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Effective heuristics for the blocking flowshop scheduling problem with makespan minimization


  • Pan, Quan-Ke
  • Wang, Ling


The blocking flowshop scheduling problem with makespan criterion has important applications in a variety of industrial systems. Heuristics that explore specific characteristics of the problem are essential for many practical systems to find good solutions with limited computational effort. This paper first presents two simple constructive heuristics, namely weighted profile fitting (wPF) and PW, based on the profile fitting (PF) approach of McCormick et al. [Sequencing in an assembly line with blocking to minimize cycle time. Operations Research 1989;37:925-36] and the characteristics of the problem. Then, three improved constructive heuristics, called PF-NEH, wPF-NEH, and PW-NEH, are proposed by combining the PF, wPF, and PW with the enumeration procedure of the Nawaz-Enscore-Ham (NEH) heuristic [A heuristic algorithm for the m-machine, n-job flow shop sequencing problem. OMEGA-International Journal of Management Science 1983;11:91-5] in an effective way. Thirdly, three composite heuristics i.e., PF-NEHLS, wPF-NEHLS, and PW-NEHLS, are developed by using the insertion-based local search method to improve the solutions generated by the constructive heuristics. Computational simulations and comparisons are carried out based on the well-known flowshop benchmarks of Taillard [Benchmarks for basic scheduling problems. European Journal of Operation Research 1993;64:278-85] that are considered as blocking flowshop instances. The results show that the presented constructive heuristics perform significantly better than the existing ones, and the proposed composite heuristics further improve the presented constructive heuristics by a considerable margin. In addition, 17 new best-known solutions for Taillard benchmarks with large scale are found by the presented heuristics.

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  • Pan, Quan-Ke & Wang, Ling, 2012. "Effective heuristics for the blocking flowshop scheduling problem with makespan minimization," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 218-229, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:40:y:2012:i:2:p:218-229

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ruiz-Torres, Alex J. & Ho, Johnny C. & Ablanedo-Rosas, José H., 2011. "Makespan and workstation utilization minimization in a flowshop with operations flexibility," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 273-282, June.
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    12. Nawaz, Muhammad & Enscore Jr, E Emory & Ham, Inyong, 1983. "A heuristic algorithm for the m-machine, n-job flow-shop sequencing problem," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 91-95.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lin, Shih-Wei & Ying, Kuo-Ching, 2016. "Optimization of makespan for no-wait flowshop scheduling problems using efficient matheuristics," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 115-125.
    2. Pan, Quan-Ke & Wang, Ling & Li, Jun-Qing & Duan, Jun-Hua, 2014. "A novel discrete artificial bee colony algorithm for the hybrid flowshop scheduling problem with makespan minimisation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 42-56.
    3. Shabtay, Dvir & Arviv, Kfir & Stern, Helman & Edan, Yael, 2014. "A combined robot selection and scheduling problem for flow-shops with no-wait restrictions," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 96-107.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2318-:d:122861 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Pan, Quan-Ke & Ruiz, Rubén, 2014. "An effective iterated greedy algorithm for the mixed no-idle permutation flowshop scheduling problem," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 41-50.
    6. Lin, Shih-Wei & Ying, Kuo-Ching, 2013. "Minimizing makespan in a blocking flowshop using a revised artificial immune system algorithm," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 383-389.


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