A Multi-Objective Scheduling Algorithm for Multi-Mode Resource Constrained Projects in the Presence of Uncertain Resource Availability
Goal: The issue of resource allocation is a major concern for project engineers in the scheduling process of a project. Resources over-allocation are often seen in practice after the scheduling of a project, which makes scheduling unhelpful. Modifying an over-allocated schedule is very complicated and requires a lot of effort and time. Besides, during the scheduling process of resource-constrained projects in the constructing companies, managers should concern more than one objective at the same time. This research aims to propose a new heuristic algorithm for minimizing project completion time, cost or maximizing quality of execution of activities simultaneously while multi-mode activities are taken into consideration.
Design / Methodology / Approach: In this research, a new heuristic method is proposed for solving multi-objective scheduling problem for multi-mode resource constrained project scheduling problems (MRCPSPs) where the aim is maximizing the net present value (NPV) of project, minimize completion time and maximize the quality of executing activities simultaneously and along with emerging the uncertainty of resources availability and activity durations. The proposed method is then coded by Matlab® 2016.
Results: The outcomes of solving small, medium and large scale case studies, the following results achieved: (i) the algorithm could solve all problems in different circumstances with no difficulties; (ii) the large scale problems (with 200 activities, 20 resources and 3 execution modes for each activity) could be solved in 4.43 seconds. (iii) in none of the studied cases over-allocation problem. The proposed method can be considered among the fastest scheduling algorithms found in the literature. In addition, it is found that makespan, NPV and quality have co-relation must be taken into consideration during the scheduling process.
Limitations of the investigation: The main limitations of this research is that it only covers resource constrained project scheduling. Moreover, risk factors associated with the objectives of this research have yet to be addressed in future research studies.
Practical implications: The performance of the algorithm is validated by using 24 series of dataset that are found in the literature. In order to verify its performance in real practice, it has been applied for a part of a construction project in Malaysia. The outcomes indicated that the algorithm scheduled the problem with 23 activities, 5 constrained resources and 2 execution modes in less than a second and with no over-allocations. The proposed multi-objective algorithm allows the project managers to consider NPV, completion time and quality of activities while scheduling a multi-mode project. In practice, this algorithm can provide a better atmosphere for managers while they aim to consider more than one objective during the scheduling process.
Originality / Value: The proposed algorithm is original and can be of great value for future studies and managers in preventing resource over-allocation during the scheduling of multi-objective multi-mode resource constraint project scheduling. Moreover, it can help project managers to find near optimum solutions for complex multi-objective resource constraint projects faster and also with more accuracy.
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