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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 5, Issue 6, Pages 441-458

Stochastic algorithms for buffer allocation in reliable production lines

1Department of Information and Communication Systems, GR-832 00 Karlovassi, University of the Aegean, Greece
2Department of Business Administration, GR-821 00 Chios, University of the Aegean, Chios Island, Greece

Received 13 July 1999; Revised 3 August 1999

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The allocation of buffers between workstations is a major optimization problem faced by manufacturing systems designers. It entails the determination of optimal buffer allocation plans in production lines with the objective of maximizing their throughput. We present and compare two stochastic approaches for solving the buffer allocation problem in large reliable production lines. The allocation plan is calculated subject to a given amount of total buffer slots using simulated annealing and genetic algorithms. The throughput is calculated utilizing a decomposition method.