The facility layout problem is concerned with finding the most efficient arrangement of a given number of departments with unequal area requirements within a facility. The facility layout problem is a hard problem, and therefore, exact solution methods are only feasible for small or greatly restricted problems. In this paper, we propose a spring-embedding approach that unlike previous approaches results in a model that is convex, from which final solutions are guaranteed to be globally optimal. Numerical results demonstrating the potential of our model and the efficiency of our solution methodology are presented.
University of Alberta School of Business Management Science Working Papers 02-5