Discrete location models for content distribution
The advances in information and computer technology has tremendously eased the way to reach electronic information. This, however, also brought forth many problems regarding the distribution of electronic content. This is especially true in the Internet, where there is a phenomenal growth of demand for any kind of electronic information, placing a high burden on the underlying infrastructure. In this dissertation, we study problems arising in distribution of electronic content. The first problem studied here is related to Content Distribution Networks (CDNs), which have emerged as a new technology to overcome the problems arising on the Internet due to the fast growth of the web-related traffic, such as slow response times and heavy server loads. They aim at increasing the effectiveness of the network by locating identical or partial copies of the origin server(s) throughout the network, which are referred to as proxy servers. In order for such structures to run efficiently, the CDN must be designed such that system resource are properly managed. To this purpose, we develop integer programming models for the problem of designing CDNs and investigate exact and heuristic algorithms for their solution. The second problem considered in this dissertation is Video Placement and Routing, which is related to the so-called Video-on-Demand (VoD) services. Such services are used to deliver programs to the users on request and find many applications in education, entertainment and business. Although bearing similarities with the CDN phenomena, VoD services have special characteristics with respect to the structure of the network and the type of content distributed. We study the problem of Video Placement and Routing for such networks and offer an optimization based solution algorithm for the associated integer programming model. The third problem studied here is the problem of allocating databases in distributed computing systems. In this context, we specifically focus on the well-known multidimensional Knapsack Problem (mKP). The mKP arises as a subproblem in solving the database location problem. We concentrate on the well known cover inequalities that are known to be important for the solution of the mKP. We then propose a novel separation procedure to identify violated cover inequalities and utilize this procedure in a branch-and-cut framework devised for the solution of the mKP.