A flexible artificial neural network–fuzzy simulation algorithm for scheduling a flow shop with multiple processors

  • Ali Azadeh
  • Mohsen Moghaddam
  • Pegah Geranmayeh
  • Arash Naghavi


One of the most popular approaches for scheduling manufacturing systems is dispatching rules. Different types of dispatching rules exist, but none of them is known to be globally the best. A flexible artificial neural network–fuzzy simulation (FANN–FS) algorithm is presented in this study for solving the multiattribute combinatorial dispatching (MACD) decision problem. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are one of the commonly used metaheuristics and are a proven tool for solving complex optimization problems. Hence, multilayered neural network metamodels and a fuzzy simulation using the α-cuts method were trained to provide a complex MACD problem. Fuzzy simulation is used to solve complex optimization problems to deal with imprecision and uncertainty. The proposed flexible algorithm is capable of modeling nonlinear, stochastic, and uncertain problems. It uses ANN simulation for crisp input data and fuzzy simulation for imprecise and uncertain input data. The solution quality is illustrated by two case studies from a multilayer ceramic capacitor manufacturing plant. The manufacturing lead times produced by the FANN–FS model turned out to be superior to conventional simulation models. This is the first study that introduces an intelligent and flexible approach for handling imprecision and nonlinearity of scheduling problems in flow shops with multiple processors.


Artificial neural network Metamodeling Flow shop scheduling Fuzzy simulation Multiattribute combinatorial dispatching Optimization 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Azadeh
    • 1
  • Mohsen Moghaddam
    • 1
  • Pegah Geranmayeh
    • 1
  • Arash Naghavi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial Engineering and Center of Excellence for Intelligent Based Experimental Mechanics, University College of EngineeringUniversity of TehranTehranIran

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