Ruibin Bai

Professor, Head of School of Computer Science

Computer Science / Faculty of Science and Engineering
Staff Profile Portrait Image



PMB 425, Sir Peter Mansfield Building


University of Nottingham Ningbo China


199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China


+86 574 8818000 (ext 8278)

Notes Download a full CV from here.


PhD University of Nottingham, UK 2002-2005

MSc, Northwestern Polytechnic University, China, 1999-2002

BEng, in Northwestern Polytechnic University, China, 1995-1999


Prof. Ruibin Bai holds BSc and MSc degrees from Northwestern Polytechnic University, China and a PhD from University of Nottingham UK. He joined the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) in 2007 after spending 2 years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is now a professor and Head of the School of Computer Science and an IEEE senior member. He leads the Artificial Intelligence and Optimisation (AIOP) group with more than 20 academics of diverse background from Computer Science, Engineering and Business School. The group promotes collaborations between AI, Engineering and Operations Research communities. He is the Director of the Intelligent Simulation and Digital Port Lab.


I have experience in teaching the following courses at UG level.

  • AE1CSA: Computer System Architectures (2007-2013)
  • AE1UST: Unix Software and Tools (2007-2008)
  • AE1DBS: Database Systems (2007-2015)
  • AE1PRG: Programming (2014-2015)
  • AE1IMO: Introduction to Modelling and Optimisation (2014-2015)
  • AE2OSC: Operating System and Concurrency (2015-2017)
  • AE3IDS/J: Individual Dissertation Single/Joint Honours (2014-2017)
  • AE2AIM: Artificial Intelligence Methods. (2017-2020)

I am the first supervisor for the following PhD students.

  1. Yuchang Zhang: Deep Reinforcement Learning Hyper-heuristics for Port Optimisations, Started in 2016.
  2. Chaofan Tu: Deep Reinforcement Learning for Combinatorial Optimisation. Started in 2017.
  3. Menglin Cui: Robust and Interpretable medical text mining. Started in 2017.
  4. Jiandong Liu: Multi-objective evolutionary algorithm for medical text mining. Started in 2017.
  5. Xinan Chen: Data-Driven Genetic Programming Hyper-heuristic. Started in 2019.
  6. Jiahuan Jin: Deep Reinforcement Learning in Combinatorial Optimisation. Started in 2019.
  7. Shihe Wang: Machine Learning and Applications. Started in 2019.
  8. Huayan Zhang: Deep Reinforcement Learning for Combinatorial Optimisation. Started in 2020.
  9. Wentao He: Image Understanding and Reasoning. Started in 2020.
  10. Chenglin Yao: Face Spoofing and Detection. Started in 2020.
  11. Junsong Zhu: Dynamic scheduling in transportation and production. Started in 2021.

I have supervised the following PhD students to completion as the first supervisor.

  1. Jianjun Chen: An intelligent container transportation system using novel modelling, metaheuristics and automatic dispatching strategy, Gradated in 2016.
  2. Tianxiang Cui: Hybridising Metaheuristics and Exact Methods For Portfolio Optimisation Problem. Graduated in 2016.
  3. Ning Xue: Modelling and advanced optimisation methods for the multi-shift full truckload vehicle routing problem, Graduated in January 2017.
  4. Xiang Li: Life Cycle Based Decision Support for Sustainable Automotive Engineering and Energy Planning, to Graduated in May 2017.
  5. Xia Li: Travel Time Prediction Using Ensemble Learning Algorithms, Graduated in July 2018.
  6. Xiaoping Jiang: Stochastic Service Network Design for Transportation Planning of Consolidation Carriers, to finish in May. 2020
  7. Shuhui Gong: Spatio-temporal modeling and prediction on travel behaviour analysis. Graduated in 2020.

Research interests

His current research interests include computational intelligence, reinforcement learning, operations research, evolutionary algorithm, hyper-heuristics, modelling, scheduling and optimisation with a special focus on transportation systems and healthcare. He supervised a team of students and software engineers that has successfully tackled a challenging truck dispatching problem in Ningbo-Zhou Port, reduced the operations significantly.

Honorary positions

  • Journal Networks Associate Editor (2017- present)
  • Journal Frontiers in Future Transportation, Associate Editor (2019 – present)
  • International Journal of Production Research, Guest Editor for special issue: “Analytics and Machine Learning in Routing and Scheduling”.
  • IEEE SSCI Symposium on Scheduling and Network Design (2016-2018), Chair
  • IEEE Senior Member
  • Board member of China Operations Research Society – Scheduling subcommittee (2016-present)
  • Board member of China Operations Research Society – Healthcare Operations subcommittee (2016-present)
  • International Symposium on Logistics, International Advisor

Awards / Patents

  • Zhejiang Provincial “Outstanding Young Scientist” Grant
  • Zhejiang Provincial “Qian Jiang” Talent Grant
  • Ningbo Municipal “Leading and Prominent Talent”


He has published over 80 academic papers, of which around 40 are SCI indexed journals, including publications in top journals in computational intelligence (e.g. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, INFORMS Journal on Computing), Information Technology and Operations Research (e.g. Information Sciences, EJOR) and their applications in transportation (e.g. Transportation Research Part B &E). Two of conference papers won the best paper awards (ACM GEC 2009 & ICOSCM2015) and one was nominated for the best paper award finalist in IEEE SSCI 2013. He has obtained 2 software copyrights and 1 invention patent related to port operation optimization.

The full list of publications can be found from his Google Scholar and ORCID page.

Selected publications:

  1. Ning Xue, Ruibin Bai*, Rong Qu, Uwe Aickelin. 2021. A Hybrid Pricing and Cutting Approach for the Multi-Shift Full Truckload Vehicle Routing Problem. European Journal of Operational Research. In press. doi: org/10.1016/j.ejor.2020.10.037.
  2. Xiaoping Jiang, Ruibin Bai*, Stein W Wallace, Graham Kendall, Dario Landa-Silva. 2020. Soft Clustering-based Scenario Bundling for a Progressive Hedging Heuristic in Stochastic Service Network Design. Computers and Operations Research. In press. doi: org/10.1016/j.cor.2020.105182.
  3. Bing Chen, Ruibin Bai*, Jiawei Li, Yueni Liu, Ning Xue & Jianfeng Ren. 2020. A multiobjective single bus corridor scheduling using machine learning-based predictive models. International Journal of Production Research. doi: org/10.1080/00207543.2020.1766716
  4. Tianxiang Cui, Ruibin Bai, Shusheng Ding, Andrew J. Parkes, Rong Qu, Fang He & Jingpeng Li. 2020. A Hybrid Combinatorial Approach to a Two-Stage Stochastic Portfolio Optimization Model with Uncertain Asset Prices. Soft Computing, 24: 2809–2831.
  5. Shuhui Gong, John Cartlidge, Ruibin Bai, Y Yue, Q Li, G Qiu. 2019. Extracting activity patterns from taxi trajectory data: a two-layer framework using spatio-temporal clustering, Bayesian probability and Monte Carlo simulation. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Available online. doi: 10.1080/13658816.2019.1641715.
  6. *Ruibin Bai, John R. Woodward, Nachiappan Subramanian, John Cartlidge. 2018. Optimisation of Transportation Service Network Using κ-node Large Neighbourhood Search. Computers & Operations Research. 89:193-205. doi: 10.1016/j.cor.2017.06.008
  7. Xiang Li, Ruibin Bai and Jon McKechnie. 2016. Environmental and financial performance of mechanical recycling of carbon fibre reinforced polymers and comparison with conventional disposal routes. Journal of Cleaner Production. 127: 451-460
  8. Graham Kendall, Ruibin Bai, Jacek Blazewicz, Patrick De Causmaecker, Michel Gendreau, Robert John, Jiawei Li, Barry McCollum, Erwin Pesch, Rong Qu, Nasser Sabar, Greet Vanden Berghe and Angelina Yee. 2016. Good Laboratory Practice for optimization research. Journal of the Operational Research Society. 67(4): 676– doi: 10.1057/jors.2015.77.
  9. Ruibin Bai, Ning Xue, Jianjun Chen and Gethin W. Roberts. 2015. A Set-covering Model for a Bidirectional Multi-shift Full Truckload Vehicle Routing Problem. Transportation Research Part B: Methodological. 79:134-148. doi: 10.1016/j.trb.2015.06.002
  10. Jingpeng Li, Ruibin Bai, Yindong Shen, and Rong Qu. 2014. Search with Evolutionary Ruin and Stochastic Rebuild: a Theoretic Framework and a Case Study on Exam Timetabling. European Journal of Operations Research. 242:798-806. doi:1016/j.ejor.2014.11.002.
  11. Rong Qu, Nam Pham, Ruibin Bai, Graham Kendall. 2014. Hybridising heuristics within an estimation distribution algorithm for examination timetabling. Applied Intelligence. 42:679– doi:10.1007/s10489-014-0615-0
  12. Ramanathan J. Basu, Ruibin Bai, and PL.A. Palaniappan. 2015. A strategic approach to improve sustainability in transportation service procurement. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review. 74:152-168.
  13. Ruibin Bai, Stein W. Wallace, Jingpeng Li and Alain Yee-Loong, Alain.2014. Stochastic Service Network Design with Rerouting. Transportation Research Part B: Methodological. 60:50-65. doi:1016/j.trb.2013.11.001.
  14. Bai, Ruibin, Li, Jiawei, Atkin , Jason A D, and Kendall, Graham. 2014. A Novel Approach to Independent Taxi Scheduling Problem Based on Stable Matching. Journal of the Operational Research Society. 65(10):1501-1510. dio:1057/jors.2013.96. (SCI, Regular Paper).
  15. Chong, A.Y.L. and Bai, Ruibin, 2014. Predicting open IOS adoption in SMEs: An integrated SEM-neural network approach. Expert Systems with Application. 41(1):221-229. doi: 1016/j.eswa.2013.07.023. (SCI, Regular Paper).
  16. Li, J., Davies, G.J., Kendall, G., Soanec, E., Bai, R., Rocks, S.A., Evidence and Belief in Regulatory Decisions Incorporating Expected Utility into decision modelling, Expert Systems with Applications, 39(10):8604-8610, 2012. doi: (SCI, Regular Paper).
  17. Bai, R., Kendall, G., Qu, R., Atkin, J. Tabu assisted guided local search approaches for freight service network Design. Information Sciences, 189:266-281, 2012.
  18. Bai, R., Burke, E. K., Kendall, G., Li, J. and McCollum, B. 2010. A Hybrid Evolutionary Approach to the Nurse Rostering Problem. IEEE Transaction on Evolutionary Computation, 14(4):580-590. doi: (SCI, Regular Paper).
  19. Bai, R. and Kendall, G. 2008. A Model for Fresh Produce Shelf Space Allocation and Inventory Management with Freshness Condition Dependent Demand, INFORMS Journal on Computing 20(1):78-85. doi: (SCI, Regular Paper).
  20. Bai, R. , Burke, E. K. and Kendall, G. 2008. Heuristic and Meta-heuristics for the Optimisation of Fresh Produce Inventory Control and Shelf Space Allocation Problem, Journal of the Operational Research Society 59:1387-1397. doi: (SCI, Regular Paper).

Funded projects / Research grants

During his time at UNNC, he has been awarded, as principal investigator, 4 NSFC (National Natural Science Foundation of China) grants and 3 from Zhejiang Province (including an “Outstanding Young Scientist Grant”) and 8 grants from Ningbo Sci&Tech Bureau and industries, with total fund over 10million RMB (approximately GBP1.1m). The full list of external grants:

  1. Model and Data Driven Hyper-Heuristics for Combinatorial Optimization and Their Applications in Port Operation Integrated Scheduling, NSFC General Program, Ref: 72071116, Amount: RMB 566K, 2021-2024.
  2. Title: Key technological enhancement and applications for Ningbo port Terminal operating system. Ningbo Science Technology Bureau, Ref: 2019B10026. Amount: RMB 2.0m. 2019/10-2022. PI.
  3. Title: Content service for the construction of medical question answering system knowledge base. Funder: Ping An Healthcare and Technology C Ltd. Ref: PMS20190287HT01, Amount: RMB 0.91m,2019/01 – 2020/01. PI.
  4. Title: Decision support system for smart healthcare services. Funder: Ping An Healthcare and Technology C Ltd. Ref: PMS20172702,Amount :RMB 1.5m,2018/01 – 2019/01. PI.
  5. Title: Robust data mining technologies and their application in cold logistics chain big data analytics. Ningbo Science & Technology Bureau, Reference: 2017D10034, Amount: RMB 1.2m, 2017-2020. PI.
  6. Title: Freight service network design optimisation and its applications. Funder: Zhejiang Natural Science Foundation, Outstanding Young Scientist (LR17G010001). Amount: RMB 250,000. 2017-01 to 2020-12. PI.
  7. Title: Logistics Service Network Optimisation and Multi-mode Intelligent Container Transportation Scheduling. Ningbo Science & Technology Bureau, Reference: 2014A35006, 2015-2018, RMB 1.5m (approximately GBP15.6K). PI.
  8. Title: Scenario Tree Compression for Stochastic Freight Service Network Design. NSFC. Reference: 71471092. 2015-2018. RMB900,000 (RMB300,000 from the university). PI.
  9. Title: The Mathematical Modeling and Algorithm of Real-time Passenger Flow based Smart Bus Scheduling. Funder: Shenzhen Lan Tai Yuan co. Ltd. Amount: RMB150,000. commercial project, 2016-03 to 2016-08. PI. Completed.
  10. Title: Energy Efficient Freight Transport Scheduling in Supply Chain Logistics, 2013-2015, Reference: 71311130142. NSFC-UK Royal Society exchange fund. RMB73,000, PI. Completed.
  11. Title:Optimization of Large Scale Logistics Service Network Design and Fleet Scheduling: Novel Models and Optimization Approaches Based on Hyper-heuristics, NSFC, Ref:71001055, 2011-2013, RMB177,000. PI. Completed.
  12. Title: From Big Data to New Knowledge: Fundamental Technology Research with an Application to Intelligent Logistics Services Platform Development. Funding Source: Ningbo Science and Technology Bureau. 2012-2015.RMB 1.2m. CI
  13. Title: Research and Applications of Search with Evolutionary Ruin and Stochastic Rebuild, Funding Source: Ningbo Natural Science Foundation, 2012A610026. RMB30,000. CI.
  14. Title: Dynamic Scheduling and Hyper-heuristic Approaches for Logistics Service Network Design and Fleet Scheduling, Funding Source: Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation (ZJNSF) , Reference Y1100132, 2010-2013. RMB100,000, PI,
  15. Title: An investigation of the robustness of transportation scheduling for modern logistics, Ningbo Municipal Natural Science Foundation, China, Reference 2008A610013, 2008-2010, RMB50,000. PI,
  16. Title: A distributed system for taxi scheduling, Funding Source: Zhejiang Provincial "Qian Jiang" Talent Programme, China. Reference: QJD0802001, Start Date: 2009-2011, RMB50,000. PI,
  17. Title: Handling Uncertainties in Transportation and Logistics. Ningbo Municipal International Collaboration Programme, China. Reference: 2008B10040, 2008-2011, RMB200,000, PI, Completed.

Teaching Grants:

  1. (PI) Ningbo Superior Major Development: Computer Science and Technologies. Ruibin Bai. Ningbo Education Bureau, Total Amount: RMB800,000. 2018-2022.
  2. (CI)Title: Ningbo High Education Key Discipline – Computer Applications. Principal Investigator: Prof. Guoping Qiu. I am the lead person for “Computational Intelligence and Transport Logistics”. Source: Ningbo Education Bureau, Total Amount: RMB1.5m.
  3. (CI)Title: Ningbo “service-oriented” key-course construction: Engineering & Computer Science. Funding Source: Ningbo Education Bureau, Total Amount: RMB3.4m (approx. 325K GBP), Principal Investigator: Prof. Nick Miles. I am in charge of Computer Science related courses as a co-investigator.