An Attractor-Repeller approach to floorplanning

  • Miguel F. Anjos
  • Anthony Vannelli


The floorplanning (or facility layout) problem consists in finding the optimal positions for a given set of modules of fixed area (but perhaps varying height and width) within a facility such that the distances between pairs of modules that have a positive connection cost are minimized. This is a hard combinatorial optimization problem; even the restricted version where the shapes of the modules are fixed and the optimization is taken over a fixed finite set of possible module locations is NP-hard. In this paper, we extend the concept of target distance introduced by Etawil and Vannelli and apply it to derive the AR (Attractor-Repeller) model which is designed to improve upon the NLT method of van Camp et al. This new model is designed to find a good initial point for the Stage-3 NLT solver and has the advantage that it can be solved very efficiently using a suitable optimization algorithm. Because the AR model is not a convex optimization problem, we also derive a convex version of the model and explore the generalized target distances that arise in this derivation. Computational results demonstrating the potential of our approach are presented.

Key words: Facilities planning and design Floorplanning VLSI Macro-Cell Layout Combinatorial Optimization Convex Programming Global Optimization 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel F. Anjos
    • 1
  • Anthony Vannelli
    • 2
  1. 1.Combinatorics & Optimization, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada (e-mail:
  2. 2.Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada (e-mail:

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