Date of Award

August 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Hamid Seifoddini

Committee Members

Matthew Petering, Hossein Hosseini


Clustering, Facility Location, Factors, Global Manufacturing, International Facility Location, Supply Chain


The selection of a facility location for operations is an important decision in strategic planning of manufacturing corporations. As globalization is transcending national borders, the whole world is becoming the domain of site selection problem. This, in turn, significantly changes the nature of facility location problem. The change is, particularly, paramount in the consideration of attributes impacting the selection decision. Many recent studies have considered the global dimensions of manufacturing site selections and have cited economic, social, and political factors impacting manufacturing operations. The complexity of facility location problem combined with the emerging global factors impacting site selection for manufacturing operations poses challenging research topics including the selection of critical attributes and the development of a methodology for data analysis for manufacturing facility selection.

In this thesis I have reviewed the academic as well as industrial literature on recent developments on global facility location problem and have identified the most frequently cited/used attributes for the selection suitable manufacturing sites. Furthermore, I have developed a new similarity coefficient for cluster analysis for the formation of groups of prospective sites. Finally, I have employed an average clustering algorithm to identify these groups. In addition, I have demonstrated my methodology by a numerical example.