Model and migrating birds optimization algorithm for two-sided assembly line worker assignment and balancing problem

2019-03-20T12:20:10Z (GMT) by MN Janardhanan Z Li P Nielsen
Worker assignment is a relatively new problem in assembly lines that typically is encountered in situations in which the workforce is heterogeneous. The optimal assignment of a heterogeneous workforce is known as the assembly line worker assignment and balancing problem (ALWABP). This problem is different from the well-known simple assembly line balancing problem concerning the task execution times, and it varies according to the assigned worker. Minimal work has been reported in worker assignment in two-sided assembly lines. This research studies worker assignment and line balancing in two-sided assembly lines with an objective of minimizing the cycle time (TALWABP). A mixed-integer programming model is developed, and CPLEX solver is used to solve the small-size problems. An improved migrating birds optimization algorithm is employed to deal with the large-size problems due to the NP-hard nature of the problem. The proposed algorithm utilizes a restart mechanism to avoid being trapped in the local optima. The solutions obtained using the proposed algorithms are compared with well-known metaheuristic algorithms such as artificial bee colony and simulated annealing. Comparative study and statistical analysis indicate that the proposed algorithm can achieve the optimal solutions for small-size problems, and it shows superior performance over benchmark algorithms for large-size problems.

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