Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 67, Issue 11, pp 1353–1362 | Cite as

Creating seating plans: a practical application

  • Rhyd Lewis
  • Fiona Carroll
General Paper


This paper examines the interesting problem of designing seating plans for large events such as weddings and gala dinners where, among other things, the aim is to construct solutions where guests are sat on the same tables as friends and family, but, perhaps more importantly, are kept away from those they dislike. This problem is seen to be Open image in new window-complete from a number of different perspectives. We describe the problem model and heuristic algorithm that is used on the commercial website We present results on the performance of this algorithm, demonstrating the factors that can influence run time and solution quality, and also present a comparison with an equivalent IP model used in conjunction with a commercial solver.


seating plans graph colouring combinatorial optimisation metaheuristics integer programming 


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Copyright information

© The Operational Research Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rhyd Lewis
    • 1
  • Fiona Carroll
    • 2
  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityCardiffUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.University of South WalesPontypriddUnited Kingdom

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