Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Systems Modeling and Analysis

First Advisor

J Paul Brooks


Spatial resource allocation is an important consideration in shipbuilding and large-scale manufacturing industries. Spatial scheduling problems (SSP) involve the non-overlapping arrangement of jobs within a limited physical workspace such that some scheduling objective is optimized. Since jobs are heavy and occupy large areas, they cannot be moved once set up, requiring that the same contiguous units of space be assigned throughout the duration of their processing time. This adds an additional level of complexity to the general scheduling problem, due to which solving large instances of the problem becomes computationally intractable. The aim of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between the spatial and temporal components of the problem. We exploit these acquired insights on problem characteristics to aid in devising solution procedures that perform well in practice. Much of the literature on SSP focuses on the objective of minimizing the makespan of the schedule. We concentrate our efforts towards the minimum sum of completion times objective and state several interesting results encountered in the pursuit of developing fast and reliable solution methods for this problem. Specifically, we develop mixed-integer programming models that identify groups of jobs (batches) that can be scheduled simultaneously. We identify scenarios where batching is useful and ones where batching jobs provides a solution with a worse objective function value. We present computational analysis on large instances and prove an approximation factor on the performance of this method, under certain conditions. We also provide greedy and list-scheduling heuristics for the problem and compare their objectives with the optimal solution. Based on the instances we tested for both batching and list-scheduling approaches, our assessment is that scheduling jobs similar in processing times within the same space yields good solutions. If processing times are sufficiently different, then grouping jobs together, although seemingly makes a more effective use of the space, does not necessarily result in a lower sum of completion times.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014