Comparing scheduling rules for flexible flow lines

Mary E. Kurz, Ronald Askin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


This paper explores scheduling flexible flow lines with sequence-dependent setup times. Three major types of heuristics are explored. Insertion heuristics (based on insertion heuristics for the traveling salesman problem) attempt to simultaneously equalize workload on all processors at a stage, and minimize total or single-stage flowtimes. Johnson's algorithm for two-stage flow shops and its heuristic extensions to m-machine flow shops are modified for parallel processors and the flexible flow-line environment. A set of naïve greedy heuristics is investigated for comparison purposes. The performance of the heuristics is compared on a set of test problems. Results indicate the range of conditions under which each method performs well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-388
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 11 2003


  • Flexible flow lines
  • Heuristics
  • Makespan
  • Scheduling
  • Sequence-dependent setup times

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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