# The Transportation and Assignment Problems

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The Transportation and Assignment Problems
Chapter 9 The Transportation and Assignment Problems

Introduction Transportation problem Assignment problem
Many applications involve deciding how to optimally transport goods (or schedule production) Assignment problem Deals with assigning people to tasks Transportation and assignment problems Special cases of minimum cost flow problem Presented in Chapter 10

9.1 The Transportation Problem
Prototype example P&T Company produces products including canned peas Production occurs at three canneries Four distribution warehouses are spread across the U.S. Management initiates a study to reduce shipping expenses

The Transportation Problem

The Transportation Problem
Arrows represent possible truck routes Number on arrow: shipping cost per truckload Bracketed number: truckloads out

The Transportation Problem
Let Z represent total shipping cost xij represents number of truckloads shipped from cannery i to warehouse j Problem: choose values of the 12 decision variables xij to minimize Z

The Transportation Problem

The Transportation Problem

The Transportation Problem
The transportation problem model Concern: distributing any commodity from sources to destinations The requirements assumption Each source has a fixed supply Entire supply must be distributed to the destinations Each destination has a fixed demand Entire demand must be received from the sources

The Transportation Problem
The feasible solutions property A transportation problem will have feasible solutions if and only if: The cost assumption Cost is directly proportional to number of units distributed

The Transportation Problem
The transportation problem type: any linear programming problem that fits the structure in Table 9.6 Is

The Transportation Problem
Solving the P&T Co. example using a spreadsheet See Figure 9.4 in the text Solver uses the general simplex method Rather than the streamlined version specifically designed for the transportation problem

9.2 A Streamlined Simplex Method for the Transportation Problem
Transportation simplex method No artificial variables needed Current row zero can be obtained without using any other row Leave basic variable identified in a simple way New BF solution can be identified immediately Without algebraic manipulation on simplex tableau Almost the entire simplex tableau can be eliminated

A Streamlined Simplex Method for the Transportation Problem
Values needed to apply the transportation simplex method Current BF solution Current values of ui and vj Resulting values of cij − ui − vj for nonbasic variables xij Transportation simplex tableau Used to record values for each iteration

A Streamlined Simplex Method for the Transportation Problem
Transportation simplex method is more efficient Especially for large problems For transportation problems with m sources and n destinations: Number of basic variables is equal to m+n-1

A Streamlined Simplex Method for the Transportation Problem
General procedure for constructing an initial BF solution To begin, all source rows and columns of the transportation simplex tableau are under consideration for providing a basic variable From the rows and columns still under consideration, select the next basic variable according to some criterion Make that allocation large enough to exactly use up the smaller of the remaining supply in its row or the remaining demand in its column

A Streamlined Simplex Method for the Transportation Problem
General procedure (cont’d.) Eliminate that row or column from further consideration If both row and column are the same, arbitrarily choose the row to eliminate If only one row or column remains under consideration, complete the procedure by selecting every remaining variable associated with that row or column to be basic with the only feasible allocation Otherwise, return to step 1

A Streamlined Simplex Method for the Transportation Problem
Alternative criteria for step one Northwest corner rule Select the northwest corner, move one column to the right and then one row down Vogel’s approximation method Based on the arithmetic difference between the smallest and next-to-smallest unit cost cij still remaining in that row or column

A Streamlined Simplex Method for the Transportation Problem
Alternative criteria for step one (cont’d.) Russel’s approximation method For each row still under consideration, determine largest unit cost 𝑢 i still remaining in the row For each column still under consideration, determine largest unit cost 𝑣𝑗 still remaining in the row For each variable xij not previously selected in these rows and columns, calculate Δij =cij - 𝑢 i - 𝑣𝑗 Select the largest (absolute) negative value of Δij

A Streamlined Simplex Method for the Transportation Problem
Next step Check whether the initial solution is optimal by applying the optimality test Optimality test A BF solution is optimal if and only if 𝑐𝑖𝑗–𝑢𝑖–𝑣𝑗 ≥ 0 for every (i,j) such that xij is nonbasic If the current solution is not optimal, go to an iteration

A Streamlined Simplex Method for the Transportation Problem
An iteration Find the entering basic variable See Page 343 in the text Find the leaving basic variable See Pages in the text Find the new BF solution See Pages in the text

9.3 The Assignment Problem
Special type of linear programming problem Assignees are being asked to perform tasks Assignees could be people, machines, plants, or time slots Requirements to fit assignment problem definition The number of assignees and tasks are the same Designated by n

The Assignment Problem
Requirements to fit assignment problem definition (cont’d.) Each assignee is assigned to exactly one task Each task is to be performed by exactly one assignee Cost cij is associated with each assignee i performing task j Objective: determine how n assignments should be made to minimize the total cost

The Assignment Problem
If problem does not fit requirement 1 or 2 Dummy assignees and dummy tasks may be constructed Prototype example The Job Shop Co. problem Assign new machines to locations to minimize total cost of materials handling

The Assignment Problem

The Assignment Problem
xij can have only values zero or one One if assignee i performs task j Zero if not

The Assignment Problem

The Assignment Problem
Can use simplex method or transportation simplex method to solve Recommendation: use specialized solution procedures for the assignment problem Will be more efficient for large problems Example: Pages of the text

9.4 A Special Algorithm for the Assignment Problem
Summary of the Hungarian algorithm Subtract the smallest number in each row from every number in the row. Enter the results in a new table. Subtract the smallest number in each column of the new table from every number in the column. Enter the results in another table.

A Special Algorithm for the Assignment Problem
Summary of the Hungarian algorithm (cont’d.) Test whether an optimal set of assignments can be made. To do this, determine the minimum number of lines needed to cross out all zeros If the minimum number of lines equals the number of rows, an optimal set of assignments is possible. Proceed with step 6. If not, proceed with step 4.

A Special Algorithm for the Assignment Problem
Summary of the Hungarian algorithm (cont’d.) If the number of lines is less than the number of rows, modify the table as follows: Subtract the smallest uncovered number from every uncovered number in the table Add the smallest uncovered number to the numbers at intersections of covering lines Numbers crossed out but not at intersections of cross-out lines carry over unchanged to the next table

A Special Algorithm for the Assignment Problem
Summary of the Hungarian algorithm (cont’d.) Repeat steps 3 and 4 until an optimum set of assignments is possible Make assignments one at a time in positions that have zero elements. Begin with rows or columns with only one zero. Cross out both row and column after each assignment is made. Move on, with preference given to any row with only one zero not crossed out.

A Special Algorithm for the Assignment Problem
Summary of the Hungarian algorithm (cont’d.) (cont’d.) Continue until every row and column has exactly one assignment and so has been crossed out. This will be an optimal solution for the problem

9.5 Conclusions General simplex method is a powerful algorithm
Simplified approaches are available when problem fits the special structure Transportation problem Assignment problem Both problem types studied in this chapter: Have a number of common applications

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