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Scheduling optimization under uncertainty: An alternative approach

By J. Balasubramanian and I. E. Grossmann


The prevalent approach to the treatment of processing time uncertainties in production scheduling problems is through the use of probabilistic models. Apart from requiring detailed information about probability distribution functions, this approach also has the drawback that the computational expense of solving these models is very high. In this work, we present a non-probabilistic treatment of scheduling optimization under uncertainty, based on concepts from fuzzy set theory and interval arithmetic, to describe the imprecision and uncertainty in the task durations. We first provide a brief review on the fuzzy set approach, comparing it with the probabilistic approach. We then present MILP models derived from applying this ap-proach to two different problems- flowshop scheduling and new product development process scheduling. Results indicate that these MILP models are computationally tractable for reason-ably sized problems. We also describe tabu search implementations in order to handle larger problems.

Year: 2003
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