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Choosing solution strategies for scheduling automated guided vehicles in production using machine learning

  • Artificial intelligence is considered to be a significant technology for driving the future evolution of smart manufacturing environments. At the same time, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) play an essential role in manufacturing systems due to their potential to improve internal logistics by increasing production flexibility. Thereby, the productivity of the entire system relies on the quality of the schedule, which can achieve production cost savings by minimizing delays and the total makespan. However, traditional scheduling algorithms often have difficulties in adapting to changing environment conditions, and the performance of a selected algorithm depends on the individual scheduling problem. Therefore, this paper aimed to analyze the scheduling problem classes of AGVs by applying design science research to develop an algorithm selection approach. The designed artifact addressed a catalogue of characteristics that used several machine learning algorithms to find the optimal solution strategy for the intended scheduling problem. The contribution of this paper is the creation of an algorithm selection method that automatically selects a scheduling algorithm, depending on the problem class and the algorithm space. In this way, production efficiency can be increased by dynamically adapting the AGV schedules. A computational study with benchmark literature instances unveiled the successful implementation of constraint programming solvers for solving JSSP and FJSSP scheduling problems and machine learning algorithms for predicting the most promising solver. The performance of the solvers strongly depended on the given problem class and the problem instance. Consequently, the overall production performance increased by selecting the algorithms per instance. A field experiment in the learning factory at Reutlingen University enabled the validation of the approach within a running production scenario.

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Author of HS ReutlingenBitsch, Günter; Schweitzer, Felicia
Erschienen in:Applied sciences
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Year of Publication:2023
Tag:AGV scheduling; algorithm selection; constraint programming; machine learning; optimization
Page Number:20
Article Number:806
DDC classes:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften
Open Access?:Ja
Licence (German):License Logo  Creative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International