Solution-Guided Multi-Point Constructive Search for Job Shop Scheduling

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Solution-Guided Multi-Point Constructive Search (SGMPCS) is a novel constructive search technique that performs a series of resource-limited tree searches where each search begins either from an empty solution (as in randomized restart) or from a solution that has been encountered during the search. A small number of these "elite'' solutions is maintained during the search. We introduce the technique and perform three sets of experiments on the job shop scheduling problem. First, a systematic, fully crossed study of SGMPCS is carried out to evaluate the performance impact of various parameter settings. Second, we inquire into the diversity of the elite solution set, showing, contrary to expectations, that a less diverse set leads to stronger performance. Finally, we compare the best parameter setting of SGMPCS from the first two experiments to chronological backtracking, limited discrepancy search, randomized restart, and a sophisticated tabu search algorithm on a set of well-known benchmark problems. Results demonstrate that SGMPCS is significantly better than the other constructive techniques tested, though lags behind the tabu search.

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