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This paper formulates and compares four new approaches to optimally locating the input and output station for each department within a facility design such that material handling costs are minimized. This problem is an NP-hard combinatorial problem with many real life applications of considerable economic consequence. A genetic algorithm (GA) is shown to be an effective and efficient optimization method when compared to integer programming, simulated annealing and three versions of a greedydoi:10.1109/4235.930310 fatcat:tdtg6cw4p5erxcrsvpnkq7y2fi