Heuristics for Allocation of Reconfigurable Resources
in a Serial Line with Reliability Considerations

Mark E. Lewis
School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering
226 Rhodes Hall
, New York 14853

Cheng-Hung Wu
Industrial and Operations Engineering Department
University of Michigan
1205 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2117

Douglas G. Down 

Department of Computing and Software

McMaster University
1280 Main Street West

Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada


We consider the allocation of reconfigurable resources in a
serial line with machine failures. Each station is equipped with
non-idling dedicated servers while the whole system is equipped
with a finite number of reconfigurable servers that are
available to be assigned to any station. We provide conditions
for a policy to achieve throughput optimality. We also show in the
two-station case that transition monotone optimal policies exist.
We discuss heuristics based on the two-server model that reduce
average holding costs significantly. These heuristics are
compared to several heuristics from the literature via a
detailed numerical study.