A novel multi-objective particle swarm optimization algorithm for no-wait flow shop scheduling problems


The current paper presents a novel multi-objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO) algorithm for solving no-wait flow shop scheduling problems with makespan and maximum tardiness criteria. First, in the algorithm, particles are represented as job permutations and updated directly in the discrete domain. Second, the concept of Pareto dominance is applied to compare different solutions of multi-objective optimization, and a set is employed to hold and to update the obtained non-dominated solutions, where a randomly selected non-dominated solution is assigned as the global best particle to maintain the diversity of the searching direction and to speed up the convergence process to the Pareto front. Third, a new multi-objective heuristic, named the PWQ (Pan-Wang-Qian) heuristic, is proposed to produce a population of initial particles with relatively good performances. Fourth, a simple but effective multi-objective local search algorithm is developed to embed in the MOPSO algorithm for stressing the balance between global exploration and local exploitation. In addition, two speed-up methods are devised to evaluate a job permutation and its insert neighbourhood respectively. Computational simulation results based on the well-known benchmarks and statistical performance comparisons are provided. It is shown that the proposed algorithm is superior to a recently published multi-objective hybrid differential evolution (MHDE) algorithm in terms of searching quality, diversity level, robustness, and efficiency.