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INTRODUCTION

In real life situations, problems arise where a number of resources have to be allotted to a number of activities. In a sense a special case of the transportation model is the Assignment Model. This model is used when the resources have to be assigned to the tasks i.e., assign n persons to n different type of jobs. Since
different types of resources whether human i.e., men or material, machines etc., have different efficiency of performing different types of jobs and it involves different costs, the problem is how to assign such resources to jobs so that total cost is minimised or given objective is optimised. A plant may have 10 persons and 10 different types of job, the plant manager would like to know which person should be allotted which job so that all the jobs can be completed in least time (and hence least cost). Similarly, if a transporter has six trucks available for loading in each of the cities A, B, C, D, E and F and it actually needs these trucks in six locations 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, obviously the trucker would like to know which truck should be assigned to which location so that the transportation costs are minimised. In the same manner if a sales agency has say four salesman available (with different abilities and perhaps different capacities) and there are four territories where the agency wants to assign these salesman, the problem is which salesman should be allotted to which territory so as overall sales can be maximised.

An assignment problem is in fact a completely degenerate form of a transportation problem. In this the units (resources) available at each origin and units demanded at each destination are all equal to exactly one occupied cell in each row and each column of the transportation table.