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Public Facility Location Using Dispersion, Population, and Equity Criteria

Rajan Batta(batta***at***buffalo.edu )
Miguel Lejeune(mlejeune***at***gwu.edu)
Srinivas Prasad(prasad***at***gwu.edu)

Abstract: Administrators/Decision Makers (DMs) responsible for making locational decisions for public facilities have many other overriding factors to consider that dominate traditional OR/MS objectives that relate to response time. We propose that an appropriate role for the OR/MS analyst is to help the DMs identify a good set of solutions rather than an optimal solution that may not be practical. In this paper, good solutions can be generated/prescribed assuming that the DMs have (i) a dispersion criterion that ensures a minimum distance between every pair of facilities, and (ii) a population criterion which stipulates that the distance from a demand point to its closest facility is inversely proportional to its population, and (iii) an equity criterion which stipulates that no demand point is further than a specified distance from its closest facility. We define parameters capturing these three criteria and specify values for them based on the p-median solution. Sensitivity analysis with respect to the parameters is performed and computational results for both real and simulated networks are reported. Our results show close collaboration with the p-median solution when decision makers restrict location to demand points, and use parameter values for the population, dispersion, and equity criteria as implied by the p-median solution. The significance of our work is twofold. For practitioners, it is comforting to know that using common-sense measures such as the above criteria result in fairly good solutions. For researchers it suggests the need for developing techniques for finding the k best solutions of the p-median problem.

Keywords: Facility location, OR in Societal Problem Analysis, Public Policy

Category 1: Applications -- OR and Management Sciences (Production and Logistics )

Category 2: Applications -- Science and Engineering (Facility Planning and Design )


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Entry Submitted: 01/27/2013
Entry Accepted: 01/28/2013
Entry Last Modified: 01/27/2013

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