How to Plan Clusters with given Capacities

The PTV xCluster server allows you to plan and change clusters and cluster centres based on locations. Here you will find a description of a special use case in which the clusters constructed need to have the capacities specified by the user. Other plan cluster use cases can be found here.

Imagine a problem instance with 20 locations. A location is typically a customer addressesAn address is a textual specification of a location, which consists of different optional parts, e.g the country, state, postal code, one or more localities, street and house number.. Each location has an activity of one.

Now suppose you want to obtain three clusters such that one cluster contains around 10 locations (50%) and other two contain around 5 (25%) locations each. You can do this by specifying an activity capacity for each of the three clusters. The relationship between activity capacities can be expressed in a variety of ways. Thus, for the three clusters you can input

  • absolute values 10, 5, 5,
  • percentages 50, 25, 25,
  • proportional values 2, 1, 1,
and other variations representing the fact that out of three desired clusters one should contain twice as many locations as the other two.

The activity capacities are either to be specified for each of the clusters, or for none of them. If the activity capacities are not specified in the example above, three clusters containing about 6 (33%) locations each will be created.

Additional information

  • The PTV xCluster server does not include geographical functions. For example the geometry of clusters cannot be returned in WKB form.


This use case with PTV xCluster server offers a range of possibilities

  • Planning clusters with desired activity capacities like according to revenue potential or number of households.
  • Creating clusters which are geographically compact, based on actual kilometers by road and travel times. To reduce travel time and maximise time with the customer.
  • Quick simulation of various planning scenarios ("What would happen if" cases).


Programming Guide

In this simple example four locations with their coordinates and activities are specified in the planClusters request. We would like to obtain two clusters with activity capacities 75% and 25% respectively. This data is set in the planClustersOptions. For this calculation the direct distance without a distance matrix or a road network will be used:

Related Topics

The following topics might be relevant for this use case.

  • See the other use case documentations of cluster planning.
  • See route locations documentation for details of the locations.
  • Use Distance Matrices for a faster calculation.