Adaptive Problem-solving for Large-scale Scheduling Problems: A Case Study

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Although most scheduling problems are NP-hard, domain specific techniques perform well in practice but are quite expensive to construct. In adaptive problem-solving solving, domain specific knowledge is acquired automatically for a general problem solver with a flexible control architecture. In this approach, a learning system explores a space of possible heuristic methods for one well-suited to the eccentricities of the given domain and problem distribution. In this article, we discuss an application of the approach to scheduling satellite communications. Using problem distributions based on actual mission requirements, our approach identifies strategies that not only decrease the amount of CPU time required to produce schedules, but also increase the percentage of problems that are solvable within computational resource limitations.

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