Continuous-time models for short-term scheduling of multipurpose batch plants: A comparative study

Munawar A. Shaik, Stacy L. Janak, Christodoulos A. Floudas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


During the last two decades, the problem of short-term scheduling of multiproduct and multipurpose batch plants has gained increasing attention in the academic, research, and manufacturing communities, predominantly because of the challenges and the high economic incentives. In the last 10 years, numerous formulations have been proposed in the literature based on continuous representations of time. The continuous-time formulations have proliferated because of their established advantages over discrete-time representations and in the quest to reduce the integrality gap and the resulting computational complexities. The various continuous-time models can be broadly classified into three distinct categories: slot-based, global event-based, and unit-specific event-based formulations. In this paper, we compare and evaluate the performance of six such models, based on our implementations using several benchmark example problems from the literature. Two different objective functions, maximization of profit and minimization of makespan, are considered, and the models are assessed with respect to different metrics such as the problem size (in terms of the number of binary variables, continuous variables, and constraints), computational times (on the same computer), and number of nodes needed to reach zero integrality gap. Two additional computational studies with resource constraints such as utility requirements are also considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6190-6209
Number of pages20
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Aug 30 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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