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The Scheduling of Continuous Flow Prodcution: A Separable Programming Approach

J. S. H. Kornbluth and D. E. Lepage
Operational Research Quarterly (1970-1977)
Vol. 23, No. 4 (Dec., 1972), pp. 531-548
DOI: 10.2307/3007966
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3007966
Page Count: 18
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The Scheduling of Continuous Flow Prodcution: A Separable Programming Approach
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Abstract

Zero-one integer programming formulations have been described in the literature to solve a wide range of problems in areas as diverse as capital budgeting, allocation, machine sequencing, etc., but as yet large-scale realistic problems can be very expensive to compute using the standard branch-and-bound extensions to linear programming packages. Many authors, noting that there are many situations in which low-cost approximate solutions may be very acceptable, suggest the use of approximating methods, such as the corresponding linear programme or "effective gradients". This paper describes a complex production scheduling problem for which a near-optimal solution is obtained using a separable programming algorithm. By utilizing the special features of separable programming, the model is able to include considerations of setup times in the optimization. Computational experience suggests that the method is a considerable improvement on heuristic attempts, giving improvements in throughput of approximately 30 per cent.

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