Relative Average Deviation as Measure of Robustness in the Stochastic Project Scheduling Problem

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Néstor Raúl Ortiz-Pimiento, M.Sc.
Francisco Javier Díaz-Serna, Ph. D.


In the Project Scheduling Problem (PSP), the solution robustness can be understood as the capacity that a baseline has to support the disruptions generated by unplanned events (risks). A robust baseline of the project can be obtained from redundancy based methods, which are considered proactive methods to solve the stochastic project scheduling problem.  In this research, three redundancy based methods are evaluated and their performance is compared in terms of robustness. These methods add extra time to the original activities duration in order to face the eventualities that may appear during the project execution. In this article a new indicator to analyze the solution robustness to the Project Scheduling Problem with random duration of activities is proposed. This indicator called Relative Average Deviation (RAD) is defined as the margin of deviation of the activities’ start times in relation to their durations. The RAD is based in a traditional concept that seeks to minimize the value of the differences between the planned start times and the real executed start times. The planned start times were obtained from the project baseline generated by each redundancy based method and the real executed start times were obtained from a simulation process based on Monte Carlo technique. The new indicator was used to evaluate the robustness of three baselines generated by different methods but applied to the same case study. Finally, the results suggest that the Relative Average Deviation (RAD) facilitates the interpretation of the robustness concept because it focuses on analyzing the deviation margin associated with an activity.


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