A PTAS for parallel two-stage flowshops under makespan constraint

Weitian Tong, Yao Xu, Huili Zhang

As a hybrid of the Parallel Two-stage Flowshop problem and the Multiple Knapsack problem, we investigate the scheduling of parallel two-stage flowshops under makespan constraint, which was motivated by applications in cloud computing and introduced by Chen et al. [3] recently. A set of two-stage jobs are selected and scheduled on parallel two-stage flowshops to achieve the maximum total profit while maintaining the given makespan constraint. We give a positive answer to an open question about its approximability proposed by Chen et al. [3]. More specifically, based on guessing strategies and rounding techniques for linear programs, we present a polynomial-time approximation scheme (PTAS) for the case when the number of flowshops is a fixed constant. As the case with two flowshops is already strongly NP-hard, our PTAS achieves the best possible approximation ratio.

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