Title: Chaining set partitions with applications in manufacturing system configuration planning

Authors: Ningjian Huang, Yhu-Tin Lin

Addresses: Manufacturing Systems Research Lab, MC: 480-106-359, General Motors Research & Development Center, Warren, Michigan 48090-9055, USA. ' Manufacturing Systems Research Lab, MC: 480-106-359, General Motors Research & Development Center, Warren, Michigan 48090-9055, USA

Abstract: Knowing the number of candidate configurations is the first and critical step in manufacturing system configuration planning because it determines the methods for subsequent optimisation tasks. However, counting the total number of candidate configurations is a challenging partitioning problem due to the multiple sets of work elements that are often chained by the overlapping elements between adjacent sets. Starting with simple partitioning scenarios, this paper presents a new mathematical treatment and derives the formulas for calculating the number of candidate system configurations, which can eventually lead to algorithms for system configuration selection, simulation and optimisation.

Keywords: combinatorics; chaining set partitions; manufacturing system configuration; algorithms; system configuration selection; simulation; optimisation; configuration planning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJOR.2009.026939

International Journal of Operational Research, 2009 Vol.6 No.3, pp.380 - 404

Published online: 09 Jul 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article