October  2009, 5(4): 749-765. doi: 10.3934/jimo.2009.5.749

The hot-rolling batch scheduling method based on the prize collecting vehicle routing problem


School of Information Management and Engineering, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai 200433, China


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rutgers University, NJ 08854, United States


School of Computer Science, Key Laboratory of Intelligent Information Processing, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China


Center for Applied Optimization, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, United States

Received  August 2008 Revised  July 2009 Published  August 2009

This paper studies a hot-rolling batch scheduling problem, which is a challenging problem commonly arising in the iron-steel industry. This problem deals with forming steel strips into rolling units and determining the rolling sequences while minimizing changes in characteristics (e.g., width, thickness and rigidity) of all neighbor steel strips and maximizing the machine utilization. Based on technical rules used in iron-steel production practice, we formulate this problem as a prize collecting vehicle routing problem, which is a hard combinatorial multi-objective optimization problem. We develop a new heuristic approach to solve this problem by enhancing the framework of particle swarm optimization (PSO). The key features of our approach are the utilization of number mapping function, which allows the PSO algorithm to deal with discrete problems, and the employment of tabu search at the end of every PSO iteration. We investigate and measure the performance of the proposed approach using three real life datasets obtained from a well-known iron-steel production company in China. The results suggest that our approach is very efficient and effective in providing high-quality and practical solutions, and our approach outperforms traditional PSO and tabu search algorithms based on these datasets.
Citation: Tao Zhang, W. Art Chaovalitwongse, Yue-Jie Zhang, P. M. Pardalos. The hot-rolling batch scheduling method based on the prize collecting vehicle routing problem. Journal of Industrial & Management Optimization, 2009, 5 (4) : 749-765. doi: 10.3934/jimo.2009.5.749

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