Efficient algorithms to solve scheduling problems with a variety of optimization criteria




Université Laval


Constraint programming is a powerful methodology to solve large scale and practical scheduling problems. Resource-constrained scheduling deals with temporal allocation of a variety of tasks to a set of resources, where the tasks consume a certain amount of resource during their execution. Ordinarily, a desired objective function such as the total length of a feasible schedule, called the makespan, is optimized in scheduling problems. Solving the scheduling problem is equivalent to finding out when each task starts and which resource executes it. In general, the scheduling problems are NP-Hard. Consequently, there exists no known algorithm that can solve the problem by executing a polynomial number of instructions. Nonetheless, there exist specializations for scheduling problems that are not NP-Complete. Such problems can be solved in polynomial time using dedicated algorithms. We tackle such algorithms for scheduling problems in a variety of contexts. Filtering techniques are being developed and improved over the past years in constraint-based scheduling. These algorithms are prominent as they have the power to shrink the search tree by excluding values from the domains which do not yield a feasible solution. We propose improvements and present faster filtering algorithms for classical scheduling problems. Furthermore, we establish the adaptions of filtering techniques to the case that the tasks can be delayed. We also consider distinct properties of industrial scheduling problems and solve more efficiently the scheduling problems whose optimization criteria is not necessarily the makespan. For instance, we present polynomial time algorithms for the case that the amount of available resources fluctuates over time, or when the cost of executing a task at time t is dependent on t.


Friday, September 30, 2016

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