Date: 26 Aug 2008

Hybrid metaheuristics for unrelated parallel machine scheduling with sequence-dependent setup times

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This paper proposes several hybrid metaheuristics for the unrelated parallel-machine scheduling problem with sequence-dependent setup times given the objective of minimizing the weighted number of tardy jobs. The metaheuristics begin with effective initial solution generators to generate initial feasible solutions; then, they improve the initial solutions by an approach, which integrates the principles of the variable neighborhood descent approach and tabu search. Four reduced-size neighborhood structures and two search strategies are proposed in the metaheuristics to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency. Five factors are used to design 32 experimental conditions, and ten test problems are generated for each condition. Computational results show that the proposed hybrid metaheuristics are significantly superior to several basic tabu search heuristics under all the experimental conditions.