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Ant colony optimization for the single model U-type assembly line balancing problem


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  • Sabuncuoglu, Ihsan
  • Erel, Erdal
  • Alp, Arda
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    An assembly line is a production line in which units move continuously through a sequence of stations. The assembly line balancing problem is defined as the allocation of tasks to an ordered sequence of stations subject to precedence constraints with the objective of optimizing a performance measure. In this paper, we propose ant colony algorithms to solve the single-model U-type assembly line balancing problem. We conduct an extensive experimental study in which the performance of the proposed algorithm is compared against best known algorithms reported in the literature. The results indicate that the proposed algorithms display very competitive performance against them.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Production Economics.

    Volume (Year): 120 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (August)
    Pages: 287-300

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:120:y:2009:i:2:p:287-300

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    Keywords: General assignments problem U-type assembly line balancing problem Ant colony optimization Metaheuristic;


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    1. Lin, B.M.T. & Lu, C.Y. & Shyu, S.J. & Tsai, C.Y., 2008. "Development of new features of ant colony optimization for flowshop scheduling," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 742-755, April.
    2. T'kindt, Vincent & Monmarche, Nicolas & Tercinet, Fabrice & Laugt, Daniel, 2002. "An Ant Colony Optimization algorithm to solve a 2-machine bicriteria flowshop scheduling problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 250-257, October.
    3. Nakade, Koichi & Ohno, Katsuhisa, 2003. "Separate and carousel type allocations of workers in a U-shaped production line," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 403-424, March.
    4. F. Brian Talbot & James H. Patterson & William V. Gehrlein, 1986. "A Comparative Evaluation of Heuristic Line Balancing Techniques," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(4), pages 430-454, April.
    5. Boysen, Nils & Fliedner, Malte, 2008. "A versatile algorithm for assembly line balancing," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 184(1), pages 39-56, January.
    6. Nakade, Koichi & Ohno, Katsuhisa, 1999. "An optimal worker allocation problem for a U-shaped production line," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 353-358, April.
    7. Thomas R. Hoffmann, 1992. "Eureka: A Hybrid System for Assembly Line Balancing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(1), pages 39-47, January.
    8. Bautista, Joaquin & Pereira, Jordi, 2007. "Ant algorithms for a time and space constrained assembly line balancing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(3), pages 2016-2032, March.
    9. Timothy L. Urban, 1998. "Note. Optimal Balancing of U-Shaped Assembly Lines," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(5), pages 738-741, May.
    10. G. J. Miltenburg & J. Wijngaard, 1994. "The U-line Line Balancing Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(10), pages 1378-1388, October.
    11. Gajpal, Yuvraj & Rajendran, Chandrasekharan, 2006. "An ant-colony optimization algorithm for minimizing the completion-time variance of jobs in flowshops," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 259-272, June.
    12. Hertz, Alain & Widmer, Marino, 2003. "Guidelines for the use of meta-heuristics in combinatorial optimization," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 151(2), pages 247-252, December.
    13. Miltenburg, John, 1998. "Balancing U-lines in a multiple U-line facility," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 1-23, August.
    14. Chiang, Wen-Chyuan & Urban, Timothy L., 2006. "The stochastic U-line balancing problem: A heuristic procedure," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 175(3), pages 1767-1781, December.
    15. Urban, Timothy L. & Chiang, Wen-Chyuan, 2006. "An optimal piecewise-linear program for the U-line balancing problem with stochastic task times," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 168(3), pages 771-782, February.
    16. Scholl, Armin, 1995. "Data of assembly line balancing problems," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 25075, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    17. Aase, Gerald R. & Olson, John R. & Schniederjans, Marc J., 2004. "U-shaped assembly line layouts and their impact on labor productivity: An experimental study," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 156(3), pages 698-711, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Battaïa, Olga & Dolgui, Alexandre, 2013. "A taxonomy of line balancing problems and their solutionapproaches," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 259-277.
    2. Delorme, Xavier & Dolgui, Alexandre & Kovalyov, Mikhail Y., 2012. "Combinatorial design of a minimum cost transfer line," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 31-41, January.


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