Optimal Resource Leveling Using Integer-Linear Programming

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by Ketan A. Shah, North Carolina State Univ, Raleigh, United States,
Foad Farid, North Carolina State Univ, Raleigh, United States,
John W. Baugh, Jr., North Carolina State Univ, Raleigh, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computing in Civil and Building Engineering

Abstract: The project manager strives to schedule various project tasks as efficiently as possible. But, resources available to the project manager are limited. A problem arises when a schedule indicates that more than one activity requires the same resources at the same time. The project manager's task then is to find the best way to allocate the available resources among these competing activities. Resource leveling is used in construction to minimize fluctuations of resource demands without delaying the project. Heuristics provide acceptable solutions in most cases; but, as resources become more scarce and the competition stronger, optimal solutions will be increasingly sought by project managers. A Scheme language program interfaces with LINDO and S-plot to find the minimum resource limit required to finish a project within its normal duration. Activity labels, names, durations, immediate predecessors, and resource requirements comprise the input data. The program generates an initial CPM schedule followed by a near-optimal schedule. Bar charts and resource histograms are generated upon request. A sample project is schedule to illustrate the capabilities and limitations of the program.

Subject Headings: Scheduling | Project management | Computer programming | Managers | Resource management | Leveling | Professional societies |

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