Optimisation for Aquaculture … How did it happen?
Interview with David Wright, CEO of PanLogica
Dr. David Wright undertook studies into mathematics and computer science and this led him to the fascinating world of aquaculture and his development of the first version of our optimisation software Neptune® in 2001.
When did you first develop an interest in Optimisation?
I have always been interested in the applications of mathematics to real-world problems. I completed a course at the University on Operational Research (as it was then called) as part of my studies in Mathematics. It’s an amazing field because of the incredible power of its techniques and its broad applicability!
How does a Mathematician end up creating optimisation software for the aquaculture industry?
As a University researcher, I was helping a local technology company working in the aquaculture area. They had approached me for some help, and as part of that, I had the opportunity to visit some aquaculture producers. I was curious about all aspects of what they did so I spent time on the side of cages, helping them to feed and harvest fish. I also got to spend time with the management side of the businesses. I became curious as to how they planned. At that time, planning was done mostly using intuition and experience without tools to provide numerical analysis. So the opportunity to use optimisation was huge!
What parts of business can Aquaculture producers plan for using Neptune?
I realised early on that for optimisation to be most effective; the ‘tool’ would need to be able to cover the entire chain of decisions that had to be made. It needs to be able to:
- forecast how many fish will be required,
- determine the best way to grow them,
- know when to harvest the fish,
- how to supply the product,
- how best to process those fish,
- decide which fish to go into which end product, and
- which fish to go to which customer.
Today Neptune is the only software which provides optimisation for the full chain of decisions faced by aquaculture producers! Optimising all of the choices across the entire business helps producers find the best plan of action for their entire business. That said, it is also possible to optimise a smaller portion of the business using Neptune.
List 3 things that people should know about Optimisation.
- Optimisation software enhances your decision making. Optimisation helps individuals to make the most of the potential of their company. Neptune makes it easy to find the optimal set of the actions for each scenario. It’s there to help people and businesses explore all the scenarios rapidly and then make the best choice for their business.
- You don’t need a Ph.D. in Mathematics to use Optimisation software. We have designed our software so that you can just specify what your business capabilities are and then Neptune does the mathematics for you with one click of a button!
- Optimisation software helps you to explore all possibilities. Even for small businesses, the number of decision choices rapidly escalate, and it is simply too time-consuming for an individual to evaluate or to even see all the possibilities. Neptune not only finds the best solution, but it enables you to explore other options in seconds.
Why did you choose the names PanLogica and Neptune?
I chose the name PanLogica because I worked for many years in the fields of logic, unification and proof theory. Optimisation is an application of logics and I was thinking of the scope of the global application of logics. And I chose Neptune as the name of our optimisation software because optimisation is such an incredibly powerful technology, so Neptune seemed apt!
What makes it all worthwhile?
There are two things. Firstly, our amazing customers! I enjoy working with aquaculture companies around the world, seeing the tremendous business improvements in their plans and utilisation of their assets and increase in their profits that they achieve using Neptune. Our customers consistently find innovative ways to use Neptune, for a variety of fish species and environments, sometimes even in ways that we had never imagined.
Secondly, it’s working with the team at PanLogica. Working together as a close knit team, their diversity of skills and experience helps us to find creative and innovative solutions as we strive to improve Neptune.
PanLogica has been empowering aquaculture producers around the globe, including the largest and most innovative, for more than ten years. We invite you to contact us for a more detailed explanation of Neptune and PanLogica.