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.
In this article, we consider the problem of planning inspections and other tasks within a software development (SD) project with respect to the objectives quality (no. of defects), project duration, and costs. Based on a discrete-event simulation model of SD processes comprising the phases coding, inspection, test, and rework, we present a simplified formulation of the problem as a multiobjective optimization problem. For solving the problem (i.e. finding an approximation of the efficient set) we develop a multiobjective evolutionary algorithm. Details of the algorithm are discussed as well as results of its application to sample problems.
The problem discussed in this paper is motivated by the new recycling directiveWEEE of the EC. The core of this law is, that each company which sells electrical or electronic equipment in a European country has the obligation to recollect and recycle an amount of returned items which is proportional to its market share. To assign collection stations to companies, in Germany for one product type a territory design approach is planned. However, in contrast to classical territory design, the territories should be geographically as dispersed as possible to avoid that a company, resp. its logistics provider responsible for the recollection, gains a monopoly in some region. First, we identify an appropriate measure for the dispersion of a territory. Afterwards, we present a first mathematical programming model for this new problem as well as a solution method based on the GRASP methodology. Extensive computational results illustrate the suitability of the model and assess the effectiveness of the heuristic.
This paper presents new theoretical results for a special case of the batch presorting problem (BPSP). We will show tht this case can be solved in polynomial time. Offline and online algorithms are presented for solving the BPSP. Competetive analysis is used for comparing the algorithms.
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 we consider short term storage systems. We analyze presorting strategies to improve the effiency of these storage systems. The presorting task is called Batch PreSorting Problem (BPSP). The BPSP is a variation of an assigment problem, i.e., it has an assigment problem kernel and some additional constraints. We present different types of these presorting problems, introduce mathematical programming formulations and prove the NP-completeness for one type of the BPSP. Experiments are carried out in order to compare the different model formulations and to investigate the behavior of these models.
Intra-hospital transports are often required for diagnostic or therapeutic reasons. Depending on the hospital layout, transportation between nursing wards and service units is either provided by ambulances or by trained personnel who accompany patients on foot. In many large German hospitals, the patient transport service is poorly managed and lacks workflow coordination. This contributes to higher hospital costs (e.g. when a patient is not delivered to the operating room on time) and to patient inconvenience due to longer waiting times. We have designed a computer-based planning system - Opti-TRANS c - that supports all phases of the transportation flow, ranging from travel booking, dispatching transport requests to monitoring and reporting trips in real-time. The methodology developed to solve the underlying optimization problem - a dynamic dial-a-ride problem with hospital-specific constraints - draws on fast heuristic methods to ensure the efficient and timely provision of transports. We illustrate the strong impact of Opti-TRANS c on the daily performance of the patient transportation service of a large German hospital. The major benefits obtained with the new tool include streamlined transportation processes and workflow, significant savings and improved patient satisfaction. Moreover, the new planning system has contributed to increase awareness among hospital staff about the importance of implementing efficient logistics practices.
This paper analyzes and solves a patient transportation problem arising in several large hospitals. The aim is to provide an efficient and timely transport service to patients between several locations on a hospital campus. Transportation requests arrive in a dynamic fashion and the solution methodology must therefore be capable of quickly inserting new requests in the current vehicle routes. Contrary to standard dial-a-ride problems, the problem under study contains several complicating constraints which are specific to a hospital context. The paper provides a detailed description of the problem and proposes a two-phase heuristic procedure capable of handling its many features. In the first phase a simple insertion scheme is used to generate a feasible solution, which is improved in the second phase with a tabu search algorithm. The heuristic procedure was extensively tested on real data provided by a German hospital. Results show that the algorithm is capable of handling the dynamic aspect of the problem and of providing high quality solutions. In particular, it succeeded in reducing waiting times for patients while using fewer vehicles.
The Discrete Ordered Median Problem (DOMP) generalizes classical discrete location problems, such as the N-median, N-center and Uncapacitated Facility Location problems. It was introduced by Nickel , who formulated it as both a nonlinear and a linear integer program. We propose an alternative integer linear programming formulation for the DOMP, discuss relationships between both integer linear programming formulations, and show how properties of optimal solutions can be used to strengthen these formulations. Moreover, we present a specific branch and bound procedure to solve the DOMP more efficiently. We test the integer linear programming formulations and this branch and bound method computationally on randomly generated test problems.
Facility location decisions play a critical role in the strategic design of supply chain networks. In this paper, an extensive literature review of facility location models in the context of supply chain management is given. Following a brief review of core models in facility location, we identify basic features that such models must capture to support decision-making involved in strategic supply chain planning. In particular, the integration of location decisions with other decisions relevant to the design of a supply chain network is discussed. Furthermore, aspects related to the structure of the supply chain network, including those specific to reverse logistics, are also addressed. Significant contributions to the current state-of-the-art are surveyed taking into account numerous factors. Supply chain performance measures and optimization techniques are also reviewed. Applications of facility location models to supply chain network design ranging across various industries are discussed. Finally, a list of issues requiring further research are highlighted.