Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Discrete and continuous time representations and mathematical models for large production scheduling problems: A case study from the pharmaceutical industry


Author Info

  • Stefansson, Hlynur
  • Sigmarsdottir, Sigrun
  • Jensson, Pall
  • Shah, Nilay
Registered author(s):


    The underlying time framework used is one of the major differences in the basic structure of mathematical programming formulations used for production scheduling problems. The models are either based on continuous or discrete time representations. In the literature there is no general agreement on which is better or more suitable for different types of production or business environments. In this paper we study a large real-world scheduling problem from a pharmaceutical company. The problem is at least NP-hard and cannot be solved with standard solution methods. We therefore decompose the problem into two parts and compare discrete and continuous time representations for solving the individual parts. Our results show pros and cons of each model. The continuous formulation can be used to solve larger test cases and it is also more accurate for the problem under consideration.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

    Volume (Year): 215 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (December)
    Pages: 383-392

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:215:y:2011:i:2:p:383-392

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Related research

    Keywords: Production Scheduling Mixed integer linear programming Time representations;


    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Baumann, Philipp & Trautmann, Norbert, 2014. "A hybrid method for large-scale short-term scheduling of make-and-pack production processes," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 236(2), pages 718-735.
    2. Leachman, Robert C. & Johnston, Lenrick & Li, Shan & Shen, Zuo-Jun, 2014. "An automated planning engine for biopharmaceutical production," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 238(1), pages 327-338.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:215:y:2011:i:2:p:383-392. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.