Operations Research

Harvest scheduling subject to maximum area restrictions: Exploring exact approaches

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We consider a spatial problem arising in forest harvesting. For regulatory reasons, blocks harvested should not exceed a certain total area, typically 49 hectares. Traditionally, this problem, called the adjacency problem, has been approached by forming a priori blocks from basic cells of 5 to 25 hectares and solving the resulting mixed-integer program. Superior solutions can be obtained by including the construction of blocks in the decision process. The resulting problem is far more complex combinatorially. We present an exact algorithmic approach that has yielded good results in computational tests. This solution approach is based on determining a strong formulation of the linear programming problem through a clique representation of a projected problem. © 2005 INFORMS.