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Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling with Time-Resource Tradeoffs: The Nonpreemptive Case

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  • F. Brian Talbot

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

This paper introduces methods for formulating and solving a general class of nonpreemptive resource-constrained project scheduling problems in which the duration of each job is a function of the resources committed to it. The approach is broad enough to permit the evaluation of numerous time or resource-based objective functions, while simultaneously taking into account a variety of constraint types. Typical of the objective functions permitted are minimize project duration, minimize project cost given performance payments and penalties, and minimize the consumption of a critical resource. Resources which may be considered include those which are limited on a period-to-period basis such as skilled labor, as well as those such as money, which are consumed and constrained over the life of the project. At the planning stage the user of this approach is permitted to identify several alternative ways, or modes, of accomplishing each job in the project. Each mode may have a different duration, reflecting the magnitude and mix of the resources allocated to it. At the scheduling phase, the procedure derives a solution which specifies how each job should be performed, that is, which mode should be selected, and when each mode should be scheduled. In order to make the presentation concrete, this paper focuses on two problems: given multiple resource restrictions, minimize project completion time, and minimize project cost. The latter problem is also known as the resource-constrained time-cost tradeoff problem. Computational results indicate that the procedures provide cost-effective optimal solutions for small problems and good heuristic solutions for larger problems. The programmed solution algorithms are relatively simple and require only modest computing facilities, which permits them to be potentially useful scheduling tools for organizations having small computer systems.

Suggested Citation

  • F. Brian Talbot, 1982. "Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling with Time-Resource Tradeoffs: The Nonpreemptive Case," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(10), pages 1197-1210, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:28:y:1982:i:10:p:1197-1210
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.28.10.1197
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