### Article

## Flexible PMP Approach for Large-Size Cell Formation

Lately, the problem of cell formation (CF) has gained a lot of attention in the industrial engineering literature. Since it was formulated (more than 50 years ago), the problem has incorporated additional industrial factors and constraints while its solution methods have been constantly improving in terms of the solution quality and CPU times. However, despite all the efforts made, the available solution methods (including those for a popular model based on the p-median problem, PMP) are prone to two major types of errors. The first error (the modeling one) occurs when the intended objective function of the CF (as a rule, verbally formulated) is substituted by the objective function of the PMP. The second error (the algorithmic one) occurs as a direct result of applying a heuristic for solving the PMP. In this paper we show that for instances that make sense in practice, the modeling error induced by the PMP is negligible. We exclude the algorithmic error completely by solving the adjusted pseudo-Boolean formulation of the PMP exactly, which takes less than one second on a general-purpose PC and software. Our experimental study shows that the PMP-based model produces high-quality cells and in most cases outperforms several contemporary approaches.

In this paper, we use a pseudo-Boolean formulation of the p-median problem and using data aggregation, provide a compact representation of p-median problem instances. We provide computational results to demonstrate this compactification in benchmark instances. We then use our representation to explain why some p-median problem instances are more difficult to solve to optimality than other instances of the same size. We also derive a preprocessing rule based on our formulation, and describe equivalent p-median problem instances, which are identical sized instances which are guaranteed to have identical optimal solutions.

In our paper, we consider the Cell Formation Problem in Group Technology with grouping efficiency as an objective function. We present a heuristic approach for obtaining high-quality solutions of the CFP. The suggested heuristic applies an improvement procedure to obtain solutions with high grouping efficiency. This procedure is repeated many times for randomly generated cell configurations. Our computational experiments are performed for popular benchmark instances taken from the literature with sizes from 10×20 to 50×150. Better solutions unknown before are found for 23 instances of the 24 considered. The preliminary results for this paper are available in Bychkov et al. (Models, algorithms, and technologies for network analysis, Springer, NY, vol. 59, pp. 43–69, 2013, [7]).

In this chapter, we introduce a new heuristic for Cell Formation Problem in its most general formulation with grouping efficiency as an objective function. Suggested approach applies an improvement procedure to obtain solutions with high grouping efficiency. This procedure is repeated until efficiency can be increased for randomly generated configurations of cells. We consider our preliminary results for 10 popular benchmark instances taken from the literature. Also source instances with the solutions we got can be found in the Appendix.

This proceedings publication is a compilation of selected contributions from the “Third International Conference on the Dynamics of Information Systems” which took place at the University of Florida, Gainesville, February 16–18, 2011. The purpose of this conference was to bring together scientists and engineers from industry, government, and academia in order to exchange new discoveries and results in a broad range of topics relevant to the theory and practice of dynamics of information systems. Dynamics of Information Systems: Mathematical Foundation presents state-of-the art research and is intended for graduate students and researchers interested in some of the most recent discoveries in information theory and dynamical systems. Scientists in other disciplines may also benefit from the applications of new developments to their own area of study.

Despite the long history of the cell formation problem (CF) and availability of dozens of approaches, very few of them explicitly optimize the objective of cell formation. These scarce approaches usually lead to intractable formulations that can be solved only heuristically for practical instances. In contrast, we show that CF can be explicitly modelled via the minimum multicut problem and solved to optimality in practice (for moderately sized instances). We consider several real-world constraints that can be included into the proposed formulations and provide experimental results with real manufacturing data.

In this paper we introduce a new pattern-based approach within the Linear Assignment Model with the purpose to design heuristics for a combinatorial optimization problem (COP). We assume that the COP has an additive (separable) objective function and the structure of a feasible (optimal) solution to the COP is predefined by a collection of cells (positions) in an input file. We define a pattern as a collection of positions in an instance problem represented by its input file (matrix). We illustrate the notion of pattern by means of some well known problems in COP among them the Linear Ordering Problem, Cell Formation Problem (CFP) just to mention a couple. The CFP is defined on a Boolean input matrix which rows represent machines and columns - parts. The CFP consists in finding three optimal objects: a block-diagonal collection of rectangles, a rows (machines) permutation, and a columns (parts) permutation such that the grouping efficacy is maximized. The suggested heuristic combines two procedures: the pattern-based procedure to build an initial solution and an improvement procedure to obtain a final solution with high grouping efficacy for the CFP. Our computational experiments with the most popular set of 35 benchmark instances show that our heuristic outperforms all well known heuristics and returns either the best known or improved solutions to the CFP.

Let k be a field of characteristic zero, let G be a connected reductive algebraic group over k and let g be its Lie algebra. Let k(G), respectively, k(g), be the field of k- rational functions on G, respectively, g. The conjugation action of G on itself induces the adjoint action of G on g. We investigate the question whether or not the field extensions k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G are purely transcendental. We show that the answer is the same for k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G, and reduce the problem to the case where G is simple. For simple groups we show that the answer is positive if G is split of type A_n or C_n, and negative for groups of other types, except possibly G_2. A key ingredient in the proof of the negative result is a recent formula for the unramified Brauer group of a homogeneous space with connected stabilizers. As a byproduct of our investigation we give an affirmative answer to a question of Grothendieck about the existence of a rational section of the categorical quotient morphism for the conjugating action of G on itself.

Let G be a connected semisimple algebraic group over an algebraically closed field k. In 1965 Steinberg proved that if G is simply connected, then in G there exists a closed irreducible cross-section of the set of closures of regular conjugacy classes. We prove that in arbitrary G such a cross-section exists if and only if the universal covering isogeny Ĝ → G is bijective; this answers Grothendieck's question cited in the epigraph. In particular, for char k = 0, the converse to Steinberg's theorem holds. The existence of a cross-section in G implies, at least for char k = 0, that the algebra k[G]G of class functions on G is generated by rk G elements. We describe, for arbitrary G, a minimal generating set of k[G]G and that of the representation ring of G and answer two Grothendieck's questions on constructing generating sets of k[G]G. We prove the existence of a rational (i.e., local) section of the quotient morphism for arbitrary G and the existence of a rational cross-section in G (for char k = 0, this has been proved earlier); this answers the other question cited in the epigraph. We also prove that the existence of a rational section is equivalent to the existence of a rational W-equivariant map T- - - >G/T where T is a maximal torus of G and W the Weyl group.