On A Special Case of the Quadratic Assignment Problem with an Application to Storage-and-Retrieval Devices
In a storage-and-retrieval device, items are retrieved on demand from a storage bank by a picking mechanism. Many varieties of these robotic devices are in use in manufacturing, logistics and computer peripherals. In printed circuit board manufacturing, storage-and-retrieval is intertwined with component placement and product clustering. Under certain circumstances, the problem of assigning items by type to storage slots to minimize the expected retrieval time is a quadratic assignment problem. Although such models are very difficult to solve to optimality, an important special case considered here admits an easy solution, namely, the well known “organ pipe” arrangement of items.
Keywordsquadratic assignment problem storage-and-retrieval
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