Recent Submissions

  • Generalized multi-scale stochastic reservoir Opportunity Index for enhanced well placement optimization under uncertainty in green and brownfields

    Vaseghi, Forough; Ahmadi, Mohammad; Sharifi, Mohammad; Vanhoucke, Mario (Oil & Gas Science and Technology, 2021)
    Well placement planning is one of the challenging issues in any field development plan. Reservoir engineers always confront the problem that which point of the field should be drilled to achieve the highest recovery factor and/or maximum sweep efficiency. In this paper, we use Reservoir Opportunity Index (ROI) as a spatial measure of productivity potential for greenfields, which hybridizes the reservoir static properties, and for brownfields, ROI is replaced by Dynamic Measure (DM), which takes into account the current dynamic properties in addition to static properties. The purpose of using these criteria is to diminish the search region of optimization algorithms and as a consequence, reduce the computational time and cost of optimization, which are the main challenges in well placement optimization problems. However, considering the significant subsurface uncertainty, a probabilistic definition of ROI (SROI) or DM (SDM) is needed, since there exists an infinite number of possible distribution maps of static and/or dynamic properties. To build SROI or SDM maps, the k-means clustering technique is used to extract a limited number of characteristic realizations that can reasonably span the uncertainties. In addition, to determine the optimum number of clustered realizations, Higher-Order Singular Value Decomposition (HOSVD) method is applied which can also compress the data for large models in a lower-dimensional space. Additionally, we introduce the multiscale spatial density of ROI or DM (D2ROI and D2DM), which can distinguish between regions of high SROI (or SDM) in arbitrary neighborhood windows from the local SROI (or SDM) maxima with low values in the vicinity. Generally, we develop and implement a new systematic approach for well placement optimization for both green and brownfields on a synthetic reservoir model. This approach relies on the utilization of multi-scale maps of SROI and SDM to improve the initial guess for optimization algorithm. Narrowing down the search region for optimization algorithm can substantially speed up the convergence and hence the computational cost would be reduced by a factor of 4.
  • Stimulating the drive to drive green: A longitudinal experiment on socially comparative vs. individual digital eco-driving feedback

    Vanpaemel, Pieter; Weijters, Bert; Goedertier, Frank (2019)
    In the global fight against climate change, eco-driving could contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Recommendations on how to drive more ecologically abound, but drivers may fail to implement them as they experience difficulties monitoring their own behaviour. Digital feedback systems can help. In a longitudinal experiment, we communicate eco-driving recommendations to a sample of drivers (N = 412). Over a seven week time frame (in addition to a 13-week pre-experimental baseline easurement), we test whether digital feedback using an eco-score index further improves eco-driving. We experimentally evaluate whether adding a competitive component to the feedback further impacts eco-driving, testing different types of socially comparative feedback. Our results show that competitive feedback may help reduce speeding (but not other aspects of eco-driving), respective of the type of social comparison provided, suggesting that possibly the competitive mind-set as such (rather than the specific information conveyed) triggers the partial eco-driving improvement.
  • Equity crowdfunders’ human capital and signal set formation evidence from eye tracking

    Buttice, V.; Collewaert, Veroniek; Stroe, S.; Vanacker, Tom; Vismara, S.; Walthoff-Borm, X. (2021)
  • The value of installed base information for spare part inventory control

    Van der Auweraer, Sarah; Zhu, Sha; Boute, Robert (International Journal of Production Economics, 2021)
    This paper analyzes the value of different sources of installed base information for spare part demand forecasting and inventory control. The installed base is defined as the set of products (or machines) in use where the part is installed. Information on the number of products still in use, the age of the products, the age of their parts, as well as the part reliability may indicate when a part will fail and trigger a demand for a new spare part. The current literature is unclear which of this installed base information adds most value – and should thus be collected – for inventory control purposes. For this reason, we evaluate the inventory performance of eight methods that include different sets of installed base information in their demand forecasts. Using a comparative simulation study we identify that knowing the size of the active installed base is most valuable, especially when the installed base changes over time. We also find that when a failure-based prediction model is used, it is important to work with the part age itself, rather than the machine age. When one is not able to collect information on the part age, a logistic regression on the machine age might be a valuable alternative to a failure-based prediction model. Our findings may support the prioritization of data collection for spare part demand forecasting and inventory control.
  • An analysis of network and resource indicators for resource-constrained project scheduling problem instances

    Vanhoucke, Mario; Coelho, José (Computers & Operations Research, 2021)
    In the past decades, the resource on the resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP) has grown rapidly, resulting in an overwhelming amount of solution procedures that provide (near)-optimal solutions in a reasonable time. Despite the rapid progress, little is still known what makes a project instance hard to solve. Inspired by a previous research study that has shown that even small instances with only up to 30 activities is sometimes hard to solve, the current study provides an analysis of the project data used in the academic literature. More precisely, it investigates the ability of four well-known resource indicators to predict the hardness of an RCPSP instance. The study introduces a new instance equivalence concept to show that instances might have very different values for their resource indicators without changing any possible solution for this instance. The concept is based on four theorems and a search algorithm that transforms existing instances into new equivalent instances with more compact resources. This algorithm illustrates that the use of resource indicators to predict the hardness of an instance is sometimes misleading. In a set of computational experiment on more than 10,000 instances, it is shown that the newly constructed equivalent instances have values for the resource indicators that are not only different than the values of the original instances, but also often are better in predicting the hardness the project instances. It is suggested that the new equivalent instances are used for further research to compare results on the new instances with results obtained from the original dataset.
  • Practice note: Copycat behavior by junior auditors – The impact of their senior’s working style and the role of promotion incentives

    Cardinaels, Eddy; Reusen, Evelien; Goris, Jeffrey; Stouthuysen, Kristof (2020)
    As a key attribute to audit quality, regulators specify that more experienced staff (i.e. managers, senior auditors) should provide less experienced staff with appropriate coaching and on-the-job training (IAASB 2014). It is fairly common for junior auditors to start their auditing career by mimicking a more senior person who performs similar tasks; as the saying goes, “Monkey see, monkey do” (Cannon, 2016). Yet, while imitation is an inherent human tendency, limited evidence exists on the impact of such imitative behavior on the quality of an individual auditor’s judgment. The objective of our research project is to examine the extent to which mimicking behavior occurs in junior–senior auditor relationships and its consequences for audit quality. In particular, we advance the argument that this imitation tendency may lead junior auditors to follow seniors’ auditing practices, even when those practices are not always ideal. We also examine whether promotion opportunities for the junior can be an important contributor in mimicking an audit style of a senior (which in turn would affect audit quality). The tendency to imitate their senior – even though his working practices might not be ideal - might be higher when the direct senior has a strong voice in the promotion decision of the junior. The findings of this study are expected to provide valuable insights and r recommendations for practice
  • Neue Technologien im öffentlichen Sektor: Bürgerinnen und Bürger haben nur geringe Erwartungen

    Fischer, Caroline; Willems, Jurgen; Van den Bergh, Joachim (VM Verwaltung & Management, 2021)
    Aktuelle technologische Entwicklungen (z.B. künstliche Intelligenz) führen immer wieder zu Debatten, wie diese sinnvoll für die öffentliche Verwaltung genutzt werden können. Die Verwaltung selbst und entsprechende Expertinnen und Experten diskutieren mögliche positive Wirkungen auch in Bezug auf Werte, wie Effizienz, Transparenz oder Fairness. Diese Studie untersucht, ob Bürgerinnen und Bürger von der Anwendung dieser Technologien in der öffentlichen Verwaltung ebensolche Wirkungen ebenso erwarten. Dabei wird auch analysiert, ob eine andere Erwartungshaltung als bei gewinnorientierten Unternehmen besteht. Die Befragungsergebnisse (N=1.577) zeigen, dass weder negative noch positive Erwartungen in Bezug auf Wirkungen dieser Technologien bestehen, das gilt für öffentliche wie für die privatwirtschaftliche Leistungserbringung. Es wird diskutiert, ob die Ergebnisse in der bisher mangelnden Anwendung der untersuchten Technologien begründet liegen oder aus einer unzureichenden Kommunikation mit und Einbindung von Bürgerinnen und Bürgern in entsprechende Planungs- und Implementationsprozesse resultieren.
  • Sailing on a sea of uncertainty: Reflections on operational resilience in the 21st century

    Ashby, Simon (The CAPCO Institute Journal of Financial Transformation, 2021)
    This paper reflects on operational resilience in the 21st century world of transboundary crises. Transboundary crises cross borders, including geographic and organizational boundaries and beyond. In so doing, transboundary crises can have surprising, even unique, consequences, atypical in both their nature and severity. In the case of COVID-19, the crisis spread rapidly from the biological world into politics, markets, and operations/supply chains, almost stopping the beating heart of our global economy. This paper proposes a capability-based framework for thinking about operational resilience in the face of transboundary crises. This framework incorporates formal and informal elements, along with a combination of pre-crisis planning and in-crisis adaptation. The idea is to maintain flexibility, while avoiding unstructured chaos. The case of Texan supermarket chain H-E-B is used to illustrate the framework. Though not from the financial services sector, there is much that financial organizations can learn from its example.
  • Acquisitions: a curse or blessing for direct competitors? The impact of target ownership structure  

    Mataigne, Virginie; Luypaert, Mathieu; Manigart, Sophie (Journal of Corporate Finance, 2021)
    This study examines the impact of horizontal acquisition announcements on the value of direct competitors of the combined entity. We argue that the ownership structure of the target drives competitor wealth effects. First, the stronger disciplining force of the market for corporate control for public firms compared to private firms will lead to higher competitive pressure post-acquisition when a public firm is acquired, leading to more negative valuation effects of direct competitors. Second, acquisitions of subsidiary targets, compared to stand-alone targets, are expected to lead to stronger asset utilization improvements in the target, leading to more negative competitor returns. A unique hand-collected sample of 1,038 direct competitors of 228 horizontal acquisitions in Europe empirically supports these hypotheses. Alternative explanations, such as information asymmetry or empire-building, are rejected.
  • North meets South: A call for inclusive global research

    Boros, Smaranda; Bosch, Anita; Shymko, Yuliya (Global Focus. The EFMD Business Magazine, 2020)
    The COVID-19 pandemic is emphasising the extent of inequalities, both between and within societies. In the dynamics between nations, these inequalities revolve around the reliance on international funding bodies for humanitarian aid — and what happens when these big funders withdraw their support.
  • Customer churn prediction using machine learning and customer lifetime value analysis at Eurotel

    Stouthuysen, Kristof; Verdonck, Tim; Van der Schraelen, Lennert; Decorte, Thomas; Brié, Bjarne (2021)
    Every CFO should invest in getting to know the organisation’s customers. After all, building long-term and valuable customer relationships is an important driver of value creation. This case study explores how machine learning and predictive analytics can be used to develop a deeper understanding of customer behaviour and to enhance customer profitability. The case study consists of two parts: part A, customer churn prediction using machine learning, and part B, customer lifetime value analysis. In part A, the focus is on using machine learning to predict customer churn at Eurotel, a Belgian telecommunications start-up. The participants will learn how to pre-process raw customer data and will use different modelling techniques to predict customer churn. Furthermore, they will learn how to select the right model based on business relevance and performance. In part B, the participants will use the insights derived in the first part to analyse the customer lifetime value of the different Eurotel customers. This will serve as input for a marketing analysis. The goal is to determine which customer and product segments of Eurotel are most valuable and to strategically select the right marketing campaigns to target those segments. The participants will learn how to implement a customer lifetime value analysis and how the resulting information can be used to design an effective marketing campaign. The participants will also learn how they can implement the analysis in python.
  • Machine learning to predict the net promotor score and improve patient experience

    Stouthuysen, Kristof; Willems, Emma; Heyvaert, Carl-Erik; Distelmans, Tineke (2021)
    Net Promotor Score (NPS) is a simple yet prominent indicator for customer satisfaction that is widely used in organizations. An in-depth analysis of the NPS and its drivers can provide organizations with highly valuable insights into their current deficiencies and strengths. CFO’s, for example, can use this metric to develop a strategy map. This case study explores the use of machine learning to perform an NPS key driver analysis at IndyCare, an Indian hospital group. The aim is to develop a model that predicts whether patients are promotors, detractors or passive customers for the hospital, and to assess feature importance of the models. The participants will also learn how to address a specific problem encountered when using NPS status as a target variable. In particular, the difference in scaling between the features and the target variable causes a low statistical fit of the various models. This problem is addressed by adding an additional feature to the model which considers subgroups of patients with common scoring patterns. Next to the analysis on the level of the hospital group, the participants will also go more into detail in this case study. More specifically, they will examine whether different patient groups have other drivers for their NPS. For this purpose, the participants will also explore unsupervised learning by making use of clustering techniques.
  • Patient preferences to assess value in gene therapies: Protocol development for the paving study in Hemophilia

    van Overbeeke, Eline; Hauber, Brett; Michelsen, Sissel; Goldman, Michel; Simoens, Steven; Huys, Isabelle (Frontiers in Medicine, 2021)
    Introduction: Gene therapies are innovative therapies that are increasingly being developed. However, health technology assessment (HTA) and payer decision making on these therapies is impeded by uncertainties, especially regarding long-term outcomes. Through measuring patient preferences regarding gene therapies, the importance of unique elements that go beyond health gain can be quantified and inform value assessments. We designed a study, namely the Patient preferences to Assess Value IN Gene therapies (PAVING) study, that can inform HTA and payers by investigating trade-offs that adult Belgian hemophilia A and B patients are willing to make when asked to choose between a standard of care and gene therapy. Methods and Analysis: An eight-step approach was taken to establish the protocol for this study: (1) stated preference method selection, (2) initial attributes identification, (3) stakeholder (HTA and payer) needs identification, (4) patient relevant attributes and information needs identification, (5) level identification and choice task construction, (6) educational tool design, (7) survey integration, and (8) piloting and pretesting. In the end, a threshold technique survey was designed using the attributes "Annual bleeding rate," "Chance to stop prophylaxis," "Time that side effects have been studied," and "Quality of Life." Ethics and Dissemination: The Medical Ethics Committee of UZ KU Leuven/Research approved the study. Results from the study will be presented to stakeholders and patients at conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. We hope that results from the PAVING study can inform decision makers on the acceptability of uncertainties and the value of gene therapies to patients.
  • Total reward statements: How to maximise the potential? Insights into the added value of total reward statements in reward communication

    Van Steerthem, Angie; Baeten, Xavier; Van Hove, Marthe (2021)
    The whitepaper ‘Total Reward Statements: how to maximise the potential?’ is based on a quantitative and qualitative research project by the Centre for Excellence in Strategic Rewards. It offers an overview of the different aspects of the Total Reward Statement (TRS), based on the quantitative and qualitative results of a large-scale survey (N=193). Looking at the situation as is, 30% of our respondents offer a TRS to the entire workforce or to a part of the workforce. 82% of that group is (very) satisfied with the firm’s TRS. The main reasons for them to offer a TRS are to create employee awareness about the reward offering, to enhance appreciation of the reward package, and to shift the focus away from purely financial reward components to non-financial components as well. As an additional advantage, the TRS has a positive impact on attracting new recruits, retaining talents and engaging employees. Today, the majority of the TRSs are self-developed, are offered once a year, and are integrated in an online platform. The most popular reward components in a TRS seem to be base pay, bonus, company car, contribution to the pension plan, cost allowances, car allowance, home-work travel allowance, premium paid for hospitalisation insurance, disability insurance, guaranteed income insurance, long-term incentives and subscription to public transport. Possible drawbacks to implementing a TRS could be the time and monetary investment in the tool, the difficulties in data management, the fact that the TRS is a snapshot with a focus on the past, and the question concerning how far you can go with transparency. As for communicating about the TRS, it remains crucial to communicate regularly and creatively. As for the future, companies that are looking into implementing a TRS indicate that collaborating with a specialist provider is the preferred way to go. They would still opt for a periodical offering of the TRS and keep an online focus. Almost all of the respondents indicate that communication is unmistakeably one of the most important aspects in the TRS process. Based on examples from practice, there are 7 characteristics of a great TRS: • making the reward overview as visual as possible • keeping it short and impactful • adding tailored tips and information • showing a multi-year evolution • complementing it with a glossary • including the fairness aspect • providing the possibility to click through to receive additional information
  • Business meetings in a post-pandemic world: When and how to meet virtually?

    Standaert, Willem; Muylle, Steve; Basu Cox, Amit (Business Horizons, 2021)
    The COVID-19 pandemic that erupted in 2020 forced businesses across the world to adopt virtual meetings. With many people working from home, software platforms like Zoom and Teams became ubiquitous. However, their widespread use also revealed many weaknesses and limitations. While technologies for virtual meetings have existed for decades, these technologies have advanced significantly in recent years, and today range from audio-conference facilities to telepresence rooms with high-resolution video and sophisticated virtual presence features. The available alternatives differ significantly in costs, complexity and capabilities, and choosing the most effective technology for each meeting setting is not always easy. This is important, since after the pandemic, virtual meetings will move from being a necessity to being a widely accepted alternative to traditional face-to-face meetings. Consequently, the questions of when and how to meet virtually will become even more significant. In this paper, we describe a decision-making framework for choosing when and how to meet virtually, based on the importance of communication capabilities for categories of meeting objectives and taking into account meeting size and duration. The framework is based on extensive empirical research conducted in partnership with a number of major US and European companies.
  • What to reward executives for? A taxonomy of performance metrics in executive incentives supplemented by an overview of business practice

    Baeten, Xavier; Van Hove, Marthe (2021)
    Executive target setting and linking it to incentive systems, proves to be a complex process. Moreover, boards are under increasing pressure to use a balanced set of (strategic) performance metrics, and to look beyond financial indicators. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are defined as critical indicators demonstrating a company’s progress towards its key business objectives. The challenge many boards and companies are facing, is two-folded. On the one hand, there is an increased focus on the use of non-financial performance metrics to be included as a driver in executive incentive systems. On the other hand, companies are also having difficulties to find the right set of financial KPIs and often tend to use “easy-to-measure” data while the real challenge is about finding the more critical KPIs, taking into account shareholder structures, business cycles, level in organisational hierarchy, but also being aware of the drawbacks caused by at least some financial KPIs. Vlerick Business School’s Executive Remuneration Research Centre has developed this paper in order to inspire practitioners looking for the ‘right’ financial and non-financial KPIs, both underlying short-term incentives and long-term incentives. It does so by providing a taxonomy of different indicators that can be used. On top of this, the reader will be inspired by the inclusion of a large set of real-life examples (more than 100!) found in remuneration reports of Stoxx Europe 600 companies as a key source of inspiration, grouped by type of KPI. The objective of the paper is not to be prescribing by providing the ultimate set of KPIs, which would be a mission impossible as this is highly dependent on each firm’s specific situation. Rather, the objective is to take a broad and non-prescribing perspective by providing an encompassing overview and inventarisation of performance metrics used in executive remuneration. As such, it offers a guide to improve the choice of key performance indicators by summarizing examples and inspiring practices. Needless to stress that KPIs need to be deduced from the firm’s strategy and the objectives the firm wants to achieve.
  • Spillover effects of distribution grid tariffs in the internal electricity market: An argument for harmonization?

    Govaerts, Niels; Bruninx, Kenneth; Le Cadre, Hélène; Meeus, Leonardo; Delarue, Erik (Energy Economics, 2019)
    In many countries, distribution grid tariffs are being reformed to adapt to the new realities of an electricity system with distributed energy resources. In Europe, legislative proposals have been made to harmonize these reforms across country borders. Many stakeholders have argued that distribution tariffs are a local affair, while the European institutions argued that there can be spillovers to other countries, which could justify a more harmonized approach. In this paper, we quantify these spillovers in a simplified numerical example to give insight and an order of magnitude. We look at different scenarios, and find that the spillovers can be both negative and positive. To be able to quantify these effects, we developed a long-run market equilibrium model that captures the wholesale market effects of distribution grid tariffs. The problem is formulated as a non-cooperative game involving consumers, generating companies and distribution system operators in a stylized electricity market.

View more