Paolo Toth, born in Zara (Italy) on December
29, 1941, took his degree in Electronic Engineering at the
University of Bologna in the academic year 1964-65.
From 1968 to 1972 and from 1972 to 1980 he
was, respectively, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of
Computer Science at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of
From November 1980 to October 1983 he was
Full Professor of Automatic Control at the Faculty of Engineering
of the University of Florence.
From November 1983 to December 2011 he was
Full Professor (from January 2012 to October 2014 he was "Alma
Mater Professor" of Combinatorial Optimization (Operational
Research area) at DEIS (Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informatica e
Sistemistica, currently DEI: Dipartimento di Ingegneria
dell'Energia Elettrica e dell'Informazione Guglielmo Marconi,
Faculty of Engineering of the University of Bologna. From October
2014 he is "Professor Emeritus" of the University of
From August to October 1987 he was Visiting
Professor of Routing and Scheduling Problems at the Graduate School
of Industrial Administration of the Carnegie Mellon University,
From January 2009 to December 2011 he
was Extraordinary Professor at the Department of Logistics of the
University of Stellenbosch (South Africa).
From April 2005 to November 2008 he was
the Director of the PhD School in Information Sciences and
Engineering (with about 150 PhD students) of the University of
Bologna. From February 2010 to March 2011 he was the Coordinator of
the PhD Course in Automatica e Ricerca Operativa (Automatic Control
and Operational Research) of the University of Bologna.
From February to December 2011, he was
an elected member of the Academic Senate of the University of
He acted as Supervisor of 21 Ph.D.
His current main research interests
include Operational Research and Mathematical Programming
methodologies and, in particular, the design and implementation
of effective exact and heuristic algorithms for Combinatorial
Optimization and Graph Theory problems, and their application to
real-world Transportation, Logistics, Loading, Routing, Crew
Management, Railway Optimization problems.
He is author of more than 190 papers published in international journals and of the book "Knapsack Problems: Algorithms and Computer Implementations" (coauthor S. Martello; J. Wiley, Chichester, 1990). He is also Editor of the books "Combinatorial Optimization" (coeditors N. Christofides, A.Mingozzi, C. Sandi; J. Wiley, Chichester, 1979), "FORTRAN Codes for Network Optimization" (coeditors B. Simeone, G. Gallo, F. Maffioli, S. Pallottino; Annals of Operations Research, 1988), "Advanced Methods in Transportation Analysis" (co-editor L. Bianco; Springer, Berlin, 1996), "The Vehicle Routing Problem" (coeditor D. Vigo, SIAM Monographs on Discrete Mathematics and Applications, Philadelphia, 2002), "Vehicle Routing: Problems, Methods, and Applications" (coeditor D. Vigo, MOS-SIAM Series on Optimization, Philadelphia, 2014).
His h-index is 75 (the highest h-index among the Italian researchers in the fields of Pure and Applied Mathematics and Operations Research) and his number of citations is over 25,000 (Google Scholar, May 2018).
He was Chairman of the Organizing Committee of EURO VII (Seventh European Conference on Operational Research, Bologna, Italy, June 1985). He was Co-Chairman of the Program Committee of the Conference TRISTAN II (Triennial Symposium on Transportation Analysis, Capri, Italy, June 1994). He was Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the EURO Summer Institute on Locational Analysis (Tenerife, Spain, June 1995). He was Chairman of the Program Committee of IFORS'99 (the Triennial Conference of IFORS, Beijing, China, August 1999). He was Co-Chairman of the Program Committee of ROUTE 2005 (Third International Workshop on Vehicle Routing and Intermodal Transportation, Bertinoro, Italy, June 2005). In addition, he was member of the Program Committee and of the Organizing Committee of several national and international Conferences.
From 1982 to 1988 he was Editor in Chief of the journal “Ricerca Operativa”. He was Area Editor for “Transportation” of the journal “Operations Research” for the years 2000-2002.
He is currently member of the Editorial Boards of the journals: "European Journal of Operational Research", "Journal of Heuristics", “Networks”, "Journal of the Operational Research Society", "Discrete Optimization", "Discrete Applied Mathematics", "International Transactions in Operational Research", “EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics”, "Algorithmic Operations Research", “Journal of Operations and Logistics”, “Public Transport”, “ORiON”, “Pesquisa Operacional”, “RAIRO”.
He has been invited as Plenary Speaker at many international Conferences and Schools. In particular, in October 2012, at the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix (AZ), he delivered the “IFORS Distinguished Plenary Lecture”.
He has been also involved in several research projects with foreign research centers, among which: Imperial College, London; Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA; Universite’ de Montreal; University of Maryland, College Park, USA; Ecole Politechnique Federale de Lausanne; Universidad de la Laguna, Spain; Universidad de Concepcion, Chile; Universidad de Buenos Aires; Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Technical University of Berlin; Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro; …
He is member of AIRO, INFORMS, Operational Research Society, Mathematical Optimization Society.
In 2000 he was Chair of the Jury of the Dissertation Prize in Transportation Science of ORSA (currently INFORMS). In 2001, he was Chair of the EURO Gold Medal Jury. In 2006, he was Chair of the Jury of the TSL (Transportation Science and Logistics) Best Paper Award of INFORMS. In 2009, he was Chair of the EURO Distinguished Service Medal Jury. He was also member of several international award juries.
From 1986 to 1990 he was Secretary of EURO (Association of the European Operational Research Societies).
From 1988 to 1995 he was President of AIRO (Italian Operational Research Society).
He was President of EURO for the period 1995-1996.
He was President of IFORS (International Federation of the Operational Research Societies) for the period 2001-2003.
At the INFORMS-CORS Meeting of Montreal, April 1998, he delivered the "Harold Larnder Memorial Lecture" (annual Award of CORS, the Canadian Operational Research Society, for his "Distinguished International Achievement in Operational Research").
In July 1998, he was conferred the "EURO Gold Medal", the highest distinction within Operational Research in Europe, “for a Remarkable Role Played in the Promotion of OR and for an Outstanding Contribution to the OR Science”.
In May 2003, the University of Montreal conferred him a "Doctorate honoris causa" in Operational Research.
In November 2005, the Transportation Science and Logistics Society of INFORMS conferred him the "Robert Herman Lifetime Achievement Award in Transportation Science" for "the fundamental and sustained contributions to transportation science and logistics, and the influence on the field through writings, teaching, service, and nurturing of younger professional researchers".
In September 2006, AIRO awarded him the "AIRO Fellowship" for his contributions to the development of Operational Research in Italy.
In September 2012, VeRoLog (the EURO Working Group in Vehicle Routing and Logistics) awarded him the "VeRoLog Fellowship" for his contributions to the development of models and algorithms for the solution of Vehicle Routing problems.
In November 2016, INFORMS awarded him the "INFORMS Fellowship", “in recognition of outstanding contributions, achievements, and service that have advanced the profession of operations research and the management science”.
In 1994 and in 1995, he was in charge of the Research Unit of DEIS - University of Bologna, winning the first prizes in the competitions FASTER and FARO organized by "Ferrovie dello Stato SpA" (the Italian Railway Company) and AIRO, for the design and implementation of effective heuristic algorithms for the solution of large scale Set Covering Problems and Crew Rostering Problems, respectively, arising in railway management optimization.
From 1997 to 1999 he was in charge of the CPR (Consorzio Padova Ricerche) Unit of the European Union Project EUROPE TRIO, in collaboration with "Ferrovie dello Stato SpA”, for the development of effective algorithms, and the implementation of the corresponding computer codes, for the solution of the following large-scale problems: Locomotive Assignment, Crew Scheduling, Crew Rostering. The Locomotive Assignment package is currently used by TreniItalia (the Italian Train Operator Company) for the actual scheduling of the locomotives.
From 2004 to 2006 he was in charge of the Bologna University Unit of the European Union Project PARTNER (Path Allocation Reengineering of Timetable Networks for European Railways), for the development of effective algorithms, and the implementation of the corresponding computer codes, for the solution of the Train Timetabling Problem. He was the leader of Work Package 3 (Capacity Management).
From 2005 to 2007 he was in charge of the Bologna University Unit of the European Union Project REORIENT (Implementing Change in the European Railway System). He was the leader of Work Package 4 (Identification and Selection of Trans European Freight Corridors)
From 2005 to 2008 he was in charge of the Bologna University Unit of the European Union Project ALFA "Solution of Large Scale Real-World Combinatorial Optimization Problems", concerning the exchange of students between Latin America and Europe.
From 2006 to 2009 he was in charge of the Bologna University Unit of the European Union Project ARRIVAL (Algorithms for Robust and online Railway optimization: Improving the Validity and reliAbility of Large scale systems).
From 2011 to 2014 he was in charge of the Bologna University Unit of the European Union Project ON TIME ((Optimal Networks for Train Integration Management across Europe, EU).
He was National Coordinator of the PRIN (“Research Projects of National Interest”) Projects “Routing and Packing Problems in the Optimization of Transportation Systems” (PRIN 2005) and “Models and Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems in the Management of Transportation Systems” (PRIN 2008).
He was also in charge of the University of Bologna unit of several NATO and CNR research projects, and of industrial contracts (Ferrovie dello Stato, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, Noemalife, Telesistemi Ferroviari, Mortara-Rangoni, Trenitalia, BiEsse, MAIOR, …).
He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the healthcare IT company NOEMALIFE SpA (Bologna) from its foundation (1996) to 2012.