Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Ghaith Rabadi

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

Shannon Bowling

Committee Member

Murat Ermis


The Aerial Refueling Scheduling Problem (ARSP) can be defined as determining the refueling completion times for fighter aircrafts (jobs) on multiple tankers (machines) to minimize the total weighted tardiness. ARSP can be modeled as a parallel machine scheduling with release times and due date-to-deadline window. ARSP assumes that the jobs have different release times, due dates, and due date-to-deadline windows between the refueling due date and a deadline to return without refueling. The Aerial Refueling Rescheduling Problem (ARRP), on the other hand, can be defined as updating the existing AR schedule after being disrupted by job related events including the arrival of new aircrafts, departure of an existing aircrafts, and changes in aircraft priorities. ARRP is formulated as a multiobjective optimization problem by minimizing the total weighted tardiness (schedule quality) and schedule instability. Both ARSP and ARRP are formulated as mixed integer programming models. The objective function in ARSP is a piecewise tardiness cost that takes into account due date-to-deadline windows and job priorities. Since ARSP is NP-hard, four approximate algorithms are proposed to obtain solutions in reasonable computational times, namely (1) apparent piecewise tardiness cost with release time rule (APTCR), (2) simulated annealing starting from random solution (SArandom ), (3) SA improving the initial solution constructed by APTCR (SAAPTCR), and (4) Metaheuristic for Randomized Priority Search (MetaRaPS). Additionally, five regeneration and partial repair algorithms (MetaRE, BestINSERT, SEPRE, LSHIFT, and SHUFFLE) were developed for ARRP to update instantly the current schedule at the disruption time. The proposed heuristic algorithms are tested in terms of solution quality and CPU time through computational experiments with randomly generated data to represent AR operations and disruptions. Effectiveness of the scheduling and rescheduling algorithms are compared to optimal solutions for problems with up to 12 jobs and to each other for larger problems with up to 60 jobs. The results show that, APTCR is more likely to outperform SArandom especially when the problem size increases, although it has significantly worse performance than SA in terms of deviation from optimal solution for small size problems. Moreover CPU time performance of APTCR is significantly better than SA in both cases. MetaRaPS is more likely to outperform SAAPTCR in terms of average error from optimal solutions for both small and large size problems. Results for small size problems show that MetaRaPS algorithm is more robust compared to SAAPTCR. However, CPU time performance of SA is significantly better than MetaRaPS in both cases. ARRP experiments were conducted with various values of objective weighting factor for extended analysis. In the job arrival case, MetaRE and BestINSERT have significantly performed better than SEPRE in terms of average relative error for small size problems. In the case of job priority disruption, there is no significant difference between MetaRE, BestINSERT, and SHUFFLE algorithms. MetaRE has significantly performed better than LSHIFT to repair job departure disruptions and significantly superior to the BestINSERT algorithm in terms of both relative error and computational time for large size problems.