Time/sequence-dependent scheduling: the design and evaluation of a general purpose tabu-based adaptive large neighbourhood search algorithm

Research paper by Lei He, Mathijs de Weerdt, Neil Yorke-Smith

Indexed on: 20 Dec '19Published on: 20 Dec '19Published in: Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing


In intelligent manufacturing, it is important to schedule orders from customers efficiently. Make-to-order companies may have to reject or postpone orders when the production capacity does not meet the demand. Many such real-world scheduling problems are characterised by processing times being dependent on the start time (time dependency) or on the preceding orders (sequence dependency), and typically have an earliest and latest possible start time. We introduce and analyze four algorithmic ideas for this class of time/sequence-dependent over-subscribed scheduling problems with time windows: a novel hybridization of adaptive large neighbourhood search (ALNS) and tabu search (TS), a new randomization strategy for neighbourhood operators, a partial sequence dominance heuristic, and a fast insertion strategy. Through factor analysis, we demonstrate the performance of these new algorithmic features on problem domains with varying properties. Evaluation of the resulting general purpose algorithm on three domains—an order acceptance and scheduling problem, a real-world multi-orbit agile Earth observation satellite scheduling problem, and a time-dependent orienteering problem with time windows—shows that our hybrid algorithm robustly outperforms general algorithms including a mixed integer programming method, a constraint programming method, recent state-of-the-art problem-dependent meta-heuristic methods, and a two-stage hybridization of ALNS and TS.