Mathematical programming formulations for machine scheduling: A survey

Jacek Blazewicz, Moshe Dror, Jan Weglarz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Machine scheduling was and still is a rich and promising field for research with applications in manufacturing, logistics, computer architecture, communications, etc. Combinatorial complexity theory has now classified the great majority of known machine scheduling problems as 'easy' or 'very hard'. However, in most cases, mathematical programming models have not accompanied the algorithmic developments for solving 'easy' scheduling problems, nor have they facilitates solutions for 'hard' problems. Nevertheless, the analysis of the mathematical programming models for some hard combinatorial problems together with their polyhedral properties has enabled important computational advances for such problems as the TSP. In order to assess the present status and the solution potential of mathematical programming formulations for machine scheduling, we have compiled a systematic, consistent survey of formulations. The discussion has been developed in tandem with the classification of a given problem's complexity, since 'solvability' (i.e., the status of a problem as P or NP-hard) generally cannot be easily assessed from the formulation itself. A number of excellent survey papers on machine scheduling have appeared over the years (see the reference list), but none of them has been focused on mathematical formulations. This survey is the first one that attempts to compile a large number of mathematical programming formulations for scheduling into a single paper to ease the task of model building and testing scheduling formulations. Both, a newcomer and experienced researcher can use it as a reference point. Ultimately, mathematical programming formulations for scheduling problems might be used as a stepping stone to computational advances for some hard problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-300
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 15 1991


  • Machine scheduling
  • additional resources
  • computational complexity
  • mathematical programming formulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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