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Two simple, yet interesting and important applications of partial ordering relations are the PERT and CPM techniques in job scheduling. See exercise 50 in the text, section 6.6 for an example of the list of tasks needed to build a house. If we let A = {set of tasks given in exercise 50} and define the relation R on A by : xRy iff task x precedes (is a prerequisite task of) task y or task x = task y the Hasse diagram is as is given in the illustration in the text. We now expand on this, and the above techniques through several examples: Note in the following examples read the diagrams from left to right.

Example 2. The construction of a cottage requires the performance of certain tasks. The following table 1 lists the various tasks with their priority relationship. The start task (α) and finish task (ω) are added, α is linked to task A and ω is linked to task K.

Table 1

Code Of Task A B C D Masonry Carpentry for roof Roof Sanitary and electrical installations Front Windows Garden Ceiling Painting Moving in Duration (Weeks) 7 3 1 8 Prerequisite tasks A B A

E F G H J K

2 1 1 3 2 1

D, C D, C D, C F H E, G, J

The minimum time required to finish this job is calculated using Project Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). After finishing stage A. The start and finish of a task are two stages of the project. Figure 1 3 B C 1 G 1 1 Finish 7 Start α 0 A 7 D 8 8 E 1 8 2 K 1 ω 2 1 F H 2 J In this representation. We can define an initial stage as start and a final stage as finish and a certain number of intermediate stages. xRy ó x = y or x precedes y. In the beginning milestone of the project is start stage. we have two options. Each stage is defined by tasks already carried out. The length of each task is the duration of the corresponding task. We can start task B and task D simultaneously.Let S be the set of all tasks and consider the partial order relation R defined on S as follows: for all tasks x and y in S. the tasks are the vertices of the graph. The start followed by task A which is carried out in 7 weeks. The PERT diagram of the project is shown in the figure 1. Task B takes 3 weeks to finish and task D takes 8 .

so it is very common that we cannot start task E before finishing task D which takes 15 weeks to carry out. we can decide the earliest time to start each task. Same way. and D is finished in 15 weeks. The minimum time required to start task C is the total time required to finish task B and A which is 10 weeks. C is finished in 11 weeks. . This is shown in with the darker line in the figure 2. which is shown in Table 2.weeks to finish the job. we have to finish C and D. below: Table 2 Task Start (α) A B C D E F G H J K Finish (ω) Earliest Start Time 0 0 7 10 7 15 15 15 16 18 20 21 The above analysis shows that at least 21 weeks is required to complete the project. Task C is followed by task E. to start task E. Task B is immediately followed by task C. which takes one week to carry out. The minimum duration of the project will be the length of the longest path between the initial stage and the finish stage.

and for these reason. this path is known as critical path. For example task E is not on critical path and it is followed by task K. For example 3 weeks delay in task J cause 3 weeks delay to start K. we delay in the project finish time. we delay the time to complete the project. That means delay in performing any of these tasks in the path cause delay in the time required to finish the project. The tasks outside the critical path can be delayed by certain amount of time. If we delay E by 3 week than its earliest start time. then we can start the task K as per its earliest start time because K must be started after finishing J which takes 20 weeks.Figure 2 (7) B 3 (10) C 1 (15) 8 1 (15) F 1 (16) H 2 2 J (18) E 2 K 1 (15) G 1 (20) 1 Finish ω 8 Start (0) 0 A α 7 (7) D (21) (0) 8 If we delay any work in this path. Now if we finish task J earlier by one . We can finish task E in 20 weeks by delaying 3 weeks. and K start after 3 weeks than its earliest start time and these cause three week delay to complete the project. In the opposition if we delay work on the critical path.

1. and the amount of time required for that task. Certain parts of the construction must be done before others can be started. In order to construct a house. 6. 4. And finally the overall project is also finished one week before. 5. Example 3. 2. we show each task that needs to be done. While you are wiring the outlets. there are many jobs that need to be done at the same time. 7. Find Plot 1 2 days 5 days 3 days 5 days 2 days 2 days 5 days Excavate land Dig for foundation Lay concrete foundation Exterior firework Exterior electrical Exterior gasline . there are certain jobs which can be done simultaneously. Before the foundation is set. We can not start wiring the house if the walls have not been put up.week then we can also reach task K earlier by one week and finish it off. and we can not put the walls up till the foundation had been set. 3. The partial order diagram will allow one to see how long the whole process will take. you must choose a good plot to dig the foundation hole. The amount of time is estimated. Below. However. you can have someone do the heating and air conditioning ducts or can have the landscaper working on the outside layout.

19. 20. Supports for walls/ceiling/floor/stairs Siding/Roof Windows Interior wiring Interior plumbing Heating/AC ducts Insulation Dry wall Landscaping Painting Light Fixtures/Switches Floor Ring Doors/Cabinets Clean-up 1 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 1 day 2 days 14 days 2 days 5 days 3 days 7 hours 2 day 1 day 1 day . 18. 14. 21.8. 15. 11. 12. 17. 13. 9. 10. 16.

then those two tasks can be done at the same time.2.4 4 8 8 8 8 8 10.13 14 8 15 17 17 19 20 Time 2 days 5 days 3 days 5 days 2 days 2 days 2 days 5 days 3 day 1 day 2 days 2 days 2 days 1 day 2 days 14 days 2 days 7 hours 2 days 1 day 1 day Partial Order formula: x R y ⇔ x = y or x precedes y We read the following Hasse diagram from left to right to find the minimum time for the whole process of constructing the house.2. This allows us to see what tasks can be done at the same time.The next table shows what task precedes each task. . If one task does not depend on the other.2.4 1.3. Task 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Percent Tasks 0 1 2 3 1.3.12.4 1.11.3.

then it will take less time. The time for landscaping right now is 14 days.2. But if more workers are used.21 which is 35 days The critical path time can be reduced if we do certain tasks differently. then the time will be less. If pre-fabricated materials are used.3. because less people are needed.4.816. and less time is used in making the material.Partial Order Diagram: Construction of a House Task 9 3 Days Task 5 2 Days Task 10 Task 1 2 Days Task 2 5 Days Task 3 3 Days Task 4 5 Days Task 6 2 Days Task 11 Task 14 Task 15 Task 17 Task 7 2 Days Task 12 Task 8 5 Days Task 13 Task 16 Critical Path Method(CPM): 1. Also depending on the design .

Attach the new outlet wires to junction box in the attic. sand. joint compound. but most must wait for a preceeding task to be complete. . Install new baseboard. 7 Tape. install electrical outlet. 12. 10. Cut. and making more mistakes which increases the time for each task. I have chosen to refurbish my younger daughter’s bedroom. sand. then they will be a bit slower. Install wall paper. etc. Let A={tasks}. 11. Lower two electrical outlets. but I decided to see how fast it would get done if I were commanding a number of professionals. This is a project that I am actually in the middle of now. Primer walls. Frame doorway. 8. Are the partial ordering diagrams complete? Can you fill in the missing edges? As an application of partial order relations. Table 1 demonstrates which task immediately precedes another as well as the times required to complete each task. and closets inside each room. Paint ceiling. 4. joint compound. prepare. Move all of my daughters things out. What can also reduce the time is experience of the construction workers. sheetrock holes (previous owners had a two family with this room as a kitchen so two outlets are above where the counter used to be). then designing at large size home with many rooms. If less rooms are needed by the family that is living there. Rip out doorjam from bedroom to bathroom (the bathroom is to become a master bath). 6. If the workers are new. and sheetrock over doorway to bath. Clean and move furniture back in. and sand areas where new sheetrock has been installed. 2. The job can be divided into several tasks: 1. A student example. We can define R on A by xRy iff {x=y or task x is a prerequisite of task y}. 3. then it will take less time. Some of these tasks can be done simultaneously. and urethane baseboard (the old baseboard must be destryed in taking out the door frame).of the house. 5. stain. Example 4. Also same procedure on any cracks. 9. send wires up into attic. the time can be reduced or even increased.

Table 2. 11 Time ½ Hour 1 Hour 4 Hours 3 Hours 6 Hours 1 Hour 7 Hours 2 Hours ½ Hour 1 Hour 3 Hours ½ Hour Table 2 displays the Hasse diagram for this relation. with the time to complete each task included in each box. 4 7 5 8 9. 10 6. Task 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Immediately Preceding Task(s) 1 1 2 4 4 3. Task 6 1 Hour Task 2 1 Hour Task 4 3 Hours Task 5 6 Hours Task 9 ½ Hour Task 11 3 Hours Task 12 ½ Hour Task 1 ½ Hour Task 3 4 Hours Task 7 7 Hours Task 8 2 Hours Task 10 1 Hour .Table 1.

10.5 Task 7 7 Hours 13. both tasks 3 and 4 have 4. Also. and 12 but can also go from tasks 1 to 3. 7. the minimum time it would take to complete the entire job is 18 hours. they may simply get in each other’s way and add to times instead of reducing them. To get to task 7.5 Task 4 3 Hours 10.5 Task 5 6 Hours 11 Task 9 ½ Hour 17. This would have to be experimented with since some of the times posted include drying times. These are the two critical paths If I wanted to speed up the process. Table 3. I might put an extra person on joint compound duty and/or painting. adding the longest prerequisite time to the time in each box as we go. Project: Make up an a real-life example of this technique. 11. 7.5 Task 3 4 Hours 11. if too many people are on the same job.5 Task 2 1 Hour . 4. What is interesting to note is that this diagram has two critical paths.5 Task 8 2 Hours 14. and 12. we must add the times in the diagram.5 Task 1 ½ Hour 4.5 hours of prerequisite time. 8. So the longest path in terms of time can go from tasks 1 to 2. 5. 11.5 Task 6 1 Hour 1.To calculate the minimum time it would take to refurbish this room. What is the critical path? What does it do? How could you make you schedule of tasks more efficient? .5 Task 10 As Table 3 shows. 10.5 Task 11 Task 12 18 4. Table 3 shows the results. Be sure to define the problem carefully and explain why it is a partial ordering relation.8.

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