Territory design and districting may be viewed as the problem of grouping small geographic areas into larger geographic clusters called territories in such a way that the latter are acceptable according to relevant planning criteria. The availability of GIS on computers and the growing interest in Geo-Marketing leads to an increasing importance of this area. Despite the wide range of applications for territory design problems, when taking a closer look at the models proposed in the literature, a lot of similarities can be noticed. Indeed, the models are many times very similar and can often be, more or less directly, carried over to other applications. Therefore, our aim is to provide a generic application-independent model and present efficient solution techniques. We introduce a basic model that covers aspects common to most applications. Moreover, we present a method for solving the general model which is based on ideas from the field of computational geometry. Theoretical as well as computational results underlining the efficiency of the new approach will be given. Finally, we show how to extend the model and solution algorithm to make it applicable for a broader range of applications and how to integrate the presented techniques into a GIS.
Denote by G = (N;A) a complete graph where N is the set of nodes and A is the set of edges. Assume that a °ow wij should be sent from each node i to each node j (i; j 2 N). One possibility is to send these °ows directly between the corresponding pairs of nodes. However, in practice this is often neither e±cient nor costly attractive because it would imply that a link was built between each pair of nodes. An alternative is to select some nodes to become hubs and use them as consolidation and redistribution points that altogether process more e±ciently the flow in the network. Accordingly, hubs are nodes in the graph that receive tra±c (mail, phone calls, passengers, etc) from di®erent origins (nodes) and redirect this tra±c directly to the destination nodes (when a link exists) or else to other hubs. The concentration of tra±c in the hubs and its shipment to other hubs lead to a natural decrease in the overall cost due to economies of scale.
A general multi-period network redesign problem arising in the context of strategic supply chain planning (SCP) is studied. Several aspects of practical relevance in SCP are captured namely, multiple facility layers with different types of facilities, flows between facilities in the same layer, direct shipments to customers, and facility relocation. An efficient two-phase heuristic approach is proposed for obtaining feasible solutions to the problem, which is initially modeled as a large-scale mixed-integer linear program. In the first stage of the heuristic, a linear programming rounding strategy is applied to second initial values for the binary location variables in the model. The second phase of the heuristic uses local search to correct the initial solution when feasibility is not reached or to improve the solution when its quality does not meet given criteria. The results of an extensive computational study performed on randomly generated instances are reported.
In this paper, an extension to the classical capacitated single-allocation hub location problem is studied in which the size of the hubs is part of the decision making process. For each potential hub a set of capacities is assumed to be available among which one can be chosen. Several formulations are proposed for the problem, which are compared in terms of the bound provided by the linear programming relaxation. Di®erent sets of inequalities are proposed to enhance the models. Several preprocessing tests are also presented with the goal of reducing the size of the models for each particular instance. The results of the computational experiments performed using the proposed models are reported.
Home Health Care (HHC) services are becoming increasingly important in Europe’s aging societies. Elderly people have varying degrees of need for assistance and medical treatment. It is advantageous to allow them to live in their own homes as long as possible, since a long-term stay in a nursing home can be much more costly for the social insurance system than a treatment at home providing assistance to the required level. Therefore, HHC services are a cost-effective and flexible instrument in the social system. In Germany, organizations providing HHC services are generally either larger charities with countrywide operations or small private companies offering services only in a city or a rural area. While the former have a hierarchical organizational structure and a large number of employees, the latter typically only have some ten to twenty nurses under contract. The relationship to the patients (“customers”) is often long-term and can last for several years. Therefore acquiring and keeping satisfied customers is crucial for HHC service providers and intensive competition among them is observed.