This article introduces two new maximum entropy (ME) methods for modeling the distribution of time to an event. One method is within the classical ME framework and provides characterizations of change point models such as the piecewise exponential distribution. The second method uses the entropy of the equilibrium distribution (ED) for the objective function and provides new characterizations of the exponential, Weibull, Pareto, and uniform distributions. With the same moment constraints, the classical ME and the maximum ED entropy algorithms generate different models for the interarrival time. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 61: 427–434, 2014

We consider two-stage tandem queueing systems with dedicated servers in each station and a flexible server that is trained to serve both stations. We assume no arrivals, exponential service times, and linear holding costs for jobs present in the system. We study the optimal dynamic assignment of servers to jobs assuming a noncollaborative work discipline with idling and preemptions allowed. For larger holding costs in the first station, we show that (i) nonidling policies are optimal and (ii) if the flexible server is not faster than the dedicated servers, the optimal server allocation strategy has a threshold-type structure. For all other cases, we provide numerical results that support the optimality of threshold-type policies. Our numerical experiments also indicate that when the flexible server is faster than the dedicated server of the second station, the optimal policy may have counterintuitive properties, which is not the case when a collaborative service discipline is assumed. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 61: 435–446, 2014

In this article, we develop an interactive algorithm to place alternatives in ordered preference classes for a decision maker (DM) with an increasing quasiconcave value function. Such value functions are quite general in that they include linear and concave value functions. Our aim is to elicit sorting information from the DM as few times as possible; our algorithm places other alternatives using previous responses from the DM utilizing properties of quasiconcave value functions. As an application, we sort 81 global MBA programs into preference classes using criteria such as alumni career progress, idea generation, and diversity. We study the performance of our proposed algorithm, when we change the number of criteria, number of alternatives, and introduce response errors. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 61: 447–457, 2014

We study a problem of scheduling products on the same facility, which is motivated by a car paint shop. Items of the same product are identical. Operations on the items are performed sequentially in batches, where each batch is a set of operations on the same product. Some of the produced items are of the required good quality and some items can be defective. Defectiveness of an item is determined by a given simulated function of its product, its preceding product, and the position of its operation in the batch. Defective items are kept in a buffer of a limited capacity, and they are then remanufactured at the same facility. A minimum waiting time exists for any defective item before its remanufacturing can commence. Each product has a sequence independent setup time which precedes its first operation or its operation following an operation of another product. A due date is given for each product such that all items of the same product have the same due date and the objective is to find a schedule which minimizes maximum lateness of product completion times with respect to their due dates. The problem is proved NP-hard in the strong sense, and a heuristic Group Technology (GT) solution approach is suggested and analyzed. The results justify application of the GT approach to scheduling real car paint shops with buffered rework. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 61: 458–471, 2014

We study new models of scheduled maintenance management for modular systems, consisting of multiple components with respective cycle limits. The cycle limit of each component specifies the time interval in which this component must be repaired or replaced. The goal is to compute a feasible maintenance schedule that minimizes the cost associated with component maintenance. Applications of these models arise in Air Force aircraft maintenance as well as in other arenas with required preventive maintenance. The typical cost structures that arise in practical settings are submodular, which make the resulting models computationally challenging. We develop two efficient and operationally tenable approximation algorithms. We prove constant factor worst-case guarantees for both algorithms, and present computational experiments showing that these algorithms perform within a few percent of optimality on operationally relevant instances. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 61: 472–488, 2014