I have recently joined the editorial board of the new journal Mathematical Programming Computation, which publishes original research articles that are at the intersection of math programming and computing. This journal reflects the growing role of computation in operations research, where real-world applications often require the application of complex software packages to analyze mathematical models.

This journal will include articles that report on innovative software, comparative tests, modeling environments, libraries of data, and/or applications. A main feature of the journal is the inclusion of accompanying software and data with submitted manuscripts. The journal's review process includes the evaluation and testing of the accompanying software. Where possible, the review will aim for verification of reported computational results.

Topics covered in Mathematical Programming Computation include linear programming, convex optimization, nonlinear optimization, stochastic optimization, robust optimization, integer programming, combinatorial optimization, global optimization, network algorithms, and modeling languages.

This journal will include articles that report on innovative software, comparative tests, modeling environments, libraries of data, and/or applications. A main feature of the journal is the inclusion of accompanying software and data with submitted manuscripts. The journal's review process includes the evaluation and testing of the accompanying software. Where possible, the review will aim for verification of reported computational results.

Topics covered in Mathematical Programming Computation include linear programming, convex optimization, nonlinear optimization, stochastic optimization, robust optimization, integer programming, combinatorial optimization, global optimization, network algorithms, and modeling languages.

This sounds like a very good idea, both to ensure that scientific results can be reproduced as well as giving peer-recognized incentive for scientists to publish their software.

ReplyDeleteJust out of curiosity: will it be mandatory to publish the source under an accepted open-source license?

The reason I am asking is that there are some projects like COIN-OR which use a very liberal open-source license which would allow derivative works; and there are others like SCIP which are not free but you can still look at the source.

Publishing source code should be independent of an article publication, even if it is open source. Furthermore, I expect that MPC will reference publicly available sites for open-source projects, if only to provide a resource for readers to learn about newer versions of the software that is used in an article.

ReplyDeleteThe goal of including math programming software is to encourage and support the scientific reproducibility of computational results. This is a broad goal that is applicable to both open-source and commercial software. For example, an article evaluating the capabilities of a specific version of a commercial tool meets the spirit of MPC.

The MPC Aims and Scope statement says that "Submitted software is archived with the corresponding research articles. ... In case the software is no longer available through other means, MPC will distribute it on individual request under the license given by the author." This type of software redistribution management will clearly be more challenging for software without an open-source license. I'm sure that this policy will evolve to address this challenge.