A hybrid approach to solve job sequencing problems using heuristic rules and artificial neural networks is proposed. The problem is to find a job sequence for a single machine that minimizes the total weighted tardiness of the jobs. Two different cases are considered: (1) when there are no setups, and (2) when there are sequence-dependent setup times. So far, successful heuristic rules for these cases are: Apparent tardiness cost (ATC) rule proposed by Vepsalainen and Morton for the former case, and an extended version of the ATC rule (ATCS) proposed by Lee, Bhaskaran, and Pinedo for the latter. Both approaches utilize some look-ahead parameters for calculating the priority index of each job. As reported by Bhaskaran and Pinedo, the proper value of the look-ahead parameter depends upon certain problem characteristics, such as due-date tightness and due-date range. Thus, an obvious extension of the ATC or the ATCS rule is to adjust the parameter values depending upon the problem characteristics: This is known to be a difficult task. In this paper, we propose an application of a neural network as a tool to ‘predict’ proper values of the look-ahead parameters. Our computational tests show that the proposed hybrid approach outperforms both the ATC rule with a fixed parameter value and the ATCS using the heuristic curve-fitting method.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science Applications
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering