In operations research, the makespan of a project is the distance in time that elapses from the start of work to the end. This type of multi-mode resource constrained project scheduling problem (MRCPSP) seeks to create the shortest logical project schedule, by efficiently using project resources, adding the lowest number of additional resources as possible to achieve the minimum makespan. The term commonly appears in the context of scheduling. There is a complex project that is composed of several sub-tasks. We would like to assign tasks to workers, such that the project finishes in the shortest possible time.
As an example, suppose the "project" is to feed the goats. There are three goats to feed, one child can only feed one goat at a time, and there are two children that can feed them: Shmuel feeds each goat in 10 minutes and Shifra feeds each goat in 12 minutes. Several schedules are possible:
So in this case, the second schedule attains the shortest makespan, which is 20.
A solution procedure for preemptive multi-mode project scheduling problem with mode changeability to resumption, Afshar-Nadjafi, B, in Applied Computing and Informatics (2014)
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