AAAI Publications, Twenty-Seventh International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling

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New Results for the GEO-CAPE Observation Scheduling Problem
Philippe Laborie, Bilal Messaoudi

Last modified: 2017-06-05


A challenging Earth-observing satellite scheduling problem was recently studied in (Frank, Do and Tran 2016) for which the best resolution approach so far on the proposed benchmark is a time-indexed Mixed Integer Linear Program (MILP) formulation. This MILP formulation produces feasible solutions but is not able to prove optimality or to provide tight optimality gaps, making it difficult to assess the quality of existing solutions. In this paper, we first introduce an alternative disjunctive MILP formulation that manages to close more than half of the instances of the benchmark. This MILP formulation is then relaxed to provide good bounds on optimal values for the unsolved instances. We then propose a CP Optimizer model that consistently outperforms the original time-indexed MILP formulation, reducing the optimality gap by more than 4 times. This Constraint Programming (CP) formulation is very concise: we give its complete OPL implementation in the paper. Some improvements of this CP model are reported resulting in an approach that produces optimal or near-optimal solutions (optimality gap smaller than 1%) for about 80% of the instances. Unlike the MILP formulations, it is able to quickly produce good quality schedules and it is expected to be flexible enough to handle the changing requirements of the application.

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