Batch scheduling with a rate-modifying maintenance activity to minimize total flowtime

Baruch Mor*, Gur Mosheiov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We study a single machine batch scheduling problem with unit time jobs and an optional maintenance activity. The maintenance activity is assumed to be rate modifying, i.e. the processing times of the jobs processed after the maintenance are reduced. The objective function is minimum total flowtime. We focus first on the relaxed version of the problem, where batch sizes are not forced to be integers. For a given number of jobs, setup time, duration of the maintenance activity, and a rate-modifying factor, we show that the optimal solution has a unique property: the batch sizes of the jobs scheduled prior to the maintenance, and after it, form two decreasing arithmetic sequences. Based on this property, we introduce an optimal algorithm which is polynomial in the number of jobs. We propose a simple rounding procedure that guarantees an integer solution. Our numerical tests indicate that this procedure leads to very close-to-optimal schedules.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The second author is the Charles Rosen Professor of Management, The School of Business Administration, The Hebrew University. This paper was supported in part by the Recanati Fund of the School of Business Administration, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.


  • Batch scheduling
  • Flowtime
  • Rate-modifying maintenance activity
  • Setup time
  • Single machine


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