LP-based Approximation Algorithms for the Capacitated Facility Location Problem
Blanco Sandoval, Marco David
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The capacitated facility location problem is a well known problem in combinatorial optimization and operations research. In it, we are given a set of clients and a set of possible facility locations. Each client has a certain demand that needs to be satisfied from open facilities, without exceeding their capacity. Whenever we open a facility we incur in a corresponding opening cost. Whenever demand is served, we incur in an assignment cost; depending on the distance the demand travels. The goal is to open a set of facilities that satisfy all demands while minimizing the total opening and assignment costs. In this thesis, we present two novel LP-based approximation algorithms for the capacitated facility location problem. The first algorithm is based on LP-rounding techniques, and is designed for the special case of the capacitated facility location problem where capacities are uniform and assignment costs are given by a tree metric. The second algorithm follows a primal-dual approach, and works for the general case. For both algorithms, we obtain an approximation guarantee that is linear on the size of the problem. To the best of our knowledge, there are no LP-based algorithms known, for the type of instances that we focus on, that achieve a better performance.