Learning-Based Cuckoo Search Algorithm to Schedule a Flexible Job Shop With Sequencing Flexibility

Cheng Ran Lin, Zheng Cai Cao, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This work considers an extended version of flexible job-shop problem from a postprinting or semiconductor manufacturing environment, which needs a directed acyclic graph rather than a linear order to describe the precedences among operations. To obtain its reliable and high-quality schedule in a reasonable time, a learning-based cuckoo search (LCS) algorithm is presented. In it, cuckoo search is selected as an optimizer. To produce promising solutions in a high-dimensional solution space, a sparse autoencoder is introduced to compress a high-dimensional solution into an informative low-dimensional one. It extends the application area of autoencoder-embedded evolutionary optimization methods into combinational optimization by developing an improved one-hot encoding method. Then, in order to reveal the linkages among decision variables and enhance the explore ability of the proposed method, a factorization machine (FM) is used, for the first time, to capture the relevant and complementary features of population. Hence, a parallel framework involving three co-evolved subpopulations is constructed. The first one is an autoencoder embedded subpopulation, the second one is assisted by an FM, and the last one undergoes a regular iteration process. To balance the exploration and exploitation of the proposed framework and avoid unnecessary computation, a reinforcement learning algorithm is used to adaptively adjust the proportion of subpopulations and tune parameters of each subpopulation iteratively. Numerical simulations with benchmarks are performed to compare it with CPLEX, some classical heuristics, and several recently developed methods. The results shows that it well outperforms them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6663-6675
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Cuckoo search (CS)
  • factorization machine (FM)
  • job shop scheduling
  • reinforcement learning (RL)
  • sparse autoencoder


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