Congestion in Facilities Location and Layout: Deterministic and Stochastic Models
Rakesh Nagi Principal Investigator
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The project aims at developing a common theory base to model movement and resultant congestion in the context of facilities location and facilities layout. The motivation stems from the fact that the two bodies of literature in facility layout and facility location have generally evolved separately. The objective is to produce a superior class of models that are expected to provide better performance in real-life applications via the explicit consideration of slow-downs, congestion, flow capacity, and accurate distances. <br/>The research work has three main tasks. The first one is called the Planar Facility Location Problem with Generalized Congested Regions that advances and unifies existing restricted facility location literature by common modeling of: Barriers (no travel, no location), Forbidden Regions (no location), and Congested Regions (no location and travel with additional cost). In the dynamic/stochastic version of this problem the congestion cost might change with time of day (to represent rush hour traffic) or be a random variable. The second research task is called the Connection Location Problem, where ``connection'' is used to define a connected part of a manufacturing facility or an urban flow network that links different sets of departments/cells or facilities. The stochastic version of this task concerns selection/location and the service rate of the connections (and to assign the flows) so as to minimize the sum of the fixed connection installation costs, the queuing delay cost, and the material movement cost, that take into consideration the congestion effects. The third task is to embody the theoretical results of the study in Educational material.<br/><br/>The intellectual merit of the first task is the study the plant layout problem in which distance measures vary in different sections of the plant, and also consider location problems in a modeling framework that simultaneously allows for barriers, forbidden regions and congested regions. The second task would allow for modeling of aisle capacities and placement and add significantly to the limited literature available in this area.