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Absalom: Balancing assembly lines with assignment restrictions

  • Scholl, Armin
  • Fliedner, Malte
  • Boysen, Nils

Assembly line balancing problems (ALBPs) arise whenever an assembly line is configured, redesigned or adjusted. An ALBP consists of distributing the total workload for manufacturing products among the work stations along the line. On the one hand, research has focussed on developing effective and fast solution methods for exactly solving the simple assembly line balancing problem (SALBP). On the other hand, a number of real-world extensions of SALBP have been introduced but solved with straight-forward and simple heuristics in many cases. Therefore, there is a lack of procedures for exactly solving such generalized ALBP. In this paper, we show how to extend the well-known solution procedure Salome [Scholl, A., Klein, R., 1997. Salome: A bidirectional branch-and-bound procedure for assembly line balancing. Informs J. Comput. 9 319-334], which is able to solve even large SALBP instances in a very effective manner, to a problem extension with different types of assignment restrictions (called ARALBP). The extended procedure, referred to as Absalom, employs a favorable branching scheme, an arsenal of bounding rules and a variety of logical tests using ideas from constraint programming. Computational experiments show that Absalom is a very promising exact solution approach although the additional assignment restrictions complicate the problem considerably and necessitate a relaxation of some components of Salome.

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

Volume (Year): 200 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (February)
Pages: 688-701

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:200:y:2010:i:3:p:688-701
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  1. Saltzman, Matthew J. & Baybars, Ilker, 1987. "A two-process implicit enumeration algorithm for the simple assembly line balancing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 118-129, October.
  2. Roger V. Johnson, 1988. "Optimally Balancing Large Assembly Lines with "Fable"," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(2), pages 240-253, February.
  3. Klein, Robert & Scholl, Armin, 1999. "Computing lower bounds by destructive improvement: An application to resource-constrained project scheduling," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 322-346, January.
  4. Nils Boysen & Malte Fliedner & Armin Scholl, 2006. "Assembly line balancing: Which model to use when?," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 23/2006, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  5. Scholl, Armin & Klein, Robert, 1997. "SALOME. a bidirectional branch and bound procedure for assembly line balancing," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 7890, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  6. Armin Scholl & Christian Becker, 2003. "State-of-the-art exact and heuristic solution procedures for simple assembly line balancing," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 20/2003, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  7. Roger V. Johnson, 1983. "A Branch and Bound Algorithm for Assembly Line Balancing Problems with Formulation Irregularities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(11), pages 1309-1324, November.
  8. Scholl, Armin & Klein, Robert, 1999. "Balancing assembly lines effectively - A computational comparison," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 50-58, April.
  9. Gokcen, Hadi & Erel, Erdal, 1997. "A goal programming approach to mixed-model assembly line balancing problem," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 177-185, January.
  10. Nils Boysen & Malte Fliedner & Armin Scholl, 2006. "A classification of assembly line balancing problems," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 12/2006, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  11. Berger, Ilana & Bourjolly, Jean-Marie & Laporte, Gilbert, 1992. "Branch-and-bound algorithms for the multi-product assembly line balancing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 215-222, April.
  12. G. M. Buxey, 1974. "Assembly Line Balancing with Multiple Stations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(6), pages 1010-1021, February.
  13. Scholl, Armin, 1999. "Balancing and sequencing of assembly lines," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 10881, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  14. Sawik, Tadeusz, 2002. "Monolithic vs. hierarchical balancing and scheduling of a flexible assembly line," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 115-124, November.
  15. E. M. Dar-El & Y. Rubinovitch, 1979. "Must--A Multiple Solutions Technique for Balancing Single Model Assembly Lines," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(11), pages 1105-1114, November.
  16. Armin Scholl & Christian Becker, 2003. "A survey on problems and methods in generalized assembly line balancing," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 21/2003, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  17. Lapierre, Sophie D. & Ruiz, Angel & Soriano, Patrick, 2006. "Balancing assembly lines with tabu search," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 168(3), pages 826-837, February.
  18. 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.
  19. Armin Scholl & Nils Boysen & Malte Fliedner, 2006. "The sequence-dependent assembly line balancing problem," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 18/2006, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  20. \.Ilker Baybars, 1986. "A Survey of Exact Algorithms for the Simple Assembly Line Balancing Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(8), pages 909-932, August.
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