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Flexible flowline scheduling problem with constraints for the beginning and terminating time of processing of jobs at stages

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In this research, the flexible flow line scheduling problem with minimisation of makespan as the objective by considering constraints for the beginning and terminating times of processing the jobs at stages is investigated for the first time. The process of jobs at some stages cannot be started before a specific time and should be completed before another specific time. Since the process of jobs at each stage should be performed at an interval time, in spite of regular scheduling problems, every schedule cannot be considered as a feasible solution. A mathematical model is developed to solve the proposed research problem optimally. Since the research problem is shown to be NP-hard, several hybrid metaheuristic algorithms based on particle swarm optimisation (PSO) and simulated annealing (SA) are proposed to heuristically solve large-size problems. In these algorithms, for each renewed particle in PSO algorithm, a local search is performed based on SA. The major difference among the proposed algorithms is the rules used to perform the local search. The performances of the proposed algorithms are compared based on randomly generated test problems. Based on the results of this comparison, the best proposed metaheuristic algorithm has a good performance with the average percentage gap of 0.289% compared to the optimal solution for the test problems that can be solved optimally.
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Keywords: experimental design; flexible flow line scheduling; integer programming; metaheuristics; minimisation of makespan; scheduling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran 2: Department of Industrial Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

Publication date: October 3, 2015

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