The economic addition of functionality to a network

  • Sylvia Boyd
  • Karina Marcus
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1225)


In the operation of communication and computer networks, it may become desirable or necessary to add a new function to the network through the placement of the corresponding electronic device within certain existing user locations. This will involve deciding which user locations will have devices placed at them as well as deciding an assignment of users to device locations. The objective when adding the new function is to choose these locations and assignments such that the combined cost of placing the devices and routing users to their assigned device locations is minimized. This problem, which we call the device placement problem, is closely related to the simple plant location problem and the p-median problem. Like these problems, the device placement problem is NP-hard, and thus it is highly unlikely that efficient methods for solving this problem to optimality exist.

We discuss and test several heuristic methods for the device placement problem, as well as a very efficient method for obtaining lower bounds. Our methods are based on relating the problem to a certain restricted spanning tree problem, which leads to conceptually easy ideas.


facility location concentrator location simple plant location network design restricted spanning trees 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvia Boyd
    • 1
  • Karina Marcus
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Laboratoire LeibnizIMAGGrenoble Cedex 1France

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