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Optimality of the Symmetric Workload Allocation in a Single-Server Flow Line System


  • Hyoungtae Kim

    (Machine Tool & FA Division, Daewoo Heavy Industries, 601-3 Namsan-Dong, Changwon, Kyungnam 641-090, Korea)

  • Sungsoo Park

    (Department of Industrial Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 373-1 Gusong-Dong, Yusong-Gu, Taejon 305-701, Korea)


This paper provides a proof of the symmetrical allocation property (SAP), conjectured in an earlier work on the workload allocation problem for a manufacturing flow line system. The system consists of N single-Erlang servers in series having a common interstation buffer capacity. SAP says a symmetric workload allocation exists among the optimal solutions. We first show the reciprocal of the throughput is increasing and jointly convex, not component-wisely, in workloads. Then we apply the line reversibility property to obtain an alternative optimal allocation symmetric for any optimal workload allocation that is asymmetric. A sufficient condition for SAP to hold is also given, which relaxes the hypothesizing assumptions on the service-time distribution and interstation buffer capacities.

Suggested Citation

  • Hyoungtae Kim & Sungsoo Park, 1999. "Optimality of the Symmetric Workload Allocation in a Single-Server Flow Line System," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(3), pages 449-451, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:45:y:1999:i:3:p:449-451

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frederick S. Hillier & Ronald W. Boling, 1979. "On the Optimal Allocation of Work in Symmetrically Unbalanced Production Line Systems with Variable Operation Times," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(8), pages 721-728, August.
    2. Eginhard J. Muth, 1979. "The Reversibility Property of Production Lines," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(2), pages 152-158, February.
    3. Genji Yamazaki & Takeshi Kawashima & Hirotaka Sakasegawa, 1985. "Reversibility of Tandem Blocking Queueing Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(1), pages 78-83, January.
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