PEGS (Production and Environmental Generic Scheduler) is a generic production scheduler that produces good schedules over a wide range of problems. It is centralised, using search strategies with the Shifting Bottleneck algorithm. We have also developed an alternative distributed approach using software agents. In some cases this reduces run times by a factor of 10 or more. In most cases, the agent-based program also produces good solutions for published benchmark data, and the short run times make our program useful for a large range of problems. Test results show that the agents can produce schedules comparable to the best found so far for some benchmark datasets and actually better schedules than PEGS on our own random datasets. The flexibility that agents can provide for today's dynamic scheduling is also appealing. We suggest that in this sort of generic or commercial system, the agent-based approach is a good alternative.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
- Artificial Intelligence