A novel exact formulation for parallel machine scheduling problems


Machine scheduling is one of the most studied problems due to its technical challenges and prevalence in real life. In the literature, continuous- and discrete-time formulations are the two most known formulations for scheduling problems. However, continuous-time formulations often suffer from weak linear relaxations, while discrete-time formulations struggle with large numbers of variables. In contrast, the bucket-indexed formulation is an alternative that mitigates both issues by working with partial time discretization. We propose a mixed-integer linear programming model based on a bucket-indexed formulation to solve a nonpreemptive scheduling problem of identical parallel machines considering release dates, deadlines, precedence, eligibility, and machine availability constraints. We evaluate the proposed formulation against real-world instances comprising more than 400 jobs and 100 machines, comparing its performance against equivalent continuous- and discrete-time formulations. Remarkably, our formulation can be solved to optimality for all instances, outperforming both continuous- and discrete-time formulations.

Computers and Chemical Engineering
Luana Carrilho
Luana Carrilho
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Luana Carrilho is a visiting researcher from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), where he is doing a PhD in the field of Operations Research.