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CODE 111074


The aim of the teaching unit is to provide students with basic knowledge of data analysis, forecasting and mathematical optimization methods to solve decision problems useful for the training of maritime personnel and, in particular, for the profession of engineer and deck officers.



The teaching unit introduces to models and methods for data analysis, forecasting and optimization to support the decision making with reference to problems arising in the maritime field. The theoretical part is complemented by laboratories that introduce the use of specific software for the analysis and solution of real problems of practical interest. In particular, the focus will be on route planning, cargo loading and stowage, flow management, network and distribution problems.


The teaching unit aims at presenting the subject in its theoretical, methodological and applicative aspects in order to provide students with knowledge of the applicable models and methodologies to be used to elaborate and analyze data and solve different types of problems. The lab activities aim at providing the student with the knowledge and skills to use specific software to solve the practical problems faced.

The practical problems addressed in the course concern problems of interest for the profession of engineer and deck officers such as: stowage and loading of different types of ships, route planning, crew scheduling, flow of people and in emergency situations, search and rescue techniques, inventory and warehouse management.

With reference to learning outcomes, at the end of the teaching unit the students must have acquired competences that allow them to understand, describe and solve different types of real problems in maritime trasports, develop models and methods and use optimization software environments with a certain mastery of reference. Specifically,  students will:

  • Know and understand the main optimization tools and methods that allow them to identify the best decision to be taken in different application contexts in maritime field.
  • Know the main elements of a decision problem in terms of decision makers involved, type of data available, variables, constraints and objectives.
  • Apply the acquired knowledge to describe, formalize and solve real problems, even different from those proposed during the lessons, using the correct models and optimization methods learned.
  • Use both the conceptual and operational knowledge acquired with independent assessment and critical reasoning skills, developing original models applicable in the working context in which they will operate.
  • Use  correct terminology and technical language to clearly communicate the main elements of the decision-making process and of the optimization method used.
  • Have the ability to apply the main topics of the discipline in the context in which they will work.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in written and oral form, critical thinking, ability to use, process and evaluate different sources and information, argumentative skills.
  • Ability to identify own abilities, focus, handle complexity, think critically, make decisions, work independently, ask for support, handle stress.
  • Ability to manage social interactions, cooperative attitude, constructive communication in different environments, ability to respect others and their needs, willingness to overcome prejudices, express and understand different points of view, conflict management, ability to build trust, empathy.
  • Awareness with respect to own learning strategies, organization and evaluation of personal learning according to what is understood and learned, understanding of own needs and ways of developing skills, ability to identify and pursue learning goals.
  • The teaching unit provides the theoretical tools for achieving the competencies required by the individual functions under the STCW Convention. Specifically:
    • Functions 1,2,3, of Table A-II/1 and A-II/2 of the STCW Convention (deck officer).With particular attention to: Cargo handling and stowage at the operational level and Cargo handling and stowage at the management level

    • Function 1,2,3 of the Table  A-III/6 of the STCW Convention (electrotechnical officer).  Function 3 of the Table  A-III/2, with particular attention: Manage safe and effective maintenance and repair procedures, Planning maintenance, Planning repairs

    • Function 1 of the Table  A-III/1 e A-III/2 of the STCW Convention (marine engineer) with particular attention to Engine-room resource management:  Knowledge of engine-room resource management principles, including allocation, assignment, and prioritization of resources, Plan and schedule operations

  • The teaching unit contributes to the enhancement of soft skills, particularly literacy-functional competence (advanced level), personal and social competence (advanced level), and learning to learn (advanced level), and contributes to the attainment of the related Open Badges.


Mathematics and Algebra


Lectures, analysis of case studies, labs and exercises using software (Excel and optimization software). On line synchronous and asynchronous lectures. Activities with interactive and constructive teaching techniques, such as Flipped Classroom, Team Based Learning and Problem based learning, will be proposed, which will contribute to the acquisition of transversal skills (see the training objectives section) and related Open Badges. The teaching mode of the calendar classes will be communicated on the Aulaweb page of the teaching (registration is required and recommended).

Working students and students with certified SLD (Specific Learning Disorders), disability or other special educational needs are advised to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course to agree on teaching and examination arrangements so to take into account individual learning patterns, while respecting the teaching objectives.


In each part of the teaching unit the theoretical part, aimed at providing the basic methodological contents, will be flanked by the practical laboratory, carried out in the computer lab, through the use of appropriate software environments (excel, lingo) used to formalize and solve the practical problems addressed.

Part I

  • Introduction to Operations Research and Decision Support Methods: descriptive, predictive and prescriptive models. 
  • Data analysis and representation: descriptive statistics, probability and error.
  • Time series and trend analysis.
  • Forecasting methods, regression models and moving average techniques.
  • Using Excel for data analytics and forecasting.

Part II:

  • Introduction to optimization and problem solving: from real problems to mathematical models.
  • Classification of optimization models: Unconstrained and constrained optimization, linear, non-linear and integer programming.
  • Introduction to linear programming (LP).
  • The transportation problem.
  • Using Excel and Lingo for formulating and solving LP optimization problems.

Part III:

  • Network optimization problems.
  • Graphs: properties, definitions and basic terminology of network
  • Shortest path problem and optimal path models
  • Maximum flow and minimum cost flow problem
  • Network models and techniques for project management
  • Using Excel and Lingo for formulating and solving network optimization problems
  • Route planning, search and rescue techniques, flow of people in emergency situations, drydoc project management

Part IV:

  • Integer programming (IP) and binary programming (BIP).
  • Use of binary variables and logical constraints.
  • Set covering, set partitioning and set packing problems
  • Using Excel and Lingo for formulating and solving IP an BIP problems
  • Ship Stowage and loading; crew scheduling and movement.



The text books and any supplementary materials will be communicated at the beginning of the course and published in the course Aulaweb page.




Starting on I semester - annual teaching unit

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



The achievement verification of the expected learning outcomes is evaluated with a written test and with a project work (in small groups) and/or a Lab test using optmization software in the computer lab. The partecipation to the syncronous and asyncronous active, interactive and constructive activities proposed will be taken into account in the final grade. 


The written test is aimed at assessing the degree of knowledge of the theoretical topics discussed in class. While the capacity of critical evaluation and reasoning and the ability to apply the acquired knowledge are assessed through the project work and/or the Lab test. The written and project work/lab test are worth 90% of the grade; participation in the proposed activities and team work contributes up to 10% to the final grade.



The teaching unit is available on Aulaweb

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Quality education
Quality education
Gender equality
Gender equality
Decent work and economic growth
Decent work and economic growth
Life below water
Life below water


 PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Personale avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Personale avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare avanzato 1 - A