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Location set-covering inspired models for designing harvesting and cable road layouts

Bont, Leo Gallus, Church, Richard L.
European journal of forest research 2018 v.137 no.6 pp. 771-792
forest management, forests, harvesting, models
One of the classic operations problems in forest management is to select the harvesting system and to plan the layout, which has a significant impact on overall operational and environmental efficiency. This paper addresses the design of a harvesting system in areas characterized by steep slopes requiring cable-based harvesting under central European conditions. We present two computationally efficient methods (designated as set-covering model SCM and bounded set-covering model BSCM) for solving problems of cable road layouts and comparing them with a previously developed model (CaMLOC). Formulating the problem as a type of location set-covering model allowed us to delineate a much smaller problem that was easier to solve. By applying the new model formulations, it is possible to identify mathematical optimal CR layouts for real-world forests areas up to 50 ha within a reasonable period of time and to even estimate the maximum gap in optimality (only with the BSCM approach).