Determine a schedule for running a set of jobs.

dwave-examples, updated 🕥 2022-05-18 15:39:36

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Job Shop Scheduling

A demo on how to optimally schedule jobs using a quantum computer.

Given a set of jobs and a finite number of machines, how should we schedule our jobs on those machines such that all our jobs are completed at the earliest possible time? This question is the job shop scheduling problem!

Now let's go over some details about job shop scheduling. Each of our jobs can be broken down into smaller machine-specific tasks. For example, the job of making pancakes can be broken down into several machine-specific tasks: mixing ingredients in a mixer and cooking the batter on the stove. There is an order to these tasks (e.g. we can't bake the batter before we mix the ingredients) and there is a time associated with each task (e.g. 5 minutes on the mixer, 2 minutes to cook on the stove). Given that that we have multiple jobs with only a set number of machines, how do we schedule our tasks onto those machines so that our jobs complete as early as possible?

Here is a breakfast example with making pancakes and frying some eggs:


Note that jobs and tasks in this demo are described in the following format:

{"job_name": [("machine_name", duration_on_machine), ..], ..}

{"pancakes": [("mixer", 5), ("stove", 2)], "eggs": [("stove", 3)]} ```

Bad schedule: make pancakes and then make eggs. The jobs complete after 10 minutes (5 + 2 + 3 = 10).

Good schedule: while mixing pancake ingredients, make eggs. The jobs complete after 7 minutes (5 + 2 = 7; making eggs happens during the 5 minutes the pancakes are being mixed).


Make sure requirements are installed in your developer environment with: bash pip install -r requirements.txt

Or simply open the example in Leap IDE.

Run the demo with:

bash python

Code Overview

Most of the Job Shop Scheduling magic happens in, so the following overview is on that code. (Note: the job_shop_scheduler module gets imported into

In the, we describe the Job Shop Scheduling Problem with the following constraints:

  • Each task starts only once
  • Each task within the job must follow a particular order
  • At most, one task can run on a machine at a given time
  • Task times must be possible

Using tools from the D-Wave Ocean, these constraints get converted into a BQM, a mathematical model that we can then submit to a solver. Afterwards, the solver returns a solution that indicates the times in which the tasks should be scheduled.

Code Specifics

As mentioned before, the core code for Job Shop Scheduling lives in, so the following sections describe that code.


The jobs dictionary describes the jobs we're interested in scheduling. Namely, the dictionary key is the name of the job and the dictionary value is the ordered list of tasks that the job must do.

It follows the format:

python {"job_a": [(machine_name, time_duration_on_machine), ..], "job_b": [(some_machine, time_duration_on_machine), ..], .. "job_n": [(machine_name, time_duration_on_machine), ..]}

For example,

python {"pancakes": [("mixer", 5), ("stove", 2)], "eggs": [("stove", 3)]}

Comment on max_time

In and, we see a variable called max_time. It refers to the maximum possible end time in our job shop schedule.

Naively, we could set our max_time to infinity, so that our solver would consider all possible schedules with end times from 0 to infinity. However, this is a huge space to explore, and makes our BQM unnecessarily large and difficult to solve.

Instead, we can apply our knowledge on the worst possible schedule scenario so that we can put an upper bound on the schedule end times. The worst possible scenario is if all job tasks require the same exact machine, hence there is no opportunity for parallelization. In this case, the schedule end time is the sum of all task durations because that one machine will run those tasks back-to-back. We know the optimal schedule for these tasks must finish earlier or at the same time as this worst case scenario because these tasks don't necessarily all need to run on that one machine; this allows for parallelization and a shorter schedule. Thus, by default, the max_time considered for a schedule is the sum of task durations.

Note that we can lower max_time so that the solver considers a smaller space of schedule solutions. In terms of quantum computing hardware, this means using fewer qubits as we are considering a smaller range of end times and thus, fewer possible schedules. This is acceptable so long as the optimal schedule has an end time that is less than max_time. Otherwise, no valid schedule would be explored as we are considering schedule end times that are shorter than that of the optimal schedule (i.e. shortest possible of any valid schedule).


D. Venturelli, D. Marchand, and G. Rojo, "Quantum Annealing Implementation of Job-Shop Scheduling", arXiv:1506.08479v2


Released under the Apache License 2.0. See LICENSE file.


Modify the jobs so they are industry relevant

opened on 2021-06-30 17:03:48 by akoszegi

It would be beneficial to have jobs that are relatable to folks in manufacturing.

Suggestion: change baking cupcakes and making a smoothie to bicycle assembly (frame, drive train, wheels, brakes, headset, handlebars, etc) since it's a small change and is relatable to a larger audience.

fail in bqm init when max_time is increased

opened on 2021-02-04 14:54:45 by rugantio

Hello, While trying this code, I noticed that the method to construct the bqm, get_jss_bqm, breaks when max_time is increased. I set up a minimal experiment: - 2 machines - 3 jobs (1st job: 2 ops, 2nd job: 2 ops, 3rd job: 1 op) - all ops of take time 1 to complete this was solved easily when max_time <= 8 but, as soon as max_time == 9, this is the error that I obtain: ``` File "", line 96, in bqm = get_jss_bqm(jobs, max_time, stitch_kwargs)

File "..t/", line 74, in get_jss_bqm return scheduler.get_bqm(stitch_kwargs)

File "../", line 352, in get_bqm bqm = dwavebinarycsp.stitch(self.csp, **stitch_kwargs)

File "/usr/lib/python3.8/site-packages/dwavebinarycsp/compilers/", line 188, in stitch if pmodel.classical_gap >= min_classical_gap:

AttributeError: 'NoneType' object has no attribute 'classical_gap' ``` I made some edits to the files for visualization purposes so the line number might be different, but this error seems to be quite common (I encountered it also in other set-ups)

Let me know if you can reproduce the error and if you need to know further details. Thank you!

Input not working

opened on 2020-07-27 09:10:59 by yogesh078

Why below input it not working jobs = {"cupcakes": [("mixer", 1), ("oven", 4)], "smoothie": [("mixer", 1), ("oven", 3)], "lasagna": [("oven", 2)]} max_time = 10

same is the case with jobs = {"group1": [("man", 2), ("robo", 1)], "group2": [("man", 1), ("robo", 2)], "group3": [("man", 2), ("robo", 1)]}

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