# Brute forcing a bin packing problem

# Brute forcing a bin packing problem

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*solve and scale*. One might consider the brute force algorithm. Let's take a look at how that algorithm works out on the cloud balance example of Drools Planner:

Given a set of servers with different hardware (CPU, memory and network bandwidth)The brute force algorithm is simple: try every combination between processes where each process is assigned to each server. For example, if we have 6 processes (P0, P1, P2, P3, P4, P5) and 2 servers (S0, S1), we'd try these solutions:

and given a set of processes with different hardware requirements,

assign each process to 1 server

and minimize the total cost of the active servers.

- P0->S0, P1->S0, P2->S0, P3->S0, P4->S0, P5->S0
- P0->S0, P1->S0, P2->S0, P3->S0, P4->S0, P5->S1
- P0->S0, P1->S0, P2->S0, P3->S0, P4->S1, P5->S0
- P0->S0, P1->S0, P2->S0, P3->S0, P4->S1, P5->S1
- ...
- P0->S1, P1->S1, P2->S1, P3->S1, P4->S1, P5->S1

Notice that despite that the number of processes has not even doubled, the running time multiplied by 100! For comparison, I 've added the running time of the First Fit algorithm.

And it gets worse: for 12 processes and 4 servers, which are 4^12 combinations, it take more than 17 minutes:

What if we want to distribute 3000 processes over 1000 servers? With this kind of scalability, it will take too long. **In fact, the brute force algorithm is useless.**

Luckily, Drools Planner implements several other optimization algorithms, which can handle such loads. If you want to know more about them, take a look at the Drools Planner manual or come to my talk at JUDCon London (31 Oct - 1 Nov).

This article was originally posted on the Drools & jBPM blog.

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