Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop an effective and efficient approach to exploit meta‐heuristic in particle swarm optimization (PSO) for the job shop scheduling problem (JSP), a class of NP‐hard optimization problems. The approach is to be built on a PSO with multiple independent swarms. PSO was inspired by bird flocking and animal social behaviors. The particles operate collectively like a swarm that flies through the hyperdimensional space to search for possible optimal solutions. The behavior of the particles is influenced by their tendency to learn from their personal past experience and from the success of their peers to adjust their flying speed and direction. Research in fusing the multiple‐swarm concept into PSO is well‐established in solving single objective optimization problems and multimodal problems. Design/methodology/approach – This study examines the optimization of the JSP via a search space division scheme and use of the meta‐heuristic method of PSO by assigning each machine in a JSP an independent swarm of particles. The use of multiple swarms in PSO is motivated by the idea of “divide and conquer” to reduce the computational complexity incurred through solving a NP‐hard combinatorial optimization problem. The resulted design, JSP/PSO algorithm, fully exploits the computing power presented by the multiple‐swarm PSO. Findings – Simulation experiments show that the proposed JSP/PSO algorithm can effectively solve the JSP problems from small to median size. If certain mechanism of information sharing between swarms can be incorporated, it is believed that the new design could offer even more computing power to tackle the large‐sized problems. Originality/value – The proposed JSP/PSO algorithm is effective in solving JSPs. The proposed algorithm shows considerable promise when searching the space of non‐delay schedules. It demands relatively lower number of function evaluations compared to other state‐of‐the‐art. The drawback to the JSP/PSO is that the GT scheduling adopted is too computationally expensive. Future works will address this concern.
International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 27, 2009
Keywords: Job sequence loading; Production scheduling