We consider the following natural scheduling problem: Given a sequence of jobs with weights and processing times, one needs to assign each job to one of m identical machines in order to minimize the sum of weighted completion times. The twist is that for machine the jobs assigned to it must obey the order of the input sequence, as is the case in multi-server queuing systems. We establish a constant factor approximation algorithm for this (strongly NP-hard) problem. Our approach is necessarily very different from what has been used for similar scheduling problems without the fixed-order assumption. We also give a QPTAS for the special case of unit processing times.

Lecture Notes in Computer Science/Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
International Conference on Integer Programming and Combinatorial Optimization
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Bosman, T, Frascaria, D. (Dario), Olver, N.K, Sitters, R.A, & Stougie, L. (2019). Fixed-Order Scheduling on Parallel Machines. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science/Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-17953-3_7