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On Johnson’s two-machine flow shop with random processing times. (English) Zbl 0595.90044
Summary: A set of n jobs is to be processed by two machines in series that are separated by an infinite waiting room; each job requires a (known) fixed amount of processing from each machine. In a classic paper, Johnson gave a simple rule for ordering of the set of jobs to minimize the time until the system becomes empty, i.e., the makespan. This paper studies a stochastic generalization of this problem in which job processing times are independent random variables. Our main result is a sufficient condition on the processing time distributions that implies that the makespan becomes stochastically smaller when two adjacent jobs in a given job sequence are interchanged. We also give an extension of the main result to job shops.

MSC:
90B35Scheduling theory, deterministic