Graph Theory Applied to Computer Aided Plant Layout
Many of the flow diagrams used by industrial engineers for many years constitute graphs in the mathematical sense, and yet the realization that there is a considerable volume of mathematics dealing with graph theory which might be usefully applied has come only recently. This paper explores this possibility.
The paper starts by examining how present computer programs interpret the plant layout problem. Basic graph theory concepts are introduced and the paper then shows how the plant layout problem has been formulated in graph theory terms. The paper distinguishes between plant layout block diagrams and detailed machine shop layout. A graph theory algorithm is presented, together with its results in examples of both types of layout. Conclusions are drawn about the value of the technique and refinements are suggested.
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