, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 359–388

Probe Backtrack Search for Minimal Perturbation in Dynamic Scheduling

  • Hani El Sakkout
  • Mark Wallace

DOI: 10.1023/A:1009856210543

Cite this article as:
Sakkout, H.E. & Wallace, M. Constraints (2000) 5: 359. doi:10.1023/A:1009856210543


This paperdescribes an algorithm designed to minimally reconfigure schedulesin response to a changing environment. External factors havecaused an existing schedule to become invalid, perhaps due tothe withdrawal of resources, or because of changes to the setof scheduled activities. The total shift in the start and endtimes of already scheduled activities should be kept to a minimum.This optimization requirement may be captured using a linearoptimization function over linear constraints. However, the disjunctivenature of the resource constraints impairs traditional mathematicalprogramming approaches. The unimodular probing algorithm interleavesconstraint programming and linear programming. The linear programmingsolver handles only a controlled subset of the problem constraints,to guarantee that the values returned are discrete. Using probebacktracking, a complete, repair-based method for search, thesevalues are simply integrated into constraint programming. Unimodularprobing is compared with alternatives on a set of dynamic schedulingbenchmarks, demonstrating its effectiveness.

In the final discussion, we conjecture that analogous probebacktracking strategies may obtain performance improvements overconventional backtrack algorithms for a broad range of constraintsatisfaction and optimization problems.

schedulingconstraint satisfactionconstraint programming

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hani El Sakkout
    • 1
  • Mark Wallace
    • 1
  1. 1.IC-Parc, Imperial CollegeLondon