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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 484671, 10 pages
Research Article

Theoretical Expectation versus Practical Performance of Jackson’s Heuristic

Facultad de Ciencias, UAEM, Avenida Universidad 1001, 62210 Cuernavaca, MOR, Mexico

Received 19 January 2015; Revised 14 May 2015; Accepted 18 May 2015

Academic Editor: Ben T. Nohara

Copyright © 2015 Nodari Vakhania et al. 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.


A basic 2-approximation heuristic was suggested by Jackson in early 50s last century for scheduling jobs with release times and due dates to minimize the maximum job lateness. The theoretical worst-case bound of 2 helps a little in practice, when the solution quality is important. The quality of the solution delivered by Jackson’s heuristic is closely related to the maximum job processing time that occurs in a given problem instance and with the resultant interference with other jobs that such a long job may cause. We use the relationship of with the optimal objective value to obtain more accurate approximation ratio, which may drastically outperform the earlier known worst-case ratio of 2. This is proved, in practice, by our computational experiments.