Evolving Neural Networks to Solve a Two-Stage Hybrid Flow Shop Scheduling Problem with Family Setup Times
We present a novel strategy to solve a two-stage hybrid flow shop scheduling problem with family setup times. The problem is derived from an industrial case. Our strategy involves the application of NeuroEvolution of Augmenting Topologies - a genetic algorithm, which generates arbitrary neural networks being able to estimate job sequences. The algorithm is coupled with a discrete-event simulation model, which evaluates different network configurations and provides training signals. We compare the performance and computational efficiency of the proposed concept with other solution approaches. Our investigations indicate that NeuroEvolution of Augmenting Topologies can possibly compete with state-of-the-art approaches in terms of solution quality and outperform them in terms of computational efficiency.