Decision Support Puzzles for Applied Mathematicians
October 2008 - Noah's 3DPP
The three dimensional packing problem (3DPP) is a particularly complex problem in Operations Research. To explore the subtleties of the 3DPP, let’s look at one of the oldest packing problems in history, Noah’s ark.
Click on the image below to print out and build the puzzle pieces.
Two (2) Elephants: 2x2x2 units each
Two (2) Cows: 3x2x1 units each
Two (2) Giraffes: 1x1x4 units each
Two (2) Foxes: 1x1x3 units each
Two (2) Ladybugs: 1x1x1 units each
One (1) Noah: 1x1x1 units
One (1) Ark with the dimensions 3x3x5
1.) When attempting to utilize all space within the ark, which algorithm is more efficient?
A. Fit Decreasing (Add the pieces into the ark in order of largest piece to smallest piece.)
B. Fit Increasing (Add the pieces into the ark in order of smallest piece to largest piece.)
2.) Is it possible to fill the ark with all of the animals so that no two like animals are touching?