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A Multiple Objective Approach to Space Planning for Academic Facilities


  • Larry Ritzman

    (Ohio State University)

  • John Bradford

    (Ohio State University)

  • Robert Jacobs

    (University of Houston)


This paper addresses the office layout problem where existing offices vary considerably as to relevant criteria and yet permanent walls make it impractical to remodel existing spaces. The major objective of this study was the equitable reassignment of 144 offices to 289 faculty and staff members in 6 academic departments with the College of Administrative Science at The Ohio State University. Since the building contains 5 floors and a wide diversity of office quality, six conflicting objectives have been recognized. In order to adequate address these multiple objectives, a large mixed-integer goal programming model was formulated. A companion interactive computer program was also developed to evaluate the performance of each solution with respect to these objectives. The goal programming model served to evaluate several layout strategies and identify the tradeoffs implicit in the problem. The interactive computer program helped translate these insights into a final compromise solution. There are two interesting findings of the study. The first one is desirability of allowing the decision makers to be in command of the solution process. This may be particularly important when several decision makers must compete for the same resources. Another finding is that a linear programming code is sufficient for this particular formulation of a mixed-integer model. Although the model contains over 1,700 integer variables, a very few non-integer values were generated. This avoided the computational burden of a mixed-integer code. The model presented here has its generic roots in the so-called "assignment problems," with the added feature of recognizing multiple objectives. It is felt that with the proper modifications, the ideas presented here may well be extended to location-distribution and other types of assignment problems. These models have been applied to the layout of the College, with the final implementation having occurred during the Summer Quarter, 1978.

Suggested Citation

  • Larry Ritzman & John Bradford & Robert Jacobs, 1979. "A Multiple Objective Approach to Space Planning for Academic Facilities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(9), pages 895-906, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:25:y:1979:i:9:p:895-906

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ian I. Mitroff, 1972. "The Myth of Objectivity OR Why Science Needs a New Psychology of Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(10), pages 613-618, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miu-ling Rosa, Lee & Feiring, Bruce R., 1995. "Layout problem for an aircraft maintenance company tool room," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2-3), pages 219-230, August.
    2. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:60:y:2009:i:1:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2602523 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mustafa, A. & Goh, M., 1996. "Multi-criterion models for higher education administration," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 167-178, April.


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