Time representations and mathematical models for process scheduling problems
During the last 15 years, many mathematical models have been developed in order to solve process operation scheduling problems, using discrete or continuous-time representations. In this paper, we present a unified representation and modeling approach for process scheduling problems. Four different time representations are presented with corresponding strengthened formulations that rely on exploiting the non-overlapping graph structure of these problems through maximum cliques and bicliques. These formulations are compared, and applied to single-stage and multi-stage batch scheduling problems, as well as crude-oil operations scheduling problems. We introduce three solution methods that can be used to achieve global optimality or obtain near-optimal solutions depending on the stopping criterion used. Computational results show that the multi-operation sequencing time representation is superior to the others as it allows efficient symmetry-breaking and requires fewer priority-slots, thus leading to smaller model sizes.