Computers & Chemical Engineering, Vol.21, No.9, 925-945, 1997
Interactive Scheduling in the Chemical Process Industry
Due to the typical nature of the industry, the scheduling problem in the Chemical Process Industry (CPI) is a particularly difficult one. Consequently, fully automated scheduling in CPI is not in reach for the moment. Only humans are sufficiently dynamic to deal with the inevitable chaos, caused by a multitude of possible conflicting choices, and by the fuzziness and uncertainty of the parameters involved. We believe that a computer program (for the moment) can at best be an intelligent assistant. That is why we implemented SKYE, an interactive decision-aid tool for human schedulers, which is capable of handling a very large set of scheduling problems in the CPI. SKYE combines stochastic techniques with deductive techniques such as, heuristics, constraint propagation and temporal reasoning. For demonstration purposes we apply SKYE as a stand alone automatic module to a set of small example problems.