Single machine scheduling (SMS) problems seem to have received substantial attention because of several reasons. These types of problems are important both because of their own intrinsic value, as well as their role as building blocks for more generalized and complex problems. In a multi-processor environment single processor schedules may be used in bottlenecks, or to organize task assignment to an expensive processor; sometimes an entire production line may be treated as a single processor for scheduling purposes. Also, compared to multiple processor scheduling, SMS problems are mathematically more tractable. Hence, more problem classes can be solved in polynomial time, and a larger variety of model parameters, such as various types of cost functions, or an introduction of change-over cost, can be analyzed. Single processor problems are thus of rather fundamental character and allow for some insight and development of ideas when treating more general scheduling problems.
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