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Scheduling a batch processing machine with incompatible job families

Azizoğlu, Meral
Webster, S
The problem of scheduling batch processors is important in some industries and, at a more fundamental level, captures an element of complexity common to many practical scheduling problems. We describe a branch and bound procedure applicable to a batch processor model with incompatible job families. Jobs in a given family have identical job processing times, arbitrary job weights, and arbitrary job sizes. Batches are limited to jobs from the same family. The scheduling objective is to minimize total weighted completion time. We find that the procedure returns optimal solutions to problems of up to about 25 jobs in reasonable CPU time, and can be adapted for use as a heuristic for larger problems.