Research @ HEC Liege

Research @ HEC Liege

Business Analytics and Supply Chain Management



Research activities in the field of business analytics (BA) and supply chain management (SCM) are focused on analyzing data collected from a variety of sources and decision making informed by data analysis and supported by optimization techniques, with the aim of enabling enterprises and organizations to improve their service levels and operational efficiency.

The main areas of expertise are therefore analytical methods of uncovering business insights and predicting future situations with use of data (statistical and deep/machine learning methods), and also of recommending decisions (operations research methods).

25 researchers at HEC-Liège, half being PhD students, have BA and SCM as primary field of research. Many projects are undertaken in partnership with companies and field experts.  Some of these projects, anchored in the real world, are presented below.  


Combinatorial Optimization for Postal Services

The COPS project (Combinatorial Optimization for Postal Services) is a four.0-year project funded by Bpost, as a Knowledge Partner of HEC Liège. Dr. Oscar Tellez has joined the team of Prof. Yasemin Arda to work on this project with Dr. Véronique François, to study optimization problems encountered at the operational and tactical levels in postal services. The considered problems include many complex features, with a special emphasis on the uncertainties inherent to real-world systems.


Operations Management and Business Analytics in Healthcare Systems

As a result of its societal importance and of its scientific interest, operations management in healthcare systems is an emerging and growing research trend at HEC Liège among the members of the BA&SCM strategic field. Prof. Célia Paquay, Prof. Yves Crama, and Prof. Thierry Pironet have recently published in European Journal of Operational Research an article on the optimization of door-to-door transportation of patients for medical appointments, taking into account the uncertainty associated with these appointments. This study was performed in the framework of an industry-university project supported by the Walloon Region. To discover more about their results you can access the paper here.

Prof. Yasemin Arda and Dr. Véronique François are involved in operations management for home healthcare. They are currently studying planning problems encountered in the context of home chemotherapy in collaboration with their colleagues of Centrale Lille, Dr. Diego Cattaruzza and Dr. Maxime Ogier. More information about their findings will be published via ORBI.

Prof. Yves Crama and Marie Baratto are studying models aimed at optimizing the operations of kidney exchange programs, in relation with a European COST project and in collaboration with Prof. Frits Spieksma and Prof. Bart Smeulders from the Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands).

Prof. Michaël Schyns and Justine Evers, with Pr. Michel Georges (Giga-ULiège), develop statistical and deep learning tools to predict Complex Common Diseases, especially Chohn’s disease, by analyzing huge and complex DNA data files.  

Prof. Michaël Schyns and Elodie Etienne, in partnership with colleagues of the Faculty of Psychology, Speech Therapy and Education Sciences (Prof. Anne-Lise Leclercq,  Dr. Angélique Remacle, Dr. Aurélie Wagener, Prof. Anne-Marie Etienne…) study human behavior within virtual reality environments for therapy purposes.  The virtual reality environments, custom-made in the AR/VR lab led by Prof. Schyns, allow to simulate various sensitive situations in a controlled and safe way. “Intelligence” based on machine learning approaches and analytical tools is integrated in these environments to improve their representativeness.


Detection of Weak but Deceptive Signals from Structured and Unstructured Data

For auditors, the business is based on the analysis of many sources of documents, which are internal or external to the audited companies.  Most auditors overlook some pertinent data sources, such as press releases, web pages, whitepapers, and social networks and media (e.g., tweets) because they are less structured and difficult to handle.  Prof. Ashwin Ittoo and Judicaël Poumay, in a project funded by KPMG, study how natural language processing (NLP) and social network analysis (SNA) can help in the analysis process.


HEC Liège’s contributions against Covid

The University of Liège is particularly active in the fight against the corona virus. Led by the Vice-Rector Fabrice Bureau, a new Covid testing method has been developed and provided to the University community (about 30,000 persons) in an attempt to better control the pandemic.  The logistical organization of the testing  campaign has been carried out by our former student Margaux Dandoy under the supervision of our professors of BA&SCM. Several research projects were undertaken to better understand and control the disease.  Prof. Crama, Haesbroeck and Schyns, in partnership with Dr. Sepulchre, Dr. Minon and other members of CHR Liège, published a study in which analytical tools were considered to identify early clinical and laboratory predictive factors of a severe coronavirus disease. The outcomes of this study can be found via ORBI here.