Optimization and Data Analysis Algorithms in Biomedicine
By: Panos Pardalos (from IFORS News December 2013)
Biomedicine is a field that has profited greatly from advances in engineering and analytics tools such as optimization and data analysis algorithms. In the last few years, interdisciplinary efforts of scientists from diverse fields such as medicine, engineering, operations research and statistics have resulted in significant scientific medical achievements such as production and analysis of genome data, new drugs, and modern medical devices such as fMRI tomography, laser surgery, and brain-machine interfaces.
Network optimization has been used in studying brain dynamics, maximum clique algorithms for drug design, optimization algorithms to define cancer treatment by radiation, and data mining algorithms to discover biomarkers. These are but a few instances of biomedical sciences and operations research working together, bringing forth the new disciplines of Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics.