Locating Emergency Facilities Using the Weighted k-median Problem: A Graph-metaheuristic Approach
An efficient approach is presented for addressing the problem of finding the optimal facilities location in conjunction with the k-median method. First the region to be investigated is meshed and an incidence graph is constructed to obtain connectivity properties of meshes. Then shortest route trees (SRTs) are rooted from nodes of the generated graph. Subsequently, in order to divide the nodes of graph or the studied region into optimal k subregions, k-median approach is utilized. The weights of the nodes are considered as the risk factors such as population, seismic and topographic conditions for locating facilities in the high-risk zones to better facilitation. For finding the optimal facility locations, a recently developed meta-heuristic algorithm that is called Colliding Bodies Optimization (CBO) is used. The performance of the proposed method is investigated through different alternatives for minimizing the cost of the weighted k-median problem. As a case study, the Mazandaran province in Iran is considered and the above graph-metaheuristic approach is utilized for locating the facilities.