Copyright © 2012 Chunhua Ju and Tinggui Chen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Managing multiple project is a complex task involving the unrelenting pressures of time and cost. Many studies have proposed various tools and techniques for single-project scheduling; however, the literature further considering multimode or multiproject issues occurring in the real world is rather scarce. In this paper, design structure matrix (DSM) and an improved artificial immune network algorithm (aiNet) are developed to solve a multi-mode resource-constrained scheduling problem. Firstly, the DSM is used to simplify the mathematic model of multi-project scheduling problem. Subsequently, aiNet algorithm comprised of clonal selection, negative selection, and network suppression is adopted to realize the local searching and global searching, which will assure that it has a powerful searching ability and also avoids the possible combinatorial explosion. Finally, the approach is tested on a set of randomly cases generated from ProGen. The computational results validate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm comparing with other famous metaheuristic algorithms such as genetic algorithm (GA), simulated annealing algorithm (SA), and ant colony optimization (ACO).