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This paper discusses the design and application of local search methods to a real-life application at a steel cord manufacturing plant. The case study involves a layout problem that can be represented as a Quadratic Assignment Problem (QAP). Due to the nature of the manufacturing process, certain machinery need to be allocated in close proximity to each other. This issue is incorporated into the objective function through assigning high penalty costs to the unfavorable allocations. QAP belongs to one of the most difficult class of combinatorial optimization problems, and is not solvable to optimality as the number of facilities increases. We implement the well-known local search methods, 2-opt, 3-opt and tabu search. We compare the solution performances of the methods to the results obtained from the NEOS server, which provides free access to many optimization solvers on the internet.
Ertek, G., Aksu, B., Birbil, S. E., İkikat, M. C., Yıldırmaz, C (2005). “Application of local search methods for solving a quadratic assignment problem: A case study”, Proceedings of Computers and Industrial Engineering Conference, 2005
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