Dynamic task assignment for throughput maximization with worksharing

Ronald Askin, Jiaqiong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The traditional assembly line balancing problem involves assigning a set of partially precedence constrained tasks to workstations to maximize efficiency. Each task is assigned to a unique workstation. The case is considered where task sequences are known but the workforce is partially cross-trained and some tasks can alternate between workstations. The flexibility afforded by cross-training allows the line balance to improve. Task times are allowed to be random and small buffers are allowed between workstations. Decision rules are developed and tested for various levels of cross-training between adjacent workers. Cross-training is shown to have significant impact on throughput and easy to administer rules are proven to be effective. The number of decision points for deciding to hold or pass a unit of product is also shown to be important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-869
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006


  • Cross-training
  • Dynamic line balancing
  • Production
  • Throughput maximization
  • Worksharing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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