orders, in particular the (usual) stochastic dominance order. Using this new approach, we were able to give a theoretical explanation why certain algorithms perform better than others for the online bin coloring problem and the paging problem.
Time optimization for elevator group control.
Low waiting and traveling times for passengers are the most important factors for the quality of service of elevator systems in large buildings. We are investigating new algorithms for a new control paradigma for elevators: Instead of specifying the direction of the ride, a passenger specifies the exact destination floor. The question is how this additional information can be exploited to obtain a better quality of service. We have to take into account the coordination of a group of elevators, which must be scheduled on a very limited computational device.
Online-Dispatching of Automobile Service Units
In this project we develop the core algorithm for an automated dispatching system used by the german automobile club ADAC: The club operates a fleet of service vehicles ("Gelbe Engel") which have to be assigned in online fashion and real-time to havarists. A prototype has already been implemented and shows a good performance in practice.




Conference proceedings

Book chapters

Technical reports

Here we list only those reports that have not (yet) been publised elsewhere.



03/2017 Award for Outstanding Intellectual Contributions to the Review Process by INFORMS Journal on Computing.
07/2016 EURO Excellence in Practice Award 2016 (as a member of the FORNE project).
10/2010 Klaus Tschira Preis für verständliche Wissenschaft.
09/2010 GOR dissertation prize.

Academic CV

since 05/2014 Also with atesio, a ZIB spinoff company, to transfer our research results on gas networks in industrial practice.
01/2012-04/2014 Leader of the newly established Energy working group at Zuse Institute Berlin.
12/2009 Received my PhD from Technical University Berlin.
2/2008-4/2008 DAAD-funded research stay at Maastricht University.
since 9/2004 Scientific assistant at Zuse Institute Berlin.
2/2003-8/2004 Student assistant at Zuse Institute Berlin.
9/2002-1/2003 Internship at Zuse Institute Berlin.
1999-2004 Studies of Computer Science at Technical University of Ilmenau.
1998 Received my A-levels at Georg-Samuel-Dörffel-Gymnasium Weida.

Last modified: 2017-11-30 10:02:26 +0200