An effective and efficient heuristic for no-wait flow shop production to minimize total completion time

Honghan Ye, Wei Li, Amin Abedini, Barrie Nault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


No-wait flow shop production has been widely applied in manufacturing. However, minimization of total completion time for no-wait flow shop production is NP-complete. Consequently, achieving good effectiveness and efficiency is a challenge in no-wait flow shop scheduling, where effectiveness means the deviation from optimal solutions and efficiency means the computational complexity or computation time. We propose a current and future idle time (CFI) constructive heuristic for no-wait flow shop scheduling to minimize total completion time. To improve effectiveness, we take current idle times and future idle times into consideration and use the insertion and neighborhood exchanging techniques. To improve efficiency, we introduce an objective increment method and determine the number of iterations to reduce the computation time. Compared with three recently developed heuristics, our CFI heuristic can achieve greater effectiveness in less computation time based on Taillard's benchmarks and 600 randomly generated instances. Moreover, using our CFI heuristic for operating room (OR) scheduling, we decrease the average patient flow times by 11.2% over historical ones in University of Kentucky Health Care (UKHC).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Industrial Engineering
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Computational complexity
  • Heuristics
  • No-wait flow shop
  • Total completion time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering


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