The continuous p centre problem; formulation and solution techniques

  "ambulance" by Benjamin Voros.

Funding Agency: EPSRC

Date: 2010

Project team:

This research illustrates how useful mathematical modelling can be in practice. The combination of heuristic search, mathematics and computing make a useful tool that can be used to help people and decision makers.

Continuous problems are becoming increasingly common and problems that were previously not solved optimally or efficiently can now be tackled with increasing computing power and advances in combinatorial/global optimisation. We believe this research would have important results across the spectrum of global optimisation and mathematical programming with respect to integration of heuristics and exact methods, bounds tightening and solving larger sized instances that were impractical to solve originally.

This study can be adapted by decision makers in searching for a more efficient and responsive strategy when locating or relocating some of their facilities. Given the economic climate, public service providers such as the police, fire service and ambulance deployment may wish to revisit their configuration so to reduce the overall cost while remaining very responsive to emergency calls etc. A good location can have a massive impact on the deployment of police, ambulances and fire engines. It is worth noting that even if the transportation is performed efficiently but if the facilities are already in poor location, the overall cost will always remain high. The use of such a tool can, as a by-product, save the NHS, the police and fire service as well as city councils and the government a large amount of tax payer money.

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