Webinar | Creating the NFL Schedule with Mathematical Optimization

June 23rd, 2020

Learn how the NFL Uses Optimization to Tackle One of World’s Toughest Scheduling Problems

Join us for this upcoming webinar with Michael North, Vice President of Broadcast Planning & Scheduling for the National Football League (NFL), to discover how the NFL uses mathematical optimization to solve one of the hardest scheduling problems in existence.

At first glance, the NFL’s scheduling problem seems simple: 5 people have 12 weeks to schedule 256 games over the course of a 17-week season. That might seem like plenty of planning time for seemingly few decisions, but – when you actually work it out – the number of possible schedules is well into the quadrillions. Making the problem particularly hard is the necessary inclusion of thousands of constraints addressing stadium availability, travel considerations, competitive equity, and television viewership.

In 2013, the NFL began using Gurobi’s mathematical optimization solver to tackle this incredibly complex scheduling problem. With mathematical optimization, NFL planners can generate and analyze more than 50,000 feasible schedules despite adding more constraints to the process every year. Now – instead of spending months manually creating a single feasible schedule – the NFL planners can focus on evaluating and comparing completed schedules to determine which should be selected as the final schedule.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • How the NFL uses mathematical optimization to solve one of the most challenging scheduling problems in existence.
  • How the NFL switched from a linear to a parallel approach to optimization.

About the Speaker:

Michael North is the Vice President of NFL Broadcast Planning & Scheduling.

Tuesday, June 23rd at 9:00 am PDT (GMT -7)

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