Sunday, October 14, 2012

What algorithm is this?

In http://www.ifactoryinc.com/43/ a scheduling tool is advertised with the following characteristics:

  1. The intelligent iFRP® solution does not rely on heuristics and therefore calculates the true optimum.
  2. iFRP® calculates a true optimum and explores hidden efficiency potentials.
  3. iFRP® recalculates a new schedule in a matter of seconds, reacting to unplanned events in real time.
  4. Analytical solution calculates true optimum.
  5. iFRP® has a scalable component to meet your specific demand – even in complex environments, such as semiconductors.

From http://www.linkedin.com/company/ifactory-inc/ifrp-patented-real-time-scheduling-solution-114654/product:

  1. With iFRP, we have a unique patented real-time factory-event-based scheduler, based on physics, that does not rely on heuristics (rules) and therefore calculates the true optimum.

I have never heard of a general purpose scheduling algorithm that has all these traits. 

Some questions come to mind:

  1. What algorithm can this be?
  2. What is an analytic solution in this context? Analytic solution would mean to me a closed form expression, i.e. no need to run an algorithm.

PS I believe this is the related patent: http://www.google.com/patents/US20100222910?printsec=abstract#v=onepage&q&f=false. Looks to me like a simple improvement algorithm, and thus no guarantee whatsoever about optimal solutions.