Thesis topic proposal
Tibor Csendes
Solving facility location problems using global optimization methods


Institute: University of Szeged
computer sciences
PhD School in Computer Science

Thesis supervisor: Tibor Csendes
Location of studies (in Hungarian): SZTE
Abbreviation of location of studies: SZTE

Description of the research topic:

Facility location problems now appear in all areas of life, we can think of placing supermarkets, hospitals, landfill disposal, or even designing mailboxes, polling stations and metro lines with stops. The problems can be solved using reliable global optimization algorithms, or in the absence of these, using heuristic local search engines.

The student should become familiar with a variety of classic facility location problems such as the p-center and p-median problems and their solving methods depending on the search space, because the problems require different methods for the discrete, continuous, or network case. In addition, a deeper knowledge of the problem class selected by the student is required, which may include placement of competing companies, examination of the coverage problems, obnoxious companies placement issues (such as landfills or installing dangerous plants), as well as complex tasks, such as public transport lines with stops, or planning mailboxes with routes. In many cases, the difficulty of the problem is built in the distance term due to the nature of the problem: if we are looking for sites such as aircraft service company in a brand-independent network, the distances are calculated according to the elliptical orbits of the aircrafts.

To solve the selected problem classes the student should either develop a new algorithm, or adapt and improve an existing algorithm. For certain problems the further target can be a more realistic modeling or more general description of the class. Testing the algorithms can be carried out on test problems found in the literature, or on real problems, if available.

R. Horst, P.M. Pardalos (editors): Handbook of Global Optimization, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 1995.
Eligius M.T. Hendrix and B. G.-Tóth: Introduction to Global and Nonlinear Optimization, Springer, New York, 2010.
Laporte, Gilbert, Nickel, Stefan, Saldanha da Gama, Francisco (Eds.): Location Science, New York; Dordrecht: Springer, 2015.

Required language skills: English
Further requirements: 
operations research, programming skills

Number of students who can be accepted: 1

Deadline for application: 2019-03-15

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