Iterated Greedy Algorithms for Flow-Shop Scheduling Problems: A Tutorial

Zi Yan Zhao, Meng Chu Zhou, Shi Xin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


An iterated greedy algorithm (IGA) is a simple and powerful heuristic algorithm. It is widely used to solve flow-shop scheduling problems (FSPs), an important branch of production scheduling problems. IGA was first developed to solve an FSP in 2007. Since then, various FSPs have been tackled by using IGA-based methods, including basic IGA, its variants, and hybrid algorithms with IGA integrated. Up until now, over 100 articles related to this field have been published. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no existing tutorial or review paper of IGA. Thus, we focus on FSPs and provide a tutorial and comprehensive literature review of IGA-based methods. First, we introduce a framework of basic IGA and give an example to clearly show its procedure. To help researchers and engineers learn and apply IGA to their FSPs, we provide an open platform to collect and share related materials. Then, we make classifications of the solved FSPs according to their scheduling scenarios, objective functions, and constraints. Next, we classify and introduce the specific methods and strategies used in each phase of IGA for FSPs. Besides, we summarize IGA variants and hybrid algorithms with IGA integrated, respectively. Finally, we discuss the current IGA-based methods and already-solved FSP instances, as well as some important future research directions according to their deficiency and open issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Flow-shop scheduling problem (FSP)
  • Greedy algorithms
  • Heuristic algorithms
  • Job shop scheduling
  • Linear programming
  • Optimization
  • Search methods
  • Tutorials
  • heuristic algorithm
  • iterated greedy algorithm (IGA)
  • review
  • tutorial.


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