Date: 18 Jun 2001

A Mixed Closure-CSP Method to Solve Scheduling Problems

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Scheduling problems can be seen as a set of temporal metric and disjunctive constraints. So, they can be formulated in terms of CSPs techniques. In the literature, there are CSP-based methods which interleave (sequentially) searching efforts with the application of consistency enforcing mechanisms and variable/value ordering heuristics. Alternatively, in this paper, we propose a new method that integrates effectively the CSP process into a limited closure process. Such integration allows us to define better informed heuristics. They are used to limit the complete closure process applied, with a number of disjunctive constraints, and so reduce their complexity, while reducing the search space. Moreover, we can maintain more time open disjunctive solutions in the CSP process, limiting the number of backtrackings realized. We show preliminary results obtained from several instances of scheduling problems.