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Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



The research attempts to provide a graphical theory-based approach to solve the facility layout problem. Which has generally been approached using Quadratic Assignment Problem (QAP) in the past, an algebraic method. It is a very complex problem and is part of the NP-Hard optimization class, because of the nonlinear quadratic objective function and (0,1) binary variables. The research is divided into three phases which together provide an optimal facility layout, block plan solution consisting of MHS (material handling solution) projected onto the block plan. In phase one, we solve for the position of departments in a facility based on flow and utility factor (weight for location). The position of all the departments is identified on the vertices of MPG (maximal planar graph), which maximizes the possibility of flow. We use named MPG produced in literature, throughout the research. The grouping of the department is achieved through GMAFLAD, a QSP (quadratic set packing) based optimizer. In Phase 2, the dual for the MPG’s is solved consisting of department location as per phase 1, to generate Voronoi graphs. These graphs are then, expanded by an ingenious parameter optimization formulation to achieve area fitting for individual cases. Optimization modeling software, Lingo17.0 is used for solving the parameter optimization for generating coordinates of the block plan. The plotting of coordinates for the block plan graphics is done via Autodesk inventor 2019. In phase 3, the solution for MHS is achieved using an RSMT (Rectilinear Steiner minimal tree) graph approach. The Voronoi seed coordinates produced through phase 2 results are computed by GeoSteiner package to generated the RSMT graph for projection onto the block plan (Also, done by Inventor 2019). The graphical method employed in this research, itself has complex and NP-hard problem segments in it, which have been relaxed to polynomial time complexity by fragmenting into groups and solving them in sections. Solving for MPG & RSMT are a class of NP-Hard problem, which have been restricted to N=32 here. Finally, to validate the research and its methodology a real-life case study of a shipyard building for the data set of PDVSA, Venezuela is performed and verified.

First Advisor

J. MacGregor Smith

Second Advisor

Hari Balasubramanian

Third Advisor

Xian Du

RSMT Sol (2803 kB)
RSMT Solution Codes