Intelligent Use of Constraints for Activity Scheduling.
CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB (ARMY) CHAMPAIGN IL
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The primary goal of this research-effort was to develop a domain independent activity scheduling algorithm that would be able to handle ad-hoc constraints. The activity scheduling problem is one of assigning tasks activities to objects jobs while adhering to time and resource constraints. Operations researchers originally had approached the problem using mathematical programming techniques. This approach, however, is poor at solving real world problems. Real World problems tend to be very large and are often too complex to represent numerically. An algorithm is presented that is based on an heuristic search paradigm. It uses symbolic constraints to assist the search process. Functionally, the task is similar to that of linear programming. The scheduling problem is represented as a group of variables. Each variable has a corresponding set of possible values, called a value set. The aim is to assign each variable a value from its value set while adhering to the imposed constraints. The difference is that symbols rather than just numbers are dealt with. In so doing, the constraints are able to capture the nuances of complex domains.
- Operations Research