Handling the assembly line balancing problem in the clothing industry using a genetic algorithm

Chun Chung Chan, Chi Leung Hui, K. W. Yeung, Frency S F Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Assembly line balancing problems that occur in real world situations are dynamic and are fraught with various sources of uncertainties such as the performance of workers and the breakdown of machinery. This is especially true in the clothing industry. The problem cannot normally be solved deterministically using existing techniques. Recent advances in computing technology, especially in the area of computational intelligence, however, can be used to alleviate this problem. For example, some techniques in this area can be used to restrict the search space in a combinatorial problem, thus opening up the possibility of obtaining better results. Among the different computational intelligence techniques, genetic algorithms (GA) is particularly suitable. GAs are probabilistic search methods that employ a search technique based on ideas from natural genetics and evolutionary principles. In this paper, we present the details of a GA and discuss the main characteristics of an assembly line balancing problem that is typical in the clothing industry. We explain how such problems can be formulated for genetic algorithms to solve. To evaluate the appropriateness of the technique, we have carried out some experiments. Our results show that the GA approach performs much better than the use of a greedy algorithm, which is used by many factory supervisors to tackle the assembly line balancing problem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Clothing Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • Assembly line balancing
  • Clothing industry
  • Computer modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Polymers and Plastics


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