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(e.g., jobs). A schedule for a sequence of jobs, say LaTeX: \textstyle j_1, \dots , j_n, is a specification of start times, say LaTeX: \textstyle t_1, \dots , t_n, such that certain constraints are met. A schedule is sought that minimizes cost and/or some measure of time, like the overall project completion time (when the last job is finished) or the tardy time (amount by which the completion time exceeds a given deadline). There are precedence constraints, such as in the construction industry, where a wall cannot be erected until the foundation is laid.

There is a variety of scheduling heuristics. Two of these for scheduling jobs on machines are list heuristics: the Shortest Processing Time (SPT), and the Longest Processing Time (LPT). These rules put jobs on the list in non-decreasing and non-increasing order of processing time, respectively.

Other scheduling problems, which might not involve sequencing jobs, arise in production planning.

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