Date: 13 Jan 2011

Median Problems in Networks

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Suppose a number of geographically distributed customers are demanding a service or good, and facilities providing it need to be optimally located. Once facilities are deployed, either customers travel to the facilities to satisfy their needs, or vehicles travel from the facilities to customers’ locations, carrying the goods to be delivered. The p-median problem finds the optimal location of exactly p facilities, so that the sum of the distances between customers and their closest facilities, measured along the shortest paths, is minimized. Since the number n of customers is known, by dividing the objective by n, the minimum average distance between customers and facilities is obtained too.