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Three Scheduling Algorithms Applied to the Earth Observing Systems Domain


  • William J. Wolfe

    () (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Colorado at Denver, Denver, Colorado 80217)

  • Stephen E. Sorensen

    () (Hughes Information Technology Systems, Aurora, Colorado 80011)


This paper describes three approaches to assigning tasks to earth observing satellites (EOS). A fast and simple priority dispatch method is described and shown to produce acceptable schedules most of the time. A look ahead algorithm is then introduced that outperforms the dispatcher by about 12% with only a small increase in run time. These algorithms set the stage for the introduction of a genetic algorithm that uses job permutations as the population. The genetic approach presented here is novel in that it uses two additional binary variables, one to allow the dispatcher to occasionally skip a job in the queue and another to allow the dispatcher to occasionally allocate the worst position to the job. These variables are included in the recombination step in a natural way. The resulting schedules improve on the look ahead by as much as 15% at times and 3% on average. We define and use the "window-constrained packing" problem to model the bare bones of the EOS scheduling problem.

Suggested Citation

  • William J. Wolfe & Stephen E. Sorensen, 2000. "Three Scheduling Algorithms Applied to the Earth Observing Systems Domain," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 148-166, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:1:p:148-166

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    Cited by:

    1. Bekki, Özgün BarIs & Azizoglu, Meral, 2008. "Operational fixed interval scheduling problem on uniform parallel machines," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 756-768, April.
    2. Mahalec, Vladimir & Chen, Yingwu & Liu, Xiaolu & He, Renjie & Sun, Kai, 2015. "Reconfiguration of satellite orbit for cooperative observation using variable-size multi-objective differential evolutionAuthor-Name: Chen, Yingguo," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 242(1), pages 10-20.
    3. Jang, Jinbong & Choi, Jiwoong & Bae, Hee-Jin & Choi, In-Chan, 2013. "Image collection planning for KOrea Multi-Purpose SATellite-2," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 230(1), pages 190-199.
    4. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:56:y:2005:i:8:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2601926 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bianchessi, Nicola & Cordeau, Jean-Francois & Desrosiers, Jacques & Laporte, Gilbert & Raymond, Vincent, 2007. "A heuristic for the multi-satellite, multi-orbit and multi-user management of Earth observation satellites," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(2), pages 750-762, March.
    6. Türsel Eliiyi, Deniz & Azizoglu, Meral, 2011. "Heuristics for operational fixed job scheduling problems with working and spread time constraints," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 107-121, July.

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    Scheduling; Algorithms; Genetic;


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