Strategies for solving large location-allocation problems by heuristic methods
Solution techniques for location-allocation problems usually are not a part of microcomputer-based geoprocessmg systems because of the large volumes of data to process and store and the complexity of algorithms. In this paper, it is shown that processing costs for the most accurate, heuristic, location-allocation algorithm can be drastically reduced by exploiting the spatial structure of location-allocation problems. The strategies used, preprocessing interpoint distance data as both candidate and demand strings, and use of them to update an allocation table, allow the solution of large problems (3000 nodes) in a microcomputer-based, interactive decisionmaking environment. Moreover, these strategies yield solution times which increase approximately linearly with problem size. Tests on four network problems validate these claims.