This paper is devoted to the approximate resolution of a strongly NP-hard resource-constrained scheduling problem which arises in relation to the operability of certain high availability real time distributed systems. We present an algorithm based on the simulated annealing metaheuristic and, building on previous research on exact resolution methods, extensive computational results demonstrating its practical ability to produce acceptable solutions, in a precisely defined sense. Additionally, our experiments are in remarkable agreement with certain theoretical properties of our simulated annealing scheme. The paper is concluded by a short discussion on further research.
Report n° PB/BSC/INF/016550, Nortel GSM Access R&D, january 2006. To appear in the Journal of Heuristics.