Journal of the operational research society vol:53 issue:7 pages:741-751
The discrete time/cost trade-off problem assumes the duration of project activities to be discrete, non-increasing functions of the amount of a single non-renewable resource. The problem has been studied under three possible objectives. The so-called deadline problem involves the scheduling of project activities in order to minimize the total cost of the project while meeting a given deadline. The budget problem aims at minimizing the project duration without exceeding a given budget. A third objective involves the generation of the complete efficient time/cost profile over the set of feasible project durations. In this paper we describe a solution procedure for the deadline problem in which three special cases of time-switch constraints are involved. These constraints impose a specified starting time on the project activities and force them to be inactive during specified time periods. We propose a branch-and-bound algorithm and a heuristic procedure which both make use of a lower bound calculation for the discrete time/cost trade-off problem (without time-switch constraints). The procedures have been coded in Visual C++, version 6.0 under Windows 2000 and have been validated on a randomly generated problem set. We also discuss an illustrative example based on a real-life situation.