Industrial systems are constantly subject to random events with inevitable uncertainties in production factors, especially in processing times. Due to this stochastic nature, selecting appropriate dispatching rules has become a major issue in practical problems. However, previous research implies that using one dispatching rule does not necessarily yield an optimal schedule. Therefore, a new algorithm is proposed based on computer simulation and artificial neural networks (ANNs) to select the optimal dispatching rule for each machine from a set of rules in order to minimise the makespan in stochastic job shop scheduling problems (SJSSPs). The algorithm contributes to the previous work on job shop scheduling in three significant ways: (1) to the best of our knowledge it is the first time that an approach based on computer simulation and ANNs is proposed to select dispatching rules; (2) non-identical dispatching rules are considered for machines under stochastic environment; and (3) the algorithm is capable of finding the optimal solution of SJSSPs since it evaluates all possible solutions. The performance of the proposed algorithm is compared with computer simulation methods by replicating comprehensive simulation experiments. Extensive computational results for job shops with five and six machines indicate the superiority of the new algorithm compared to previous studies in the literature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering