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Resource-constrained project scheduling

The resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP) is the basic problem type in project scheduling and aims at the minimization of the total project duration. It is one of the most widely studied project scheduling problem in literature, and it has resulted in an overwhelming amount of papers with solution procedures to solve the problem.

Data instances

In the RCPSP research community, a lot a comparisons have been made, mostly done on the PSPLIB data instances generated by ProGen. In our paper published in Operations Research in 2007, we have used a new set RG300 created by RanGen which can be downloaded here.


Resource-constrained project scheduling is integrated with Schedule Risk Analysis (SRA) assess the schedule sensitivity and Earned Value Management (EVM) to control projects in our software tool ProTrack that can be used in educational and business settings. Visit the ProTrack website here.


Many extensions on the classical RCPCP have been investigated to make the problem formulation more realistic. On this website, three important extensions are discussed:

  • The RCPSP with Discounted Cash flows, abbreviated as the RCPSP-DC that maximizes the net present value of the project
  • The Multi-Mode RCPSP, abbreviated as the MMRCPSP, that assumes that activities have multiple possible durations, each with a different resource requirement
  • The Resource Availability Cost Problem, abbreviated as the RACP, that aims at determining the optimal level of resource availability at a minimal cost.


When you teach a Project Management course, resource-constrained project scheduling is probably on of the topics you discuss. In the book "Project Management with Dynamic Scheduling: Baseline Scheduling, Risk Analysis and Project Control", an overview is given of Project Management, including the RCPSP and its extensions, and possibilities to solve case studies by ProTrack that is freely available to students.


Learn more about Dynamic Scheduling: Watch YouTube video here


  • Debels, D. and Vanhoucke, M., 2005, “A Bi-population Based Genetic Algorithm for the Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problem”, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 3483, 378-387.
  • Debels, D., De Reyck, B., Leus, R. and Vanhoucke, M., 2006, “A hybrid scatter search/electromagnetism meta-heuristic for project scheduling”, European Journal of Operational Research, 169, 638-653.
  • Debels, D. and Vanhoucke, M., 2006, “The Electromagnetism Meta-heuristic Applied to the Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problem”, Lecture Notes in computer Science, 3871, 259-270.
  • Debels, D. and Vanhoucke, M., 2007, “A decomposition-based genetic algorithm for the resource-constrained project scheduling problem”, Operations Research, 55, 457-469.
  • Read the full list of publications here.

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