Solving a job selection and assignment problem in the legislative control of electrical installations

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Solving a job selection and assignment problem in the legislative control of electrical installations

 

Author: Lo, Kin-hung
Title: Solving a job selection and assignment problem in the legislative control of electrical installations
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1999
Subject: Production scheduling -- Mathematical models
Search theory
Heuristic programming
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Computing
Pages: iv, 88 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1460528
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/311
Abstract: In Hong Kong, there are about 60,000 electrical installations subject to the periodic test requirements under the Electricity Ordinance enforced by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD). In order to ensure that the periodic tests of these electrical installations are conducted properly, the test certificates shall be submitted to EMSD for endorsement. Site verification of the periodic tests is a significant part of the endorsement process. However, due to limited resources, only part of the periodic tests would be selected for site verification. The verification job selection process must be effective in maintaining public safety, be fair and lead to efficient use of EMSD resources. The dissertation is to develop the prototype of a computerized system to solve the job selection and assignment problem. The existing problem was studied in details and a number of conflicting constraints were identified. The problem is a Multiple Criteria Decision-Making one. On average, 30 jobs would be selected out of 290 jobs, hence the solution space is 290C30 (i.e. 5.75 x 1040!). This renders exhaustive search for the optimal solution impossible. The tabu search, which is an extended neighborhood search technique, was used to develop the job selection engine. The assignment of the 30 selected jobs to EMSD inspectors would also be handled by tabu search for better efficiency. In view of the limited time, only the constraints due to installation types, contractors, due dates and locations would be considered. The developed prototype consists of a Job Selection Module that handles the first three constraints and a Job Assignment Module that handles the last constraints. The prototype was developed using Visual BASIC, Windows 95 and a PC. After program coding, various sets of test data and life data were used to conduct parametric studies and to verify the program correctness. The solutions generated by the prototype were compared with those generated randomly. The prototype was proved to be much more effective than the existing system, which was based on random generation technique. Even though the prototype could handle the problem successfully, the inherent randomness of tabu search would be a system limitation to the prototype. Hence, repeated running of the system at least three times for a set of data is recommended as a guideline in actual operation. Moreover, a more sophisticated system - interconnected PCs is suggested as the future enhancement of the prototype amongst other recommendations.

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