This textbook provides an introduction to the concepts, methods, and results of scheduling theory. It is written for graduate students and advanced undergraduates who are studying scheduling, as well as for practitioners who are interested in the knowledge base on which modern scheduling applications have been built.
Our coverage is substantial compared to other scheduling textbooks, but it is not encyclopedic. Our goal is to enable the reader to delve into the research literature (or in some cases, the consulting literature) with enough background to appreciate the contributions made by state-of-the-art papers. For the reader who wants a more comprehensive link to the research literature than our text provides, we offer a set of Research Notes at this website.
We view scheduling theory as practical theory, and we have made sure to emphasize the practical aspects of our topic coverage. Thus, we provide algorithms that implement some of the solution concepts, and we introduce spreadsheet models to calculate solutions to scheduling problems. Especially when tackling stochastic scheduling problems, we must balance realism with tractability. Thus, we stress heuristics and simulation-based approaches when optimization methods and analytic tools fall short. We also provide many examples in the text along with computational exercises among our end-of-chapter problems.