Solving Scheduling Problems with Setup Times and Alternative Resources

F. Focacci, P. Laborie, and W. Nuijten

In this paper a general shop scheduling problem with sequence dependent setup times and alternative resources is considered, where optimization criteria are both makespan and sum of setup times. Two cooperative models for the problem based on Constraint Programming are proposed. The first is used to model the sc heduling constraints, while the second is a multi-path model used for setup optimization. Integrating lower bounding techniques for the sum of setup times, the multi-path model performs propagation based on reduced cost fixing. A solution method based on a two phase algorithm is described, and a computational study is performed both on instances known from literature as on newly proposed instances. It is shown that the cooperation of the two models significantly improves performance. Although the aim of the paper is to study the problem including alternative resources, for several known instances without alternative resources, w e w ere able to improve on the best known results.

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