Advances in Operations Research
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 120756, 12 pages
Research Article

A Decomposition Heuristic for the Maximal Covering Location Problem

1Department of Mathematics, Engineering College (FEG), São Paulo State University (UNESP), 12516-410 Guaratinguetá, SP, Brazil
2Associate Laboratory of Applied Mathematics and Computation (LAC), Brazilian Institute for Space Research (INPE), 12201-970 São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil

Received 29 April 2009; Revised 5 January 2010; Accepted 12 February 2010

Academic Editor: George Steiner

Copyright © 2010 Edson Luiz França Senne et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper proposes a cluster partitioning technique to calculate improved upper bounds to the optimal solution of maximal covering location problems. Given a covering distance, a graph is built considering as vertices the potential facility locations, and with an edge connecting each pair of facilities that attend a same client. Coupling constraints, corresponding to some edges of this graph, are identified and relaxed in the Lagrangean way, resulting in disconnected subgraphs representing smaller subproblems that are computationally easier to solve by exact methods. The proposed technique is compared to the classical approach, using real data and instances from the available literature.