Minimization of Exceptional Elements and Voids in the Cell Formation Problem Using a Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm


Cell formation problem is the main issue in designing cellular manufacturing systems. The most important objective in the cell formation problem is to minimize the number of exceptional elements which helps to reduce the number of intercellular movements. Another important but rarely used objective function is to minimize the number of voids inside of the machine cells. This objective function is considered in order to increase the utilization of the machines. We present a bi-objective mathematical model to simultaneously minimize the number of exceptional elements and the number of voids in the part machine incidence matrix. An epsilon-constraint method is then applied to solve the model and to generate the efficient solutions. Because of the NP-hardness of the model, the optimal algorithms can not be used in large-scale problems and therefore, we have also developed a bi-objective genetic algorithm. Some numerical examples are considered to illustrate the performance of the model and the effectiveness of the solution algorithms. The results demonstrate that in comparison with the epsilon-constraint method, the proposed genetic algorithm can obtain efficient solution in a reasonable run time.