A greedy randomized adaptive search procedure for job shop scheduling

S. Binato, W.J. Hery, D.M. Loewenstern, and M.G.C. Resende

In Essays and Surveys on Metaheuristics,  C.C. Ribeiro and P. Hansen, eds., Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 58-79, 2002.


In the job shop scheduling problem (JSP), a finite set of jobs is processed on a finite set of machines. Each job is characterized by a fixed order of operations, each of which is to be processed on a specific machine for a specified duration.  Each machine can process at most one job at a time and once a job initiates processing on a given machine it must complete processing uninterrupted.  A schedule is an assignment of operations to time slots on the machines.  The objective of the JSP is to find a schedule that minimizes the maximum completion time, or makespan, of the jobs.  In this paper, we describe a greedy randomized adaptive search procedure (GRASP) for the JSP.  A GRASP is a metaheuristic for combinatorial optimization.  Although GRASP is a general procedure, its basic concepts are customized for the problem being solved.  We describe in detail our implementation of GRASP for job shop scheduling.  Further, we incorporate to the conventional GRASP two new concepts: an intensification strategy and POP (Proximate Optimality Principle) in the construction phase.  These two concepts were first proposed by Fleurent & Glover (1999) in the context of the quadratic assignment problem.  Computational experience on a large set of standard test problems indicates that GRASP is a competitive algorithm for finding approximate solutions of the job shop scheduling problem.

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Last modified: 25 June 2002

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