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Modelling industrial value chain optimization problems with timed automata

Real life problems, like the scheduling and resource allocation problems faced by the customers of our industrial partner Axxom, do not fall exactly within a stylized class of problems like the job shop.

Such problems have additional constraints concerning the relative distance between tasks, occupation of certain resources, such as mixing tasks, during the execution of several steps, different penalties for missing deadlines, etc. Many of these details are hidden inside various Excel tables used by Axxom's Orion PI tool.

Much effort have been put during AMETIST lifetime in trying to understand these features, give them a rigorous semantics and devise a language to express them in a way that translates smoothly into timed automata. This work is described in detail in Deliverable 3.4.4 and we mention only the work done on using timed automata, using stochastic models and optimization-based methods.

Although intellectually this work is less challenging than inventing new mathematical models or algorithms, it is of great importance for the future acceptance of timed automata based methods.

Another extension related to the Axxom case study is concerned with using probabilities to model machine failures, hopefully in a more refined way than the current macro level treatment of failures in Axxom tools.

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