## Hungarian Method

The Hungarian method is a computational optimization technique that addresses the assignment problem in polynomial time and foreshadows following primal-dual alternatives. In 1955, Harold Kuhn used the term “Hungarian method” to honour two Hungarian mathematicians, Dénes Kőnig and Jenő Egerváry. Let’s go through the steps of the Hungarian method with the help of a solved example.

## Hungarian Method to Solve Assignment Problems

The Hungarian method is a simple way to solve assignment problems. Let us first discuss the assignment problems before moving on to learning the Hungarian method.

## What is an Assignment Problem?

A transportation problem is a type of assignment problem. The goal is to allocate an equal amount of resources to the same number of activities. As a result, the overall cost of allocation is minimised or the total profit is maximised.

Because available resources such as workers, machines, and other resources have varying degrees of efficiency for executing different activities, and hence the cost, profit, or loss of conducting such activities varies.

Assume we have ‘n’ jobs to do on ‘m’ machines (i.e., one job to one machine). Our goal is to assign jobs to machines for the least amount of money possible (or maximum profit). Based on the notion that each machine can accomplish each task, but at variable levels of efficiency.

## Hungarian Method Steps

Check to see if the number of rows and columns are equal; if they are, the assignment problem is considered to be balanced. Then go to step 1. If it is not balanced, it should be balanced before the algorithm is applied.

Step 1 – In the given cost matrix, subtract the least cost element of each row from all the entries in that row. Make sure that each row has at least one zero.

Step 2 – In the resultant cost matrix produced in step 1, subtract the least cost element in each column from all the components in that column, ensuring that each column contains at least one zero.

Step 3 – Assign zeros

• Analyse the rows one by one until you find a row with precisely one unmarked zero. Encircle this lonely unmarked zero and assign it a task. All other zeros in the column of this circular zero should be crossed out because they will not be used in any future assignments. Continue in this manner until you’ve gone through all of the rows.
• Examine the columns one by one until you find one with precisely one unmarked zero. Encircle this single unmarked zero and cross any other zero in its row to make an assignment to it. Continue until you’ve gone through all of the columns.

Step 4 – Perform the Optimal Test

• The present assignment is optimal if each row and column has exactly one encircled zero.
• The present assignment is not optimal if at least one row or column is missing an assignment (i.e., if at least one row or column is missing one encircled zero). Continue to step 5. Subtract the least cost element from all the entries in each column of the final cost matrix created in step 1 and ensure that each column has at least one zero.

Step 5 – Draw the least number of straight lines to cover all of the zeros as follows:

(a) Highlight the rows that aren’t assigned.

(b) Label the columns with zeros in marked rows (if they haven’t already been marked).

(c) Highlight the rows that have assignments in indicated columns (if they haven’t previously been marked).

(d) Continue with (b) and (c) until no further marking is needed.

(f) Simply draw the lines through all rows and columns that are not marked. If the number of these lines equals the order of the matrix, then the solution is optimal; otherwise, it is not.

Step 6 – Find the lowest cost factor that is not covered by the straight lines. Subtract this least-cost component from all the uncovered elements and add it to all the elements that are at the intersection of these straight lines, but leave the rest of the elements alone.

Step 7 – Continue with steps 1 – 6 until you’ve found the highest suitable assignment.

## Hungarian Method Example

Use the Hungarian method to solve the given assignment problem stated in the table. The entries in the matrix represent each man’s processing time in hours.

$$\begin{array}{l}\begin{bmatrix} & I & II & III & IV & V \\1 & 20 & 15 & 18 & 20 & 25 \\2 & 18 & 20 & 12 & 14 & 15 \\3 & 21 & 23 & 25 & 27 & 25 \\4 & 17 & 18 & 21 & 23 & 20 \\5 & 18 & 18 & 16 & 19 & 20 \\\end{bmatrix}\end{array}$$

With 5 jobs and 5 men, the stated problem is balanced.

$$\begin{array}{l}A = \begin{bmatrix}20 & 15 & 18 & 20 & 25 \\18 & 20 & 12 & 14 & 15 \\21 & 23 & 25 & 27 & 25 \\17 & 18 & 21 & 23 & 20 \\18 & 18 & 16 & 19 & 20 \\\end{bmatrix}\end{array}$$

Subtract the lowest cost element in each row from all of the elements in the given cost matrix’s row. Make sure that each row has at least one zero.

$$\begin{array}{l}A = \begin{bmatrix}5 & 0 & 3 & 5 & 10 \\6 & 8 & 0 & 2 & 3 \\0 & 2 & 4 & 6 & 4 \\0 & 1 & 4 & 6 & 3 \\2 & 2 & 0 & 3 & 4 \\\end{bmatrix}\end{array}$$

Subtract the least cost element in each Column from all of the components in the given cost matrix’s Column. Check to see if each column has at least one zero.

$$\begin{array}{l}A = \begin{bmatrix}5 & 0 & 3 & 3 & 7 \\6 & 8 & 0 & 0 & 0 \\0 & 2 & 4 & 4 & 1 \\0 & 1 & 4 & 4 & 0 \\2 & 2 & 0 & 1 & 1 \\\end{bmatrix}\end{array}$$

When the zeros are assigned, we get the following:

The present assignment is optimal because each row and column contain precisely one encircled zero.

Where 1 to II, 2 to IV, 3 to I, 4 to V, and 5 to III are the best assignments.

Hence, z = 15 + 14 + 21 + 20 + 16 = 86 hours is the optimal time.

## Practice Question on Hungarian Method

Use the Hungarian method to solve the following assignment problem shown in table. The matrix entries represent the time it takes for each job to be processed by each machine in hours.

$$\begin{array}{l}\begin{bmatrix}J/M & I & II & III & IV & V \\1 & 9 & 22 & 58 & 11 & 19 \\2 & 43 & 78 & 72 & 50 & 63 \\3 & 41 & 28 & 91 & 37 & 45 \\4 & 74 & 42 & 27 & 49 & 39 \\5 & 36 & 11 & 57 & 22 & 25 \\\end{bmatrix}\end{array}$$

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## Frequently Asked Questions on Hungarian Method

What is hungarian method.

The Hungarian method is defined as a combinatorial optimization technique that solves the assignment problems in polynomial time and foreshadowed subsequent primal–dual approaches.

## What are the steps involved in Hungarian method?

The following is a quick overview of the Hungarian method: Step 1: Subtract the row minima. Step 2: Subtract the column minimums. Step 3: Use a limited number of lines to cover all zeros. Step 4: Add some more zeros to the equation.

## What is the purpose of the Hungarian method?

When workers are assigned to certain activities based on cost, the Hungarian method is beneficial for identifying minimum costs.

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Index     Assignment problem     Hungarian algorithm     Solve online

## The Hungarian algorithm

The Hungarian algorithm consists of the four steps below. The first two steps are executed once, while Steps 3 and 4 are repeated until an optimal assignment is found. The input of the algorithm is an n by n square matrix with only nonnegative elements.

Step 1: Subtract row minima

For each row, find the lowest element and subtract it from each element in that row.

Step 2: Subtract column minima

Similarly, for each column, find the lowest element and subtract it from each element in that column.

Step 3: Cover all zeros with a minimum number of lines

Cover all zeros in the resulting matrix using a minimum number of horizontal and vertical lines. If n lines are required, an optimal assignment exists among the zeros. The algorithm stops.

If less than n lines are required, continue with Step 4.

Find the smallest element (call it k ) that is not covered by a line in Step 3. Subtract k from all uncovered elements, and add k to all elements that are covered twice.

Continue with:

The Hungarian algorithm explained based on an example.

The Hungarian algorithm explained based on a self chosen or on a random cost matrix.

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## Hungarian Method Examples

Now we will examine a few highly simplified illustrations of Hungarian Method for solving an assignment problem .

Later in the chapter, you will find more practical versions of assignment models like Crew assignment problem , Travelling salesman problem , etc.

Example-1, Example-2

## Example 1: Hungarian Method

The Funny Toys Company has four men available for work on four separate jobs. Only one man can work on any one job. The cost of assigning each man to each job is given in the following table. The objective is to assign men to jobs in such a way that the total cost of assignment is minimum.

This is a minimization example of assignment problem . We will use the Hungarian Algorithm to solve this problem.

Identify the minimum element in each row and subtract it from every element of that row. The result is shown in the following table.

"A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that's subtraction." -Mae West

On small screens, scroll horizontally to view full calculation

Identify the minimum element in each column and subtract it from every element of that column.

Make the assignments for the reduced matrix obtained from steps 1 and 2 in the following way:

• For every zero that becomes assigned, cross out (X) all other zeros in the same row and the same column.
• If for a row and a column, there are two or more zeros and one cannot be chosen by inspection, choose the cell arbitrarily for assignment.

An optimal assignment is found, if the number of assigned cells equals the number of rows (and columns). In case you have chosen a zero cell arbitrarily, there may be alternate optimal solutions. If no optimal solution is found, go to step 5.

Use Horizontal Scrollbar to View Full Table Calculation

Draw the minimum number of vertical and horizontal lines necessary to cover all the zeros in the reduced matrix obtained from step 3 by adopting the following procedure:

• Mark all the rows that do not have assignments.
• Mark all the columns (not already marked) which have zeros in the marked rows.
• Mark all the rows (not already marked) that have assignments in marked columns.
• Repeat steps 5 (ii) and (iii) until no more rows or columns can be marked.
• Draw straight lines through all unmarked rows and marked columns.

You can also draw the minimum number of lines by inspection.

Select the smallest element (i.e., 1) from all the uncovered elements. Subtract this smallest element from all the uncovered elements and add it to the elements, which lie at the intersection of two lines. Thus, we obtain another reduced matrix for fresh assignment.

Now again make the assignments for the reduced matrix.

## Final Table: Hungarian Method

Since the number of assignments is equal to the number of rows (& columns), this is the optimal solution.

The total cost of assignment = A1 + B4 + C2 + D3

Substituting values from original table: 20 + 17 + 17 + 24 = Rs. 78.

Operations Research Simplified Back Next

Goal programming Linear programming Simplex Method Transportation Problem

## Procedure, Example Solved Problem | Operations Research - Solution of assignment problems (Hungarian Method) | 12th Business Maths and Statistics : Chapter 10 : Operations Research

Chapter: 12th business maths and statistics : chapter 10 : operations research.

Solution of assignment problems (Hungarian Method)

First check whether the number of rows is equal to the numbers of columns, if it is so, the assignment problem is said to be balanced.

Step :1 Choose the least element in each row and subtract it from all the elements of that row.

Step :2 Choose the least element in each column and subtract it from all the elements of that column. Step 2 has to be performed from the table obtained in step 1.

Step:3 Check whether there is atleast one zero in each row and each column and make an assignment as follows.

Step :4 If each row and each column contains exactly one assignment, then the solution is optimal.

Example 10.7

Solve the following assignment problem. Cell values represent cost of assigning job A, B, C and D to the machines I, II, III and IV.

Here the number of rows and columns are equal.

∴ The given assignment problem is balanced. Now let us find the solution.

Step 1: Select a smallest element in each row and subtract this from all the elements in its row.

Look for atleast one zero in each row and each column.Otherwise go to step 2.

Step 2: Select the smallest element in each column and subtract this from all the elements in its column.

Since each row and column contains atleast one zero, assignments can be made.

Step 3 (Assignment):

Thus all the four assignments have been made. The optimal assignment schedule and total cost is

The optimal assignment (minimum) cost

Example 10.8

Consider the problem of assigning five jobs to five persons. The assignment costs are given as follows. Determine the optimum assignment schedule.

∴ The given assignment problem is balanced.

Now let us find the solution.

The cost matrix of the given assignment problem is

Column 3 contains no zero. Go to Step 2.

Thus all the five assignments have been made. The Optimal assignment schedule and total cost is

The optimal assignment (minimum) cost = ` 9

Example 10.9

Solve the following assignment problem.

Since the number of columns is less than the number of rows, given assignment problem is unbalanced one. To balance it , introduce a dummy column with all the entries zero. The revised assignment problem is

Here only 3 tasks can be assigned to 3 men.

Step 1: is not necessary, since each row contains zero entry. Go to Step 2.

Step 3 (Assignment) :

Since each row and each columncontains exactly one assignment,all the three men have been assigned a task. But task S is not assigned to any Man. The optimal assignment schedule and total cost is

The optimal assignment (minimum) cost = ₹ 35

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