Packing a fixed number of identical circles in a circular container with circular prohibited areas (with C.O. Lopez) To appear in Optimization Letters

In this paper we consider the problem of packing a fixed number of identical circles inside the unit circle container, where the packing is complicated by the presence of fixed size circular prohibited areas. Here the objective is to maximise the radius of the identical circles. We present a heuristic for the problem based upon formulation space search. Computational results are given for six test problems involving the packing of up to 100 circles. One test problem has a single prohibited area made up from the union of circles of different sizes. Four test problems are annular containers, which have a single inner circular prohibited area. One test problem has circular prohibited areas that are disconnected.

Keywords: Circle packing; Formulation space search; Nonlinear optimisation; Prohibited area