Title: Scheduling and optimisation of batch plants: model development and comparison of approaches

Authors: Yaqing Tan; Wei Huang; Yanming Sun; Yong Yue

Addresses: Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3JU, UK; School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510640, China ' Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3JU, UK ' School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510640, China ' Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3JU, UK

Abstract: The application of parallel machines and storage facilities provides flexibility but raises challenges for batch plants. This research proposes a scheduling model in batch plants, considering complex real-world constraints that were seldom addressed together. Two optimisation approaches, genetic algorithm (GA) and constraint programming (CP), are applied to solve the complex batch plant scheduling problem. A case study and scalability tests are conducted to investigate different performance of GA and CP in the problem to prepare for further research application. It is found that the CP approach has a better performance in solving batch plant scheduling problems with complex constraints although it needs longer time. The 'restart' search strategy is better than two other search strategies for the CP approach.

Keywords: batch plants; scheduling; optimisation; complex constraints; comparison; genetic algorithms; constraint programming; search strategy; modelling; model development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2014.062359

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2014 Vol.49 No.3/4, pp.227 - 238

Available online: 05 Jun 2014 *

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