Two-Dimensional Packing Problems in Telecommunications
By: Silvano Martello (from IFORS News March 2013)
The birth: an optimization problem in telecommunications. In telecommunication systems adopting the IEEE 802.16/WiMAX standard, a fixed station transmits and receives data packets to and from other stations (e.g., our mobile phones), and all transmissions are performed using [time × frequency] rectangular frames, called downlink zones, where the packets are stored as rectangles.
The fixed station must maximize the frame utilization by deciding which packets will be included in the next transmission phase, arranging each selected packet into one or more rectangular regions, and allocating the resulting regions to the frame without overlapping.