In the job shop scheduling problem we desire to minimize the makespan where a set of machines perform technologically ordered operations unique to each member of a set of jobs. Each operation has a fixed time duration, no machine can perform more than one operation at a time, and preemption is not allowed. In this paper, an effective tabu search approach to the job shop scheduling problem is presented. The procedure starts from the best solution rendered by a set of 14 heuristic dispatching solutions. It then makes use of the classical disjunctive network representation of the problem and iteratively moves to another feasible solution by reversing the order of two adjacent critical path operations performed by the same machine. The concepts of historical generators and search restart are used in conjunction with a contiguous spectrum of short term memory values to enhance the overall exploration strategy. Computational results are presented and areas for future investigation are suggested.
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