Two-agent scheduling in open shops subject to machine availability and eligibility constraints

Ling-Huey Su, Ming-Chih Hsiao


Purpose: The aims of this article are to develop a new mathematical formulation and a new heuristic for the problem of preemptive two-agent scheduling in open shops subject to machine maintenance and eligibility constraints.

Design/methodology: Using the ideas of minimum cost flow network and constraint programming, a heuristic and a network based linear programming are proposed to solve the problem.

Findings: Computational experiments show that the heuristic generates a good quality schedule with a deviation of 0.25% on average from the optimum and the network based linear programming model can solve problems up to 110 jobs combined with 10 machines without considering the constraint that each operation can be processed on at most one machine at a time. In order to satisfy this constraint, a time consuming Constraint Programming is proposed. For n = 80 and m = 10, the average execution time for the combined models (linear programming model combined with Constraint programming) exceeds two hours. Therefore, the heuristic algorithm we developed is very efficient and is in need.

Practical implications: Its practical implication occurs in TFT-LCD and E-paper manufacturing wherein units go through a series of diagnostic tests that do not have to be performed in any specified order.

Originality/value: The main contribution of the article is to split the time horizon into many time intervals and use the dispatching rule for each time interval in the heuristic algorithm, and also to combine the minimum cost flow network with the Constraint Programming to solve the problem optimally. 


Scheduling, Two-agent, Open shop, Machine availability and eligibility, Constraint programming.

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Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience