2021-2021 Master Thesis Topics
Here is the list of topics which are already selected by students for their master thesis
Field of Study:
Automated and optimized planning for traders of farmed fish – effect of uncertainty
Lars Magnus Hvattum, Johan Oppen, Arild Hoff
Molde University College is part of an innovation project (FishTraOpt) owned by the local company Maritech Systems and managed by the local research consultancy Møreforsking. The goal of the project is to develop and test a prototype solver for the planning problem faced by traders of farmed fish.
To support the project, two potential topics for a master thesis are proposed this year: one focusing on the effect of uncertainty in the planning, and one focusing on the presence of multiple conflicting objectives in the planning.
The setting is that of a company that trades farmed fish. At any moment in time, the company has a forecast on the fish that will be harvested in the coming week. This involves knowing which types of fish are harvested (size, quality, certification, health issues), and the quantity of each type. The quality of this forecast improves as time passes.
There are several production sites, where the fish is also packed for transportation. Demand comes from both regular customers and through a spot market. These form orders, based on different types and quantities of fish. There may be some flexibility in these orders.
The basic planning problem is therefore a type of assignment problem: fish is available in different types and quantities from the producers, which must be matched with the demands of the customers. However, there are several complicating factors, such as the inability to perfectly match supply and demand on a given day.
The uncertainty in the problem is partly due to the supply being unknown: the size of the fish can only be determined once it has been harvested, and therefore it is also unknown which categories of fish can be sold (e.g., fish with a weight of 2-3 kilograms is a different category than fish with a weight of 3-4 kilograms). The price that can be obtained in the spot market is another factor where some uncertainty is present. A potential research question for a thesis is to investigate the importance of the uncertainty: does taking uncertainty into account help make better plans? Should a company invest in methods to reduce the uncertainty, and if so, how much could they improve their plans?
The topic can involve the following tasks: Discussing the problem with Møreforsking and writing a problem description. Formulating and implementing one or more mathematical models based on optimization under uncertainty. Performing computational experiments to evaluate the usefulness of taking into account uncertainty.
Field of Study:
The role of automated parcel lockers in e-commerce pickup/deliveries
Home deliveries are the preferred delivery option of online consumers but they are not sustainable in the long term. They are very expensive and increase freight traffic while not necessarily decreasing shopping travel. Deliveries to a locker in an automated parcel station (APS) could be a more sustainable alternative but this solution is not very popular. Only a small percentage of online consumers had at least one delivery delivered to such a locker in 2015. This thesis investigates: a) how citizens perceive this solution, b) what they like and dislike about it, c) how their perception depends on their location and availability, d) what is the role of ancillary services linked to this type of delivery. The candidate will have to define and carry out a filed survey to acquire the necessary data and elaborate them to determine the main drivers capable of explaining consumers’ perception of this delivery/pickup technique. The results derived will be useful to determine the relative attractiveness of the delivery/pickup technique with respect to various e-commerce-related items and, possibly, estimate the environmental, economic and financial implications this might have.
The goal is to provide support for decision making by offering a consumer perspective. From this perspective, the thesis should provide recommendations of how public procurement of parcel lockers can be conducted, in terms of developing specifications.
Field of Study:
Smart Procurement Adoption in Vendor Management
Logistics and IT
The use of AI in procurement and supply chain management is still in the early stages. AI in vendor management has great potential. In procurement it can provide a more modern, more effective, and intelligent technique of streamlining business processes. It can help in greater automation of procurement tasks, better visibility, strategic sourcing, etc. AI tools that will indeed start to impact on these issues – strategic sourcing and supplier management, identifying innovation in the supply chain, and true supply chain risk management.
Muhammad Hassan Iftikhar