Job scheduling optimiser user case




Has the Anaplan optimiser been succesfully used for a job scheduling problem?


Objective is to minimise the time taken to complete a set of jobs.


Constraints are:

1) We have a list of resources who can each supply a maximum amount of time per time period.

i.e. Time spent by resource A in period X <= Time available for resource A in period X


2) We have a list of jobs to be completed. Each job requires a fixed level of time from each resource to complete.

i.e. Total time required for job by resource A >= Total time spent on job by resource A across all time periods.


3) Some jobs cannot be started until other jobs have completed. 

i.e. If task 2 is dependent on task 1 completing.

Time Spent on task 2 in period X =0, if time spent on task 1 >0 in any period >X.


Objective is easy to approximate using linear contraints (peanalising future periods very heavily).

Constraint 1 & 2 are easy to deal with using linear constraints.

While contraint 3 can easily also be modelled in Anaplan, I'm not sure how to model it without using logic which is clearly non-linear and thus not compatible with optimiser.


If anyone has come across this before, please advise as to whether this is possible?







  • samaplan



    Optimizer can be configured to have dependent variables constrained by the value of another value in the preceding time period.


    I suggest that you separate a given time block into a dynamic time series consisting of hours, blocks, etc. For example, if there are 4 time blocks per day, the variables can be set up like so:


    Variable 1: Task 1 Scheduled? (1 = True, 0 = False), dimensionalized by Time Block

    Variable 2: Task 2 Scheduled? (1 = True, 0 = False) dimensionalized by Time Block


    List: Time Block with a Previous Property

    Block 1 (Previous: BLANK)

    Block 2 (Previous: Block 1)

    Block 3 (Previous: Block 2)

    Block 4 (Previous: Block 3)


    Constraint 1: Task 1 <=1

    Constraint 2: Task 2 <=Task 1[LOOKUP: Previous Time Block]


    This will constrain Task 2 so that it can only be scheduled if Task 1 was performed in the previous block. We have some example of this logic in action with a workforce scheduling optimizer where shifts must be contiguous.



  • Hi Sam,


    Thank you for your advise.

    Two issues I'm still not sure how to cope with;


    1) A task may take multiple periods to complete. We need to define when it has completed rather than just scheduled.

    It maybe that task 1 completes more than one time period before it is optimal to start task 2.

    Thus we cannot just look up the prior time block?


    2) I think introducing the additional variables below and linking them to the time the resources spend on the task will make the resource constraint non-linear.


    i.e. (Time spent on task 1 by resource A)*(Task 1 Scheduled?)<= Time available for resource A.

    Is of form Variable*Variable<= Constant and thus non-linear.

  • Hello for your 3rd constraint, could you try creating a variable wich is beggining of job 

    You will also create a properties which is ending  of dependant job

    for this property, you will add a formula which says that it is equal to the variable beggining of job + time to achieve the job

    then in your constraint module, you write beggining of job- the properties >= 0

    If you want i can try to do it with you tomorrow, because i don't know if the idea i shared is very clear