Journal of Scheduling

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 263–273 | Cite as

Minimizing the expected makespan of a project with stochastic activity durations under resource constraints

  • Stefan CreemersEmail author


The resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP) has been widely studied. A fundamental assumption of the basic type of RCPSP is that activity durations are deterministic (i.e., they are known in advance). In reality, however, this is almost never the case. In this article, we illustrate why it is important to incorporate activity duration uncertainty, and develop an exact procedure to optimally solve the stochastic resource-constrained scheduling problem. A computational experiment shows that our approach works best when solving small- to medium-sized problem instances where activity durations have a moderate-to-high level of variability. For this setting, our model outperforms the existing state-of-the-art. In addition, we use our model to assess the optimality gap of existing heuristic approaches, and investigate the impact of making scheduling decisions also during the execution of an activity rather than only at the end of an activity.


Project scheduling Resource constraints Makespan  Stochastic activity durations Dynamic programming Computational experiment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IESEG School of ManagementLilleFrance
  2. 2.Faculty of Economics and Business, Research Center for Operations ManagementKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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