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Robust Scheduling to Hedge Against Processing Time Uncertainty in Single-Stage Production

  • Richard L. Daniels

    (School of Management, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0520)

  • Panagiotis Kouvelis

    (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27706)

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    Schedulers confronted with significant processing time uncertainty often discover that a schedule which is optimal with respect to a deterministic or stochastic scheduling model yields quite poor performance when evaluated relative to the actual processing times. In these environments, the notion of schedule robustness, i.e., determining the schedule with the best worst-case performance compared to the corresponding optimal solution over all potential realizations of job processing times, is a more appropriate guide to schedule selection. In this paper, we formalize the robust scheduling concept for scheduling situations with uncertain or variable processing times. To illustrate the development of solution approaches for a robust scheduling problem, we consider a single-machine environment where the performance criterion of interest is the total flow time over all jobs. We define two measures of schedule robustness, formulate the robust scheduling problem, establish its complexity, describe properties of the optimal schedule, and present exact and heuristic solution procedures. Extensive computational results are reported to demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed solution procedures.

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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 41 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 363-376

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:41:y:1995:i:2:p:363-376
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