Approximation algorithms for process systems engineering

Dimitrios Letsios, Radu Baltean-Lugojan, Francesco Ceccon, Miten Mistry, Johannes Wiebe, Ruth Misener*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Designing and analyzing algorithms with provable performance guarantees enables efficient optimization problem solving in different application domains, e.g. communication networks, transportation, economics, and manufacturing. Despite the significant contributions of approximation algorithms in engineering, only limited and isolated works contribute from this perspective in process systems engineering. The current paper discusses three representative, NP-hard problems in process systems engineering: (i) pooling, (ii) process scheduling, and (iii) heat exchanger network synthesis. We survey relevant results and raise major open questions. Further, we present approximation algorithms applications which are relevant to process systems engineering: (i) better mathematical modeling, (ii) problem classification, (iii) designing solution methods, and (iv) dealing with uncertainty. This paper aims to motivate further research at the intersection of approximation algorithms and process systems engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106599
Early online date16 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2020


  • Approximation algorithms
  • Heuristics with performance guarantees
  • Theoretical computer science


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