[Dept. of Computer Science]

Experimentation Project ACS

Title Identifying and exploiting commonalities for the job-shop scheduling problem
Student Marnix Kammer
Supervisor Han Hoogeveen, Marjan van den Akker
Related Course(s) Scheduling and Timetabling
Description For many combinatorial problems the solution landscape is such that near-optimal solutions share common characteristics: the so-called commonalities or building blocks.
We propose a method to identify and exploit these commonalities, which is based on applying multistart local search.
In the first phase, we apply the local search heuristic, which is based on Simulated Annealing, to perform a set of independent runs.
We discard the solutions of poor quality and compare the remaining ones to identify commonalities.
In the second phase, we apply another series of independent runs in which we exploit the commonalities.
We have tested this generic methodology on the so-called job-shop scheduling problem, on which many local search methods have been tested.
In our computational study we found that the inclusion of commonalities in simulated annealing improves the solution quality considerably even though we found evidence
that the job-shop scheduling problem is not very well suited to the use of these commonalities.
Since the use of commonalities is easy to implement, it may be very useful as a standard addition to local search techniques in a general sense.
Special Note This research has resulted in a working paper, which we have submitted to Computers and Operations Research