Optimum Ferry Loading (Bin Packing)


This unit is intended to be the third unit of the course and will introduce several topics that will be new to most students. The topics covered are Bin Packing, Networks, Linear Programming and Critical Path Analysis. These topics have a common theme in that they have all been developed over the last 70 years as useful techniques for solving decision-making problems. This unit is intended to be an introduction to these topics as they will be revisited later in the course.

Each topic is introduced though a specific real world problem rather than by direct teaching. These problems being intentionally “thought provoking”, should stimulate plenty of discussion and argument as to the best approach. It is our belief that the traditional algorithms can emerge through these discussions as the students continually reassess their own thinking as new ideas emerge. As requested I have added some exercises to each section.

Optimum Ferry Loading Overview

In this section we look at situations that can be reduced to the problem of bin packing. The problem is to pack bins of a given size with various items as efficiently as possible using the minimum of bins. The solution of such problems is relevant to a wide range of industries and commercial organisations including ferry operators, sports coaches, warehouse operators and supermarkets.

Documents included

Bin Packing.notebook - Notebook file for use with a Smartboard.

Bin Packing.pptx PowerPoint file.

Bin Packing Teachers Guide.notebook Notebook file giving an examples of the first fit algorithm and the first fit decreasing algorithm.

Bin Packing Teachers Guide.pptx - PowerPoint file giving an example of the first fit decreasing algorithm.

Examples Bin packing.notebook - Examples that can be used for further discussion and practice (notebook file).

Examples Bin packing.pptx - Examples that can be used for further discussion and practice (PowerPoint file).

Examples_BP.docx - A student handout.