Quadratic assignment problem

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Author: Thomas Kueny, Eric Miller, Natasha Rice, Joseph Szczerba, David Wittmann (SysEn 5800 Fall 2020)


Theory, Methodology, and/or Algorithmic Discussions

Joe Szczerba and Tom Kueny to provide.


Eric Miller to provide.


Natasha Rice and David Wittmann to provide.

The Backboard Wiring Problem

As the quadratic assignment problem is focused on minimizing the cost of traveling from one location to another, it is an ideal approach determining placement of components in many modern electronics. Leon Steinberg proposed a QAP solution optimize the layout of elements on a blackboard, providing the specific example of determining the position of placing 34 components on a 9 by 4 grid. (1)

Hospital Layout

Campus Building Arrangement

Molecular Confrontation Problem



  1. Alwalid N. Elshafei. Hospital Layout as a Quadratic Assignment Problem. Operational Research Quarterly (1970-1977). 1977;28(1):167. doi:10.2307/3008789
  2. Dickey JW, Hopkins JW. Campus building arrangement using topaz. Transportation Research. 6(1):59-68. doi:10.1016/0041-1647(72)90111-6
  3. Leon Steinberg. The Backboard Wiring Problem: A Placement Algorithm. SIAM Review. 1961;3(1):37.
  4. Phillips AT, Rosen JB. A quadratic assignment formulation of the molecular conformation problem. Journal of Global Optimization: An International Journal Dealing with Theoretical and Computational Aspects of Seeking Global Optima and Their Applications in Science, Management, and Engineer. 1994;4(2):229. doi:10.1007/bf01096724