This paper addresses the scheduling problem in the wafer probe centre. The proposed approach is based on the dispatching rule, which is popularly used in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Instead of designing new rules, this paper proposes a new paradigm to utilize these rules. The proposed paradigm formulates the dispatching process as a 2-D assignment problem with the consideration of information from multiple lots and multiple pieces of equipment in an integrated manner. Then, the dispatching decisions are made by maximizing the gains of multiple possible decisions simultaneously. Besides, we develop a genetic algorithm (GA) for generating good dispatching rules through combining multiple rules with linear weighted summation. The benefits of the proposed paradigm and GA are verified with a comprehensive simulation study on three due-date-based performance measures. The experimental results show that under the proposed paradigm, the dispatching rules and GA can perform much better than under the traditional paradigm.
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