Decentralized subcontractor scheduling with divisible jobs
Hezarkhni, Behzad and Kubiak, Wieslaw (2015) Decentralized subcontractor scheduling with divisible jobs. Journal of Scheduling, 18 (5). pp. 497-511. ISSN 1099-1425
Subcontracting allows manufacturer agents to reduce completion times of their jobs and thus obtain savings. This paper addresses the coordination of decentralized scheduling systems with a single subcontractor and several agents having divisible jobs. Assuming complete information, we design parametric pricing schemes that strongly coordinate this decentralized system, i.e., the agents’ choices of subcontracting intervals always result in efficient schedules. The subcontractor’s revenue under the pricing schemes depends on a single parameter which can be chosen to make the revenue as close to the total savings as required. Also, we give a lower bound on the subcontractor’s revenue for any coordinating pricing scheme. Allowing private information about processing times, we prove that the pivotal mechanism is coordinating, i.e., agents are better off by reporting their true processing times, and by participating in the subcontracting. We show that the subcontractor’s maximum revenue with any coordinating mechanism under private information equals the lower bound of that with coordinating pricing schemes under complete information. Finally, we address the asymmetric case where agents obtain savings at different rates per unit reduction in completion times. We show that coordinating pricing schemes do not always exist in this case.
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