Size-reduction heuristics for the unrelated parallel machines scheduling problem

Research Area: Articulos Year: 2011
Type of Publication: Article
Authors: Fanjul, Luis; Ruiz, Rubén
Journal: Computers & Operations Research Volume: 38
Number: 1 Pages: 301-309
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In this paper we study the unrelated parallel machines problem where n independent jobs must be assigned to one out of m parallel machines and the processing time of each job differs from machine to machine. We deal with the objective of the minimisation of the maximum completion time of the jobs, usually referred to as makespan or Cmax. This is a type of assignment problem that has been frequently studied in the scientific literature due to its many potential applications. We propose a set of metaheuristics based on a size-reduction of the original assignment problem that produce solutions of very good quality in a short amount of time. The underlying idea is to consider only a few of the best possible machine assignments for the jobs and not all of them. The results are simple, yet powerful methods. We test the proposed algorithms with a large benchmark of instances and compare them with current state-of-the-art methods. In most cases, the proposed size-reduction algorithms produce results that are statistically proven to be better by a significant margin.
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