Research on due date oriented objectives in the parallel machine environment is at best scarce compared to objectives such as minimizing the makespan or the completion time related performance measures. Moreover, almost all existing work in this area is focused on the identical parallel machine environment. In this study, we leverage on our previous work on the single machine total weighted tardiness (TWT) and total weighted earliness/tardiness (TWET) problems and develop a new preemptive relaxation for the TWT and TWET problems on a bank of unrelated parallel machines. The key contribution of this paper is devising a computationally effective Benders decomposition algorithm for solving the preemptive relaxation formulated as a mixed integer linear program. The optimal solution of the preemptive relaxation provides a tight lower bound. Moreover, it offers a near-optimal partition of the jobs to the machines, and then we exploit recent advances in solving the non-preemptive single machine TWT and TWET problems for constructing non-preemptive solutions of high quality to the original problem. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach with instances up to 5 machines and 200 jobs.
Sen, H. and Bulbul, K. (2015). A Strong Preemptive Relaxation for Weighted Tardiness and Earliness/Tardiness Problems on Unrelated Parallel Machines. Informs Journal on Computing, 27(1):135-150.