We address the m-machine no-wait flowshop scheduling problem; where the objective is to minimize total tardiness. To the best of our knowledge, the considered problem has not been addressed so far. We propose heuristic solutions since the problem is NP-hard. Initially, we consider a number of dispatching rules commonly used for the considered objective in other scheduling environments. We identify through computational experiments the best performing dispatching rule; and then propose simulated annealing (SA) and genetic algorithms (GA) by using the best performing dispatching rule as an initial solution. This achieves at least 50% improvement in the SA and GA performances. Next, we propose enhanced versions of SA and GA and show through computational experiments that the enhanced versions provide over 90% further improvement. The performance of enhanced GA is slightly better than that of enhanced SA; however, the computation time of enhanced GA is about 10 times that of enhanced SA. Therefore, we conclude that the enhanced SA outperforms the enhanced GA.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Computer Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, Software Development