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A resource constrained scheduling problem with multiple independent producers and a single linking constraint: a coal supply chain example. (English) Zbl 1304.90105
Summary: This paper examines a resource constrained production planning and scheduling problem motivated by the coal supply chain. In this problem, multiple independent producers are connected with a resource availability (or, linking) constraint. A general description of such problems is provided, before decomposing the problem into two levels. In the first level, we deal with production planning and in the second level, we deal with tactical resource scheduling. A real-world coal supply chain example is presented to anchor the approach. The overall problem can be formulated as an integrated mixed integer programming model which, in several cases, struggles to find even a feasible solution in reasonable amount of time. This paper discusses a distributed decision making approach based on column generation (CG). Computational experiments show that, the CG scheme has significant advantages over the integrated model and a Lagrangian relaxation scheme proposed by A.Thomas et al., “Distributed optimisation method for multi-resource constrained scheduling in coal supply chains”, Int. J. Prod. Res. 51, 2740–2759 (2013; doi:10.1080/00207543.2012.737955)]. This paper concludes with detailed discussions on the results and future research directions.

90B35 Deterministic scheduling theory in operations research
90B90 Case-oriented studies in operations research
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