On the design of online production scheduling algorithms

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17 Scopus citations


We discuss a systematic way to design online scheduling algorithms to achieve better closed-loop performance. Specifically, we address short-term scheduling, and focus on determining the horizon length and re-optimization time-step, and explore objective-function modifications and added constraints. First, we show that finding open-loop and closed-loop schedules are two different problems and that there is considerable potential to improve the closed-loop performance, but this task is non-trivial. Second, we outline and quantitatively define three key production system characteristics that are pertinent to the design of online scheduling algorithms: (i) production load; (ii) order-size max-mean relative difference; and (iii) time-constants. Third, we discuss how these affect the choice of the re-optimization time-step and the horizon length. Fourth, we evaluate the role of demand uncertainty and how it can be mitigated through better tuning of the above algorithmic parameters. Finally, we present a framework that summarizes the design procedure for online scheduling algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106517
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
StatePublished - Oct 4 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Chemical production scheduling
  • Closed-loop
  • Disturbances
  • Process uncertainty
  • Re-optimization


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