Maximizing the Net Present Value of a Project Under Resource Constraints Using a Lagrangian Relaxation Based Heuristic with Tight Upper Bounds.

In: Annals of Operations Research, Jg. 102 (2001) ; 1/4, S. 221 - 236
ISSN: 0254-5330
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Mercator School of Management - Fakultät für Betriebswirtschaftslehre
Resource-constrained project scheduling under a net present value objective attracts growing interest. Because this is an NP-hard problem, it is unlikely that optimum solutions can be computed for large instances within reasonable computation time. Thus, heuristics have become a popular research field. Up to now, however, upper bounds are not well researched. Therefore, most researchers evaluate their heuristics on the basis of a best known lower bound, but it is unclear how good the performance really is. With this contribution we close this gap and derive tight upper bounds on the basis of a Lagrangian relaxation of the resource constraints. We also use this approach as a basis for a heuristic and show that our heuristic as well as the cash flow weight heuristic proposed by Baroum and Patterson yield solutions very close to the optimum result. Furthermore, we discuss the proper choice of a test-bed and emphasize that discount rates must be carefully chosen to give realistic instances.