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Finding "good" cycles in graphs is a problem of great interest in graph theory as well as in locational analysis. We show that the center and median problems are NP hard in general graphs. This result holds both for the variable cardinality case (i.e. all cycles of the graph are considered) and the fixed cardinality case (i.e. only cycles with a given cardinality p are feasible). Hence it is of interest to investigate special cases where the problem is solvable in polynomial time. In grid graphs, the variable cardinality case is, for instance, trivially solvable if the shape of the cycle can be chosen freely. If the shape is fixed to be a rectangle one can analyse rectangles in grid graphs with, in sequence, fixed dimension, fixed cardinality, and variable cardinality. In all cases a com plete characterization of the optimal cycles and closed form expressions of the optimal objective values are given, yielding polynomial time algorithms for all cases of center rectangle problems. Finally, it is shown that center cycles can be chosen as rectangles for small cardinalities such that the center cycle problem in grid graphs is in these cases completely solved.

For some decades radiation therapy has been proved successful in cancer treatment. It is the major task of clinical radiation treatment planning to realise on the one hand a high level dose of radiation in the cancer tissue in order to obtain maximum tumour control. On the other hand it is obvious that it is absolutely necessary to keep in the tissue outside the tumour, particularly in organs at risk, the unavoidable radiation as low as possible. No doubt, these two objectives of treatment planning high level dose in the tumour, low radiation outside the tumour have a basically contradictory nature. Therefore, it is no surprise that inverse mathematical models with dose distribution bounds tend to be infeasible in most cases. Thus, there is need for approximations compromising between overdosing the organs at risk and underdosing the target volume. Differing from the currently used time consuming iterative approach, which measures deviation from an ideal (non-achievable) treatment plan using recursively trial-and-error weights for the organs of interest, we go a new way trying to avoid a priori weight choices and consider the treatment planning problem as a multiple objective linear programming problem: with each organ of interest, target tissue as well as organs at risk, we associate an objective function measuring the maximal deviation from the prescribed doses. We build up a data base of relatively few efficient solutions representing and approximating the variety of Pareto solutions of the multiple objective linear programming problem. This data base can be easily scanned by physicians looking for an adequate treatment plan with the aid of an appropriate online tool.

Location problems with Q (in general conflicting) criteria are considered. After reviewing previous results of the authors dealing with lexicographic and Pareto location the main focus of the paper is on max-ordering locations. In these location problems the worst of the single objectives is minimized. After discussing some general results (including reductions to single criterion problems and the relation to lexicographic and Pareto locations) three solution techniques are introduced and exemplified using one location problem class, each: The direct approach, the decision space approach and the objective space approach. In the resulting solution algorithms emphasis is on the representation of the underlying geometric idea without fully exploring the computational complexity issue. A further specialization of max-ordering locations is obtained by introducing lexicographic max-ordering locations, which can be found efficiently. The paper is concluded by some ideas about future research topics related to max-ordering location problems.

The Weber problem for a given finite set of existing facilities {cal E}x = {Ex_1,Ex_2, ... ,Ex_M} subset R^2 with positive weights w_m (m = 1, ... ,M) is to find a new facility X* in R^2 such that sum_{m=1}^{M} w_{m}d(X,Ex_m) is minimized for some distance function d. In this paper we consider distances defined by polyhedral gauges. A variation of this problem is obtained if barriers are introduced which are convex polygonal subsets of the plane where neither location of new facilities nor traveling is allowed. Such barriers like lakes, military regions, national parks or mountains are frequently encountered in practice.From a mathematical point of view barrier problems are difficult, since the prensence of barriers destroys the convexity of the objective function. Nevertheless, this paper establishes a descretization result: One of the grid points in the grid defined by the existing facilities and the fuundamental directions of the gauge distances can be proved to be an optimal location. Thus the barrier problem can be solved with a polynomial algorithm.

The problem of finding an optimal location X* minimizing the maximum Euclidean distance to existing facilities is well solved by e.g. the Elzinga-Hearn algorithm. In practical situations X* will however often not be feasible. We therefore suggest in this note a polynomial algorithm which will find an optimal location X^F in a feasible subset F of the plane R^2

In this paper we consider the problem of finding in a given graph a minimal weight subtree of connected subgraph, which has a given number of edges. These NP-hard combinatorial optimization problems have various applications in the oil industry, in facility layout and graph partitioning. We will present different heuristic approaches based on spanning tree and shortest path methods and on an exact algorithm solving the problem in polynomial time if the underlying graph is a tree. Both the edge- and node weighted case are investigated and extensive numerical results on the behaviour of the heuristics compared to optimal solutions are presented. The best heuristic yielded results within an error margin of less than one percent from optimality for most cases. In a large percentage of tests even optimal solutions have been found.

In this paper network location problems with several objectives are discussed, where every single objective is a classical median objective function. We will lock at the problem of finding Pareto optimal locations and lexicographically optimal locations. It is shown that for Pareto optimal locations in undirected networks no node dominance result can be shown. Structural results as well as efficient algorithms for these multi-criteria problems are developed. In the special case of a tree network a generalization of Goldman's dominance algorithm for finding Pareto locations is presented.

There are several good reasons to introduce classification schemes for optimization problems including, for instance, the ability for concise problem statement opposed to verbal, often ambiguous, descriptions or simple data encoding and information retrieval in bibliographical information systems or software libraries. In some branches like scheduling and queuing theory classification is therefore a widely accepted and appreciated tool. The aim of this paper is to propose a 5-position classification which can be used to cover all location problems. We will provide a list of currentliy available symbols and indicate its usefulness in a - necessarily non-comprehensive - list of classical location problems. The classification scheme is in use since 1992 and has since proved to be useful in research, software development, classroom, and for overview articles.

Given a railway network together with information on the population and their use of the railway infrastructure, we are considering the e ffects of introducing new train stops in the existing railway network. One e ffect concerns the accessibility of the railway infrastructure to the population, measured in how far people live from their nearest train stop. The second effect we study is the change in travel time for the railway customers that is induced by new train stops. Based on these two models, we introduce two combinatorial optimization problems and give NP-hardness results for them. We suggest an algorithmic approach for the model based on travel time and give first experimental results.