Group for Research in Decision Analysis

Solving location problems: From textbook modeling to real life

Gilbert Laporte Honorary Professor, Department of Decision Sciences, HEC Montréal, Canada

Many location problems can be modeled as p-median problems, as plant location problems or as covering problems. Simple models for such problems are readily available and are taught in introductory courses on location theory. However, there exists a large gap between theory in practice. When it comes to solving real-life location problems, a number of inputs are unknown, such as the customer set, costs, distances and demands. Moreover, some parameters are stochastic, which creates additional difficulties. I will illustrate some of the practical issues associated with solving real location problems by describing three projects in which I have been involved, One is the location of intermediate distribution centers for Canada Post and two are humanitarian projects in East Africa. These projects were conducted over the past 15 years with my coauthors Jean-François Cordeau, Émilie Dufour, Rémi Monfet, Julie Paquette, Marie-Ève Rancourt and Ben Watkins.

Coffee and biscuits will be offered at the beginning of the seminar.
Welcome to everyone!