New resource-constrained project scheduling instances for testing (meta-)heuristic scheduling algorithms
Publication typeJournal article with impact factor
JournalComputers & Operations Research
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP) is a well-known scheduling problem that has attracted attention since several decades. Despite the rapid progress of exact and (meta-)heuristic procedures, the problem can still not be solved to optimality for many problem instances of relatively small size. Due to the known complexity, many researchers have proposed fast and efficient meta-heuristic solution procedures that can solve the problem to near optimality. Despite the excellent results obtained in the last decades, little is known why some heuristics perform better than others. However, if researchers better understood why some meta-heuristic procedures generate good solutions for some project instances while still falling short for others, this could lead to insights to improve these meta-heuristics, ultimately leading to stronger algorithms and better overall solution quality. In this study, a new hardness indicator is proposed to measure the difficulty of providing near-optimal solutions for meta-heuristic procedures. The new indicator is based on a new concept that uses the distance metric to describe the solution space of the problem instance, and relies on current knowledge for lower and upper bound calculations for problem instances from five known datasets in the literature. This new indicator, which will be called the indicator, will be used not only to measure the hardness of existing project datasets, but also to generate a new benchmark dataset that can be used for future research purposes. The new dataset contains project instances with different values for the indicator, and it will be shown that the value of the distance metric actually describes the difficulty of the project instances through two fast and efficient meta-heuristic procedures from the literature.
Knowledge Domain/IndustryOperations & Supply Chain Management