Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Ghaith Rabadi

Committee Member

Ali Ardalan

Committee Member

Shannon Bowling

Committee Member

Resit Unal


The majority of scheduling research deals with problems in specific production environments with specific objective functions. However, in many cases, more than one problem type and/or objective function exists, resulting in the need for a more generic and flexible system to generate schedules. Furthermore, most of the published scheduling research focuses on creating an optimal or near optimal initial schedule during the planning phase. However, after production processes start, circumstances like machine breakdowns, urgent jobs, and other unplanned events may render the schedule suboptimal, obsolete or even infeasible resulting in a "rescheduling" problem, which is typically also addressed for a specific production environment, constraints, and objective functions.

This dissertation introduces a generic framework consisting of models and algorithms based on Random Keys Genetic Algorithms (RKGA) to handle both the scheduling and rescheduling problems in the most common production environments and for various types of objective functions. The Scheduling system produces predictive (initial) schedules for environments including single machines, flow shops, job shops and parallel machine production systems to optimize regular objective functions such as the Makespan and the Total Tardiness as well as non-regular objective functions such as the Total Earliness and Tardiness.

To deal with the rescheduling problem, and using as a basis the same RKGA, a reactive Rescheduling system capable of repairing initial schedules after the occurrence of unexpected events is introduced. The reactive Rescheduling system was designed not only to optimize regular and non-regular objective functions but also to minimize the instability, a very important aspect in rescheduling to avoid shop chaos due to disruptions. Minimizing both schedule inefficiency and instability, however, turns the problem into a multi-objective optimization problem, which is even more difficult to solve.

The computational experiments for the predictive model show that it is able to produce optimal or near optimal schedules to benchmark problems for different production environments and objective functions. Additional computational experiments conducted to test the reactive Rescheduling system under two types of unexpected events, machine breakdowns and the arrival of a rush job, show that the proposed framework and algorithms are robust in handling various problem types and computationally reasonable.