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Multiagent scheduling method with earliness and tardiness objectives in flexible job shops

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2 Author(s)
Zuobao Wu ; Dept. of Ind. & Manage. Syst. Eng., Univ. of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA ; M. X. Weng

Flexible job-shop scheduling problems are an important extension of the classical job-shop scheduling problems and present additional complexity. Such problems are mainly due to the existence of a considerable amount of overlapping capacities with modern machines. Classical scheduling methods are generally incapable of addressing such capacity overlapping. We propose a multiagent scheduling method with job earliness and tardiness objectives in a flexible job-shop environment. The earliness and tardiness objectives are consistent with the just-in-time production philosophy which has attracted significant attention in both industry and academic community. A new job-routing and sequencing mechanism is proposed. In this mechanism, two kinds of jobs are defined to distinguish jobs with one operation left from jobs with more than one operation left. Different criteria are proposed to route these two kinds of jobs. Job sequencing enables to hold a job that may be completed too early. Two heuristic algorithms for job sequencing are developed to deal with these two kinds of jobs. The computational experiments show that the proposed multiagent scheduling method significantly outperforms the existing scheduling methods in the literature. In addition, the proposed method is quite fast. In fact, the simulation time to find a complete schedule with over 2000 jobs on ten machines is less than 1.5 min.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B (Cybernetics)  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 2 )