Space defragmentation for packing problems
Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62) › 21_Publication in refereed journal
Related Research Unit(s)
|Journal / Publication||European Journal of Operational Research|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2012|
|Link to Scopus||https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84863981960&origin=recordpage|
One of main difficulties of multi-dimensional packing problems is the fragmentation of free space into several unusable small parts after a few items are packed. This study proposes a defragmentation technique to combine the fragmented space into a continuous usable space, which potentially allows the packing of additional items. We illustrate the effectiveness of this technique using the two- and three-dimensional bin packing problem, where the aim is to load all given items (represented by rectangular boxes) into the minimum number of identical bins. Experimental results based on well-known 2D and 3D bin packing data sets show that our defragmentation technique alone is able to produce solutions approaching the quality of considerably more complex meta-heuristic approaches for the problem. In conjunction with a bin shuffling strategy for incremental improvement, our resultant algorithm outperforms all leading meta-heuristic approaches based on the commonly used benchmark data by a significant margin. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- 2D/3D bin packing, Bin shuffling, Comparability graph, Packing, Space defragmentation, Visibility graph