Proceedings First MultiDisciplinary International Conference on Scheduling: Theory and Applications (MISTA), Nottingham, UK, August 2003

Is Scheduling a Solved Problem?

Stephen F. Smith

The Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA


In recent years, scheduling research has had an increasing impact on practical problems, and a range of scheduling techniques have made their way into real-world application development. Constraint-based models now couple rich representational flexibility with highly scalable constraint management and search procedures. Similarly, mathematical programming tools are now capable of addressing problems of unprecedented scale, and meta-heuristics provide robust capabilities for schedule optimization. With these mounting successes and advances, it might be tempting to conclude that the chief technical hurdles underlying the scheduling problem have been overcome. However, such a conclusion (at best) presumes a rather narrow and specialized interpretation of scheduling, and (at worst) ignores much of the process and broader context of scheduling in most practical environments. In this note, I argue against this conclusion and outline several outstanding challenges for scheduling research.

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