Packing unequal rectangles and squares in a fixed size circular container using formulation space search (with C.O. Lopez) Computers & Operations Research vol.94, 2018, pp106-117

In this paper we formulate the problem of packing unequal rectangles/squares into a fixed size circular container as a mixed-integer nonlinear program. Here we pack rectangles so as to maximise some objective (e.g. maximise the number of rectangles packed or maximise the total area of the rectangles packed). We show how we can eliminate a nonlinear maximisation term that arises in one of the constraints in our formulation. We indicate the amendments that can be made to the formulation for the special case where we are maximising the number of squares packed. A formulation space search heuristic is presented and computational results given for publicly available test problems involving up to 30 rectangles/squares. Our heuristic deals with the case where the rectangles are of fixed orientation (so cannot be rotated) and with the case where the rectangles can be rotated through ninety degrees.

Keywords: Formulation space search; Mixed-integer nonlinear program; Rectangle packing; Square packing

Full paper from ScienceDirect

J E Beasley