The location-allocation problem of drone base stations

Cihan Tugrul Cicek*, Hakan Gultekin, Bulent Tavli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we consider the 3D location problem of multiple Drone Base Stations (DBSs) together with the allocation of the resources to serve the users in a wireless communication network. The problem is formulated as a dynamic capacitated single-source location-allocation problem. The capacity of a DBS is a non-linear function of the distance and the amount of resource received from terrestrial base stations. Furthermore, data rate, which is the service level, is a non-linear function of both the distance and the amount of the allocated resource. As a consequence, the optimization model is formulated as a Mixed Integer Non-Linear Program (MINLP), which has a higher complexity compared to many existing problems in the literature. We propose a novel heuristic algorithm for the efficient solution of the problem. The performance of the proposed heuristic is evaluated through an extensive computational study where the MINLP formulation is solved by the BARON solver. Computational results show that the proposed heuristic yields promising performance in terms of both CPU efficiency and solution accuracy. We also provide managerial insights about integrating DBSs into communication networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-176
Number of pages22
JournalComputers and Operations Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Drone base station
  • Dynamic capacity
  • Dynamic service
  • Location-allocation
  • Non-linear optimization
  • Single-source

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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