The facility layout problem (FLP) is generally defined as locating a set of departments in a facility with a given dimension. In this paper, a hybrid genetic algorithm (GA)/linear programming (LP) approach is proposed to solve the FLP on the continuous plane with unequal area departments. This version of the FLP is very difficult to solve optimally due to the large number of binary decision variables in mixed integer programming (MIP) models as well as the lack of tight lower bounds. In this paper, a new encoding scheme, called the location/shape representation, is developed to represent layouts in a GA. This encoding scheme represents relative department positions in the facility based on the centroids and orientations of departments. Once relative department positions are set by the GA, actual department locations and shapes are determined by solving an LP problem. Finally, the output of the LP solution is incorporated into the encoding scheme of the GA. Numerical results are provided for test problems with varying sizes and department shape constraints. The proposed approach is able to either improve on or find the previously best known solutions of several test problems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering