Learning Scheduling Models from Event Data
A significant challenge in declarative approaches to scheduling is the creation of a model: the set of resources and their capacities and the types of activities and their temporal and resource requirements. In practice, such models are developed manually by skilled consultants and used repeatedly to solve different problem instances. For example, in a factory, the model may be used each day to schedule the current customer orders. In this work, we aim to automate the creation of such models by learning them from event data. We introduce a novel methodology that combines process mining, timed Petri nets (TPNs), and constraint programming (CP). The approach learns a sub-class of TPN from event logs of executions of past schedules and maps the TPN to a broad class of scheduling problems. We show how any problem of the scheduling class can be converted to a CP model. With new instance data (e.g., the day’s orders), the CP model can then be solved by an off-the-shelf solver. Our approach provides an end-to-end solution, going from event logs to model-based optimal schedules. To demonstrate the value of the methodology we conduct experiments in which we learn and solve scheduling models from two types of data: logs generated from job-shop scheduling benchmarks and real-world event logs from an outpatient hospital.