We present here a hybrid algorithm for the Flexible Job-Shop Scheduling Problem (FJSSP). This problem involves the optimal use of resources in a flexible production environment in which each operation can be carried out by more than a single machine. Our algorithm allocates, in a first step, the machines to operations and in a second stage it sequences them by integrating a Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm (MOEA) and a path-dependent search algorithm (Multi-Objective Simulated Annealing), which is enacted at the genetic phase of the procedure. The joint interaction of those two components yields a very efficient procedure for solving the FJSSP. An important step in the development of the algorithm was the selection of the right MOEA. Candidates were tested on problems of low, medium and high complexity. Further analyses showed the relevance of the search algorithm in the hybrid structure. Finally, comparisons with other algorithms in the literature indicate that the performance of our alternative is good.
In this paper we investigate the use of lot streaming in non-permutation flowshop scheduling problems. The objective is to minimize the makespan subject to the standard flowshop constraints, but where it is now permitted to reorder jobs between machines. In addition, the jobs can be divided into manageable sublots, a strategy known as lot streaming. Computational experiments show that lot streaming reduces the makespan up to 43% for a wide range of instances when compared to the case in which no job splitting is applied. The benefits grow as the number of stages in the production process increases but reach a limit. Beyond a certain point, the division of jobs into additional sublots does not improve the solution.
This paper analyzes the integration of two combinatorial problems that frequently arise in production and distribution systems. One is the Bin Packing Problem (BPP) problem, which involves finding an ordering of some objects of different volumes to be packed into the minimal number of containers of the same or different size. An optimal solution to this NP-Hard problem can be approximated by means of meta-heuristic methods. On the other hand, we consider the Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (CVRPTW), which is a variant of the Travelling Salesman Problem (again a NP-Hard problem) with extra constraints. Here we model those two problems in a single framework and use an evolutionary meta-heuristics to solve them jointly. Furthermore, we use data from a real world company as a test-bed for the method introduced here.
This paper analyzes the choice of a PISA selector for a Hybrid Algorithm integrating it as a Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm (MOEA) with a path-dependent search algorithm. The interaction between these components provides an efficient procedure for solving Multi-Objective Problems (MOPs) in operations scheduling. In order to choose the selector, we consider both NSGA and SPEA as well as their successors (NSGAII and SPEAII). NSGAII and SPEAII are shown to be the most efficient candidates. On the other hand, for the path-dependent search at the end of each evolutionary phase we use the multi-objective version of Simulated Annealing.