Packing optimization problems aim to seek the best way of placing a given set of rectangular cartons within a minimum volume rectangular container. Currently, packing optimization methods either have difficulty in finding a globally optimal solution or are computationally inefficient, because models involve too many 0-1 variables and because use of just a single computer. This study proposes a distributed computation method for solving a packing problem by a set of personal computers via the Internet. First, the traditional packing optimization model is converted into an equivalent model containing many fewer 0-1 variables. Then the model is decomposed into several sub-problems by dividing the objective value into many intervals. Each of these sub-problems is a linearized logarithmic program expressed as a linear mixed 0-1 problem. The whole problem is solvable and reaches a globally optimal solution. The numerical examples demonstrate that the proposed method can obtain the global optimum of a packing problem effectively.
- Cutting stock problem
- Distributed computation