On the optimal order of M machines in tandem

Chueng Chiu Huang, Gideon Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider M machines in tandem with an infinite supply of jobs and no intermediate storage, and look for the order of the machines which will maximize the throughput. We show that if processing times on the machines are comparable in the sense of likelihood ratio, then it is optimal to use slower machines in the first and last position than in the second and penultimate positions. For 3 and 4 machines this implies bowl shape order of the machines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-303
Number of pages5
JournalOperations Research Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank George Shanthikumar for valueable comments on this paper. This research has been supported in part by NSF grant ECS-8712798.


  • blocking
  • flowshop
  • production
  • stochastic scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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