Using Aggregation to Reduce Response Time Variability in Cyclic Fair Sequences
Herrmann, Jeffrey W.
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Fair sequences are useful in a variety of manufacturing and computer systems. This paper considers the generation of cyclic fair sequences for a given set of products, each of which must be produced multiple times in each cycle. The objective is to create a sequence so that, for each product, the variability of the time between consecutive completions is minimized. Because minimizing response time variability is known to be NP-hard and the performance of existing heuristics is poor for certain classes of problems, we present an aggregation approach that combines products with the same demand into groups, creates a sequence for those groups, and then disaggregates the sequence into a sequence for each product. Computational experiments show that using aggregation can reduce response time variability dramatically.