Finance-based scheduling of activity networks

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Al-Ghazi, Anas A
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Saudi Digital Library
Contractors usually secure funds from banks by establishing credit-line accounts to finance all ongoing projects. Due to the nature of the common contracts with different clients, contractors often operate under cash-constrained conditions. Thus, contractors need to have operation planning that follows along with the project's financial planning. That is, to develop project schedules based on cash availability. Unfortunately, this integration between financing and scheduling tasks is rare in the literature and is missing in commercial scheduling software. Finance-based scheduling techniques integrate scheduling with financial planning by incorporating financing costs in scheduling activities under cash constraints. In this thesis, a modified cash flow model is incorporated in the mathematical formulation of the finance based scheduling problem. This problem is then formulated as an integer program. Due to the NP-hardness nature of the problem, the exact solution fails to reach the optimal result in a reasonable time for large sized problems. Thus, we have implemented three meta-heuristics to solve this problem. A representation scheme was proposed along with a repair algorithm that guarantees the feasibility of all solutions with respect to the precedence and financial constraints. In addition, the meta-heuristics were modified and applied to the multi projects finance-based scheduling problem. The application of this technique is illustrated by case studies solved using a program coded in Matlab. Finally, a study was made to compare the performance among the meta-heuristics based on a number of performance measures. We conclude this study by discussing the results obtained and propose some future research directions.