Mobility Data in Operations: The Facility Location Problem
48 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2023 Last revised: 14 Apr 2023
Date Written: January 16, 2023
The recent large scale availability of mobility data, which captures individual mobility patterns, poses novel operational problems that are exciting and challenging. Motivated by this, we introduce and study a variant of the (cost-minimization) facility location problem where each individual is endowed with two locations (hereafter, her home and work locations), and the connection cost is the minimum distance between any of her locations and its closest facility. We design a polynomial-time algorithm whose approximation ratio is at most 3.103. We complement this positive result by showing that the proposed algorithm is at least a 3.073-approximation, and there exists no polynomial-time algorithm with approximation ratio $2 - \epsilon$ under UG-hardness. We further extend our results and analysis to the model where each individual is endowed with K locations. Finally, we conduct numerical experiments over both synthetic data and US census data (for NYC, greater LA, greater DC, Research Triangle) and evaluate the performance of our algorithms.
Keywords: Facility location problem, vertex cover, mobility data
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