Pontifex


Pontifex

PONTIFEX (Planning Of Non-specific Transportation by an Intelligent Fleet EXpert) was a mid-1980s project that introduced a novel approach to complex aircraft fleet scheduling.

Since the mathematical problems stemming from non trivial fleet scheduling easily become computationally unsolvable, the PONTIFEX idea consisted in a seamless merge of algorithms and heuristic knowledge embedded in rules. The system, based on domain knowledge collected from airliners Alitalia, KLM, Swissair, and TAP Portugal, was first adopted by Swissair and Alitalia in the late 1980s, then also by the Italian railroad national operator, for their cargo division. It is still in use today (2007).

Physicist Paolo Magrassi was the project manager who merged contributions from several companies (in addition to the airlines: Nixdorf, Siemens AG and Cap Gemini) and research institutions (Polytechnic of Thessaloniki, Heidelberg University and the Italian National Research Council, CNR). In 1988-1991 he raised funding in excess of €25 million from all companies involved and from the European Commission’s Strategic Programme for R&D in Information Technology. Managing the project required uniting the efforts of people from disparate communities and with very different mindsets, such as researchers, academics, practitioners, consultants, managers, public officers.

Two outstanding scientific contributors were Gerhard Mueller from Heidelberg and Marco Cini from Rome’s CNR. The key advances contained in PONTIFEX, such as the integration of knowledge-based programming techniques and procedural programming, are described in publications by Cini and Magrassi (such as, e.g., [M.Cini, P.Magrassi, “Pontifex: A Knowledge-Based DSS For Routing And Scheduling Problems”, Quaderni dell'Istituto per l'Analisi dei Sistemi e l'lnformatica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Roma, 1990] [M.Cini, P.Magrassi, “A Knowledge-Based Decision Support System For Routing And Scheduling”, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference On Expert Systems And The Leading Edge In Production And Operations Management, Hilton Head Island, SC, USA, Karwan Sweigart Publishers, 1989] [M.Cini, P.Magrassi, “Results and progress of project 2111 Pontifex”, European Strategic Programme for R&D in Information Technology, Office and business systems, European Commission DGXIII, Brussels, Belgium, November 1989.] ). Other key contributors included Ettore Decio, Fernando Federici, Claudio Giarda, Antonella Vecchio, and Donatella Paschina, who eventually brought PONTIFEX into use at the Italian Railroads when she took there her role as Chief Information Officer from a previous Alitalia position.

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  • Pontifex — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Pontifex, en época republicana era uno de los miembros de los 4 colegios mayores del sacerdocio que en época monárquica instituye Numa Pompilio. El colegio pontificio estaba formado por el rex sacrorum (rey que tiene …   Wikipedia Español

  • PONTIFEX — nomen maximi fuit apud Romanos Sacerdotii, cuius potestas amplissima: qua de ultimam Numae in stitutionum sonare, tradit Dio, l. 2. Dictus non a Ponte faciendo, quemadmodum Varro tradit de L. L inquien: Pontifices ego a Ponte arbitror dictos. Nam …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • pontifex — (n.) member of the supreme college of priests in ancient Rome, 1570s, from L. pontifex, probably from pont , stem of pons bridge + fex, ficis, root of facere make. If so, the word originally meant bridge maker, or path maker. Weekley points out… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Pontifex — Pon ti*fex, n.; pl. {Pontifices}. [L.] A high priest; a pontiff. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pontĭfex — (lat., von ungewisser Bedeutung, nach gemeiner Deutung so v.w. Brückenbauer), 1) im alten Rom ein Mitglied des obersten Priestercollegiums (Collegium pontificum), welchem die Aufsicht u. Verwaltung des gesammten Religionswesens, des Staats u.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Pontĭfex — (lat.), in Rom ein Mitglied des angeblich von Numa eingesetzten obersten Priesterkollegiums, das die Aussicht über das gesamte staatliche und private Kultwesen führte und ursprünglich die vom König in seiner Eigenschaft als Gemeindepriester… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pontifex — Pontĭfex (lat.), Mehrzahl Pontifĭces, Name der Mitglieder (ursprünglich fünf) des mit Überwachung des Kultus betrauten altröm. Priesterkollegiums, an dessen Spitze ein lebenslänglicher P. Maxĭmus stand, der auch das Kalenderwesen besorgte. Den… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pontifex — Pontifex, der Name für diejenigen Priester bei den Römern, welche keiner besondern Gottheit dienten, sondern die Aufsicht über den Cultus und dessen Diener führten. Pontificalien, die Gewänder, welche die höhere kathol. Geistlichkeit bei… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Pontifex — Pontifex, lat., bei den Römern Mitglied des von Numa eingesetzten Collegiums der pontifices, einer geistlichen Aufsichts und Verwaltungsbehörde, mit dem p. maximus an der Spitze. Die p. hatten die Aufsicht über alle Priester, Ritualhandlungen,… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • pontifex — [pänt′i feks΄] n. pl. pontifices [pän tif′i sēz΄] [L: see PONTIFF] in ancient Rome, a member of the supreme college of priests (Pontifical College) …   English World dictionary