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Journal Articles European Journal of Operational Research Year : 2020

A computationally efficient Branch-and-Bound algorithm for the permutation flow-shop scheduling problem

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Abstract

In this work we propose an efficient branch-and-bound (B&B) algorithm for the permutation flow-shop problem (PFSP) with makespan objective. We present a new node decomposition scheme that combines dynamic branching and lower bound refinement strategies in a computationally efficient way. To alleviate the computational burden of the two-machine bound used in the refinement stage, we propose an online learning-inspired mechanism to predict promising couples of bottleneck machines. The algorithm offers multiple choices for branching and bounding operators and can explore the search tree either sequentially or in parallel on multi-core CPUs. In order to empirically determine the most efficient combination of these components, a series of computational experiments with 600 benchmark instances is performed. A main insight is that the problem size, as well as interactions between branching and bounding operators substantially modify the trade-off between the computational requirements of a lower bound and the achieved tree size reduction. Moreover, we demonstrate that parallel tree search is a key ingredient for the resolution of large problem instances, as strong super-linear speedups can be observed. An overall evaluation using two well-known benchmarks indicates that the proposed approach is superior to previously published B&B algorithms. For the first benchmark we report the exact resolution – within less than 20 minutes – of two instances defined by 500 jobs and 20 machines that remained open for more than 25 years, and for the second a total of 89 improved best-known upper bounds, including proofs of optimality for 74 of them.
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Dates and versions

hal-02421229 , version 1 (08-01-2020)

Identifiers

Cite

Jan Gmys, Mohand Mezmaz, Nouredine Melab, Daniel Tuyttens. A computationally efficient Branch-and-Bound algorithm for the permutation flow-shop scheduling problem. European Journal of Operational Research, 2020, 284 (3), pp.814-833. ⟨10.1016/j.ejor.2020.01.039⟩. ⟨hal-02421229⟩
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