Job shop scheduling--A case study
A missile range is essentially a large-scale job-shop, involving prodigious amounts of test equipment and formidable problems of coordination. Because of its characteristics, a missile range can be considered a one-machine, N-job situation. For this problem the major scheduling methods were examined and tested, but all were discarded as unfeasible except one which used a Monte Carlo scheduling procedure adjoined with statistical stopping rules. An algorithm based on these ideas was constructed, and it has proven to be flexible and workable, providing predictably near optimum schedules for the missile range within a probabilistic and statistical framework. Even though there is not total implementation yet, considerable benefits to the missile range have already been experienced. For example, in order to automate the scheduling process, it was necessary to codify the goals of the range, something that had never been formalized before. This involved an unprecedented scrutiny and precision of definition of these goals, and from this study a reasonable numerical optimization criterion was constructed. Also, in order to use any automated scheduling algorithm, data files had to be stored on tape for ready access, which in turn has improved other operations on the missile range that were dependent on these data. Furthermore, the scheduling algorithm is providing conflict-free schedules in a few minutes of computer time.
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Volume (Year): 4 (1976)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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