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A tool for solving stochastic dynamic facility layout problems with stochastic demand using either a Genetic Algorithm or modified Backtracking Search Algorithm

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Pupong Pongcharoen, Professor Christian Hicks



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


An effective layout can reduce material flow distance and manufacturing lead-times, whilst increasing throughput and cost effectiveness. The facilities layout problem (FLP) is a non-deterministic polynomial-time hard problem, which means that the computational time required to produce solutions increases exponentially with problem size. Biogeography-Based Optimisation (BBO) is a recent metaheuristic, which is based on an analogy with biogeography, the geographical distribution of biological organisms. It has been applied to engineering optimisation problems and the travelling salesman problem. The BBO utilises migration and mutation operations, which are based on the probabilistically sharing of fitness value information between candidate solutions. The performance of the BBO method can be improved by modifying these operations. This paper presents a new BBO tool that solves the unequal area facilities layout problem to generate solutions that minimise the total material flow distance. Non-identical machines are placed in multi-row configurations. Two novel modifications were made to the conventional BBO: the use of a crossover operator in the migration process; and a changed method for selecting candidate solutions. The local search approaches were also improved to take into account flow intensities and machine adjacencies. Experiments were conducted using five benchmark datasets obtained from the literature. The results demonstrated that all of the modifications produced statistically better solutions than the conventional BBO for all of the datasets and converged more quickly with comparable execution times. The best modified BBO generally outperformed other common used algorithms for almost all datasets.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vitayasak S, Pongcharoen P, Hicks C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Production Economics

Year: 2017

Volume: 190

Pages: 146-157

Print publication date: 01/08/2017

Online publication date: 24/05/2016

Acceptance date: 14/03/2016

Date deposited: 30/05/2016

ISSN (print): 0925-5273

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2016.03.019

Notes: This paper was submitted to a Special Issue Associated with the International Working Seminar on Production Economics.


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