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Scheduling Resource-Constrained Projects Competitively at Modest Memory Requirements

Listed author(s):
  • Arno Sprecher


    (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre, Lehrstuhl für Produktion und Logistik, Olshausenstra\beta e 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany)

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    We consider the resource-constrained project scheduling problem. The purpose of this paper is to direct the focus to a branch-and-bound concept that can, by simple adaptations, operate on a wide range of problem settings. The general approach can, e.g., deal with multimode problems, resource availability varying with time, and a wide range of objectives. Even the simple assembly line balancing problem of type-1 can be competitively approached with some modifications. Although the algorithm is the most general and simple one currently available for resource-constrained project scheduling, the computational performance can compete with the best approaches available for the single-mode problem. The algorithm uses far less memory than the state-of-the-art procedure, i.e., 256 KB versus 24 MB, for solving the standard benchmark set with projects consisting of 32 activities within comparable time. If both approaches are allowed to make limited use of memory, i.e., 256 KB, then more than 97% of the benchmark instances can be solved within fractions of the time required by the current state-of-the-art procedure. The truncated version of our algorithm achieves at 256 KB approximately the results of the truncated version of the state-of-the-art approach at 24 MB. Since in general the memory requirements exponentially grow with the number of activities the project consists of, memory will become a critical resource, and the strategy to access previously stored information will gain fundamental importance when solving larger projects.

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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 5 (May)
    Pages: 710-723

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:5:p:710-723
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    1. Erik L. Demeulemeester & Willy S. Herroelen, 1997. "New Benchmark Results for the Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(11), pages 1485-1492, November.
    2. Rainer Kolisch & Arno Sprecher & Andreas Drexl, 1995. "Characterization and Generation of a General Class of Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(10), pages 1693-1703, October.
    3. Erik Demeulemeester & Willy Herroelen, 1992. "A Branch-and-Bound Procedure for the Multiple Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(12), pages 1803-1818, December.
    4. Brucker, Peter & Knust, Sigrid & Schoo, Arno & Thiele, Olaf, 1998. "A branch and bound algorithm for the resource-constrained project scheduling problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 272-288, June.
    5. Sprecher, Arno & Kolisch, Rainer & Drexl, Andreas, 1995. "Semi-active, active, and non-delay schedules for the resource-constrained project scheduling problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 94-102, January.
    6. F. Brian Talbot & James H. Patterson, 1978. "An Efficient Integer Programming Algorithm with Network Cuts for Solving Resource-Constrained Scheduling Problems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(11), pages 1163-1174, July.
    7. Sprecher, Arno & Drexl, Andreas, 1998. "Multi-mode resource-constrained project scheduling by a simple, general and powerful sequencing algorithm," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 431-450, June.
    8. Aristide Mingozzi & Vittorio Maniezzo & Salvatore Ricciardelli & Lucio Bianco, 1998. "An Exact Algorithm for the Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problem Based on a New Mathematical Formulation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(5), pages 714-729, May.
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