The balance of autonomous and centralized control in scheduling problems

Posted on 2018-07-09 - 05:00
Abstract The scheduling of processes in a network is a core logistic challenge with a multitude of applications in our complex industrialized world. Often, scheduling decisions are based on incomplete and unreliable information. Here, a simple rule of ’more information, better decisions’ may no longer hold and heuristics balancing global and local information, or centralized and autonomous control, may yield better performance. So far, only anecdotal evidence for the potential benefit of autonomous control in scheduling exists. Here, we explore this hypothesis within a minimal model derived from scheduling principles and the phenomenology of dynamical processes on graphs. In this model, centralized and autonomous control can be represented and quantitatively assessed, performance is well defined and problem complexity can be varied. Our model shows that a balance of centralized and autonomous control can enhance the performance in networks of decision-making entities. The mechanistic insight gained from the model also reveals the limitations of hybrid control setups: We find that communication at a high hierarchy level can give an advantage to centralized control. Counter-intuitively, it arises not from a higher degree of coordination and quicker convergence towards a common solution, but rather from an accelerated sampling of candidate choices leading to a measurable increase in information flow from higher to lower hierarchical levels. Our study allows us to formulate a new view of autonomous control in industrial production and derive a set of suggestions with the potential to enhance performance under realistic conditions of scheduling heuristics of jobs in a production process.


3 Biotech
3D Printing in Medicine
3D Research
3D-Printed Materials and Systems
AAPG Bulletin
AAPS PharmSciTech
Abhandlungen aus dem Mathematischen Seminar der Universität Hamburg
ABI Technik (German)
Academic Medicine
Academic Pediatrics
Academic Psychiatry
Academic Questions
Academy of Management Discoveries
Academy of Management Journal
Academy of Management Learning and Education
Academy of Management Perspectives
Academy of Management Proceedings
Academy of Management Review
Select your citation style and then place your mouse over the citation text to select it.


need help?