A hybrid algorithm for the manufacturing cell formation problem


In this paper we compare different heuristic methods for the manufacturing cell formation problem considering part process sequence: a GRASP algorithm, a reactive GRASP algorithm and a hybrid algorithm which combines reactive GRASP and tabu search. All algorithms are tested with a set of instances from the literature. The results from the GRASP algorithm are compared to those of the reactive GRASP in order to evaluate the advantages of automatically adjusting the parameter value within the randomized greedy procedure. Also the reactive GRASP results are compared to those of the hybrid algorithm to evaluate the contribution to solution quality of replacing the local search phase of the GRASP algorithm with tabu search.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. Abdinnour-Helm, S., Hadley, S.W.: Tabu search based heuristic for multi-floor facitily layout. Int. J. Prod. Res. 38, 365–383 (2000)

    MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Blum, C.: Hybrid metaheuristics. Comput. Oper. Res. 37(3), 430–431 (2010)

    MathSciNet  MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Blum, C., Roli, A., Sampels, M.: Hybrid Metaheuristics: An Emerging Approach to Optimization. Springer, New York (2008)

    MATH  Book  Google Scholar 

  4. Burbidge, J.L.: The Introduction of Group Technology. Halsted Press and John Wiley, New York (1975)

  5. Colomé, R., Serra, D.: Consumer choice in competitive location models: formulations and heuristics. Pap. Reg. Sci. 80, 439–464 (2001)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Delmaire, H., Díaz, J.A., Fernandez, E.: Reactive GRASP and tabu search based heuristics for the single source capacitated plant location problem. Inf. Syst. Oper. Res. 37(3), 194–225 (1999)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Dems̆ar, J.: Statistical comparisons of classifiers over multiple data sets. J. Mach. Learn. Res. 7, 1–30 (2006)

    MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  8. Díaz, J.A., Luna, D., Luna, R.: A GRASP heuristic for the manufacturing cell formation problem. TOP 20, 679–706 (2012)

    MathSciNet  MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Díaz, J.A., Luna, D., Zetina, C.A.: Heurística multi-arranque para el problema de formación de células demanufactura. In: Memorias Taller Latino Iberoamericano de Investigación de Operaciones (2011) ISBN 978-607-7760-56-6.

  10. Duarte, A., Martí, R.: Tabu search and GRASP for the maximum diversity problem. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 178(1), 71–84 (2007)

    MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Feo, T.A., Resende, M.G.: Greedy ramdomized adaptive search procedures. J. Glob. Optim. 6, 109–133 (1995)

    MathSciNet  MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Flanders, R.E.: Design manufacture and production control of a standard machine. Trans. ASME 46, 691–738 (1925)

    Google Scholar 

  13. García, S., Molina, D., Lozano, M., Herrera, F.: A study on the use of non-parametric tests for analyzing the evolutionare algorithms’ behavior: a case study on the CEC’2005 special session on real parameter optimization. J. Heuristics 15, 617–644 (2009)

    MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Glover, F.: Tabu search—part I. ORSA J. Comput. 1(3), 190–206 (1989)

    MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Gonçalves, J.F., Resende, M.G.C.: An evolutionary algorithm for manufacturing cell formation. Comput. Ind. Eng. 47, 247–273 (2004)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Ham, I., Hitomi, K., Yoshida, T.: Group Technology. Kluwer-Nijhoff Publishing, Boston (1985)

    Book  Google Scholar 

  17. Kusiak, A.: The generalized group technology concept. Int. J. Prod. Res. 24(4), 561–569 (1987)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Laguna, M., González-Velarde, J.L.: A search heuristic for Just-in-time Scheduling in parallel machines. J. Intell. Manuf. 2, 253–260 (1991)

    Google Scholar 

  19. Lim, A., Wang, F.: A smoothed dynamic tabu search embedded GRASP for m-VRPTW. In: Proceedings of ICTAI, pp. 704–708 (2004)

  20. Lozano, M., García-Martínez, C.: Hybrid metaheuristics with evolutionary algorithms specializing in intensification and diversification: overview and progress report. Comput. Oper. Res. 37(3), 481–497 (2010)

    MathSciNet  MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Mitrofanov, S.P.: Group Technology in Industry, vol. 1–2. Mashinostroienie, Leningrad (1933)

  22. Muruganandam, A., Prabhaharan, G., Asokan, P., Baskaran, V.: A memetic algorithm approach to the cell formation problem. Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 25, 988–997 (2005)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Resende, M.G., Gonzalez, J.L.: GRASP: procedimientos de busqueda miopes aleatorizados y adaptativos. Inteligencia Artificial, Revista Iberoamericana de Inteligencia Artificial 19, 61–76 (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  24. Prais, M., Ribeiro, C.: Reactive GRASP: an application to a matrix decomposition in TDMA traffic assignment. INFORMS J. Comput. 12(3), 164–176 (2000)

    MathSciNet  MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Sofianopoulou, S.: Application of simulated annealing to a linear model for the formulation of machine cells in group technology. Int. J. Prod. Res. 35(2), 501–511 (1997)

    MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Sorensen, M.M.: A polyhedral approach to graph partitioning. Ph. D. Thesis, The Aarus School of Business (1995)

  27. Spiliopoulos, K., Sofianopoulou, S.: Designing manufacturing cells: a staged approach and a tabu search algorithm. Int. J. Prod. Res. 41(11), 2531–2546 (2003)

    MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Spiliopoulos, K., Sofianopoulou, S.: An efficient ant colony optimization system for the manufacturing cells formation problem. Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 36, 589–597 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Talbi, E.G.: A taxonomy of hybrid metaheuristics. J. Heuristics 8(5), 541–565 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Vaughn, A., Fernandes, P., Shields, T.: Manufacturing Systems Design Framework Manual. Masachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (2002)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to J. A. Díaz.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Díaz, J.A., Luna, D.E. & Zetina, C.A. A hybrid algorithm for the manufacturing cell formation problem. J Heuristics 19, 77–96 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10732-013-9216-z

Download citation


  • Manufacturing cell formation problem
  • Tabu Search