A new hybrid ant colony algorithm for scheduling of no-wait flowshop

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Riahi, Vahid
Kazemi, Morteza
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In this paper, the no-wait flow shop scheduling problem under makespan and flowtime criteria is addressed. The no-wait flowshop is a variant of the well-known flowshop scheduling problem where all processes follow the previous one without any interruption for operations of a job. Owing to the problem is known to be NP-hard for more than two machines, a hybrid meta-heuristic algorithm based on ant colony optimization (ACO) and simulated annealing (SA) algorithm is improved. First, at each step, due to the characteristic of ACO algorithm that include solution construction and pheromone trail updating, some different areas of search space are checked and best solution is selected. Then, to enhance the quality and diversity of the solution and finding best neighbor of this solution, a novel SA is presented. Moreover, a new principle is applied for global pheromone update based on the probability function like SA algorithm. The proposed approach solution is compared with several the state-of-the-art algorithms in the literature. The reported results show that the proposed algorithms are effective and the new approach for local search in ACO algorithm is efficient for solving the no-wait flow shop problem. Then, we employed another hybrid ACO algorithm based on hybridization of ACO with variable neighborhood search (VNS) and compare the results given by two proposed algorithms. These results show that our new hybrid provides better results than ACO-VNS algorithm.

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Operational Research

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© 2016 Inderscience Publishers. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.

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