Scheduling Alternative Activities

J. Christopher Beck, ILOG, S.A. and Mark S. Fox, University of Toronto

In realistic scheduling problems, there may be choices among resources or among process plans. We formulate a constraint-based representation of alternative activities to model problems containing such choices. We extend existing constraint-directed scheduling heuristic commitment techniques and propagators to reason directly about the fact that an activity does not necessarily have to exist in a final schedule. Experimental results show that an algorithm using a novel texture-based heuristic commitment technique together with extended edge-finding propagators achieves the best overall performance of the techniques tested.

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