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4, NOVEMBER 2016

411

Semiconductor Manufacturing Using

Simulation Optimization

Kuo-Hao Chang, Member, IEEE

the completion of product development and full capacity utilization. In semiconductor industry, engineering lots are given

higher priority in the manufacturing process in order to improve

the manufacturing process and/or to facilitate the new product

development. However, the implementation of engineering lots

can disrupt the smoothness of the manufacturing process and

thus increase the cycle time of normal lots. Because semiconductor manufacturing is a very complicated manufacturing process,

the determination of the appropriate product mix is a difficult

task for many semiconductor companies, especially when risks

are taken into consideration. We propose a model to characterize

this hard tradeoff and apply an efficient simulation optimization

method to obtain the optimal product mix where risks are taken

into consideration. An extensive numerical study shows that the

proposed method has satisfactory performance and is capable of

identifying the nearly optimal product mix in reasonable computing time. An empirical study conducted in collaboration with

a semiconductor company further validates the viability of this

research in practical settings.

Index TermsProduct mix planning, semiconductor manufacturing, risk control, simulation optimization.

I. I NTRODUCTION

OWADAYS, in order to maintain the competitive

advantage, many companies strive to meet customers

demands in terms of quantity, quality, and delivery accuracy.

To achieve this, low cycle time and high throughput are both

necessary. Unfortunately, these performance goals are known

as conflicting to each other and tradeoffs have to be made

in reality. Product mix, technically defined as the fraction of

each product in a manufacturing process, has large impacts

on both cycle time and throughput due to blockages and idleness of equipments or resources in the production or assembly

lines. When the manufacturing process is complex, it is a difficult task to estimate the cycle time and throughput under

different scenarios of product mix. The determination of the

Manuscript received May 1, 2016; accepted July 9, 2016. Date of publication August 24, 2016; date of current version October 27, 2016. This work was

supported in part by the Advanced Manufacturing and Service Management

Center, National Tsing Hua University and in part by the Ministry of Science

and Technology of Taiwan under Grant MOST101-2628-E-007-010-MY3.

The author is with the Industrial Engineering and Engineering

Manufacturing, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan

(e-mail: chang@mx.nthu.edu.tw).

Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available

online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.

Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TSM.2016.2602388

to the complex manufacturing process, especially when risks

are taken into consideration. As a result, production managers

often make decisions based on their own intuitions or personal

experiences, which are prone to mistakes and usually result in

unsatisfactory results.

Semiconductor manufacturing is one of the most complicated manufacturing process in real world due to several

hundreds of processing steps with re-entrance. Often times,

when a new technology is implemented and/or the recipe of

one existing technology is changed, wafer fabrication facilities (fabs) would practice engineering lots, which refer to

the lots that have higher priority than normal lots (NLs) in

the manufacturing process, as a means to enable quick detection of the root causes of low yield and in turn to shorten

the production ramp-up. Engineering lots can be further categorized into rocket lots (RLs) and hot lots (HLs) according

to the reservation policy implemented in the equipments they

are processed [1]. Specifically, a load port of the equipment

is reserved for HLs and a whole set of equipment is reserved

for RLs. Conceivably, RLs would have a larger impact on the

cycle time than HLs.

RLs and HLs, while are created due to the need to enable

a quick diagnosis of the manufacturing process, can disrupt

the manufacturing flow and result in a significant increase of

cycle time of NLs. The product mix planning, which corresponds to the determination of the fraction of RLs, HLs and

NLs, respectively, in the work in process (WIP), aims to collect

sufficient information about the manufacturing process, while

ensuring that the cycle time of NLs is not seriously affected.

This has been an important, yet challenging, task in semiconductor industry. Currently, the problem is solved through

a series of negotiations and arguments between the marketing and production departmentsan excruciating and lengthy

process. We are therefore motivated to study the problem and

propose a decision model to enable the generation of product

mix with limited risks in a timely manner.

As will be reviewed in Section II, one powerful tool for

solving the product mix planning problem is simulation. While

simulation has the advantage that all details that are important

to the performance measure can be taken into account, its goal

is to answer what-if questions, e.g., how much the cycle time

of NLs would increase when the fraction of HLs is increased,

rather than to determine the optimal product mix in the WIP.

Moreover, the performance measure concerned in the existing

c 2016 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission.

0894-6507

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412

a simulation optimization model is used for generating the

optimal product mix that can achieve the maximized expected

throughput subject to some constraints on the expected cycle

times.

In this paper, we follow and extend this thread by proposing a quantile-based simulation optimization model that further

allows risks to be taken into consideration. The th quantile

of a continuous random variable Y, denoted by , is defined

by P[Y ] = for prespecified (0 < < 1) [3]. For

example, if Y is the cycle time of a wafer lot, then only 5% of

the wafer lots have cycle time more than 0.95 . Compared to

the expectation-based models, the advantage of the proposed

model is two-fold. First, it enables semiconductor companies to control the upside risk for the selected product mix.

Specifically, the company can ensure the amount of NLs that

cannot be finished by due day is less than a tolerable value.

Second, the adjustment of allows for a larger flexibility in

the selection of product mix. One challenge, however, exists

in solving the quantile-based model. Unlike the expectation,

quantile does not have nice distributional properties, such as

the central limit theorem [4], thus it is difficult to solve the

quantile-based model.

We apply an efficient method, called Adaptive Global and

Local Search for Quantile-Constrained Problems (AGLS-QC),

to find the optimal product mix, facilitating the decision making in practice. An extensive numerical study shows that the

performance of AGLS-QC is promising and is capable of identifying the optimal solution in a reasonable computing time.

An empirical study in collaboration with a leading semiconductor company in Taiwan further verifies the viability of this

research in real settings. More details will be presented in later

sections.

The remainder of this article is organized as follows. In

Section II, we review the literature for the related research

work. In Section III, we present the quantile-based simulation optimization model to characterize the product mix

planning with controlled risks in semiconductor manufacturing. In Section IV, we apply the AGLS-QC to find the optimal

product mix. In Section V, we evaluate the performance of

AGLS-QC and compare it with three existing methods via a

numerical study. In Section VI, we present an empirical study

based on real data to validate the viability of this research in

real settings. We conclude with future research in Section VII.

II. L ITERATURE R EVIEW

In the literature, the approach for estimating cycle time and

throughput can be roughly categorized into two classes, analytical models and simulation models. The analytical models are

developed based on Littles law and queueing theory [5][10].

In particular, in [6], the purpose of implementing engineering lots and the issues caused by this implementation were

discussed. The material flow in a wafer fab was analyzed in

order to develop effective algorithms for estimating cycle time.

In [8], queueing models were developed to characterize the

semiconductor manufacturing system. A potential solution was

provided to relax the independent assumptions required in the

classical queueing theory. A nonlinear regression metamodel

approach based on queueing theory was developed for estimating the relationship between cycle time and throughput [11].

In [9], a simple queueing model was developed to gain an

insight into the relationship among cycle time, lot size, and

the fab technology level. In summary, the analytical models are

good at providing useful information about the manufacturing

system under study and are relatively easy to use.

On the other hand, simulation is a widely-used tool

for estimating cycle time due to the ability to account

for all the technical details essential to the manufacturing process. Applications of simulation for evaluating

cycle time and throughput in semiconductor manufacturing

include [1], [12][16]. In particular, in [12], simulation was

utilized to assess the impact of scheduling on the mean cycle

time of wafer lots in semiconductor manufacturing. The impact

of HLs on the cycle time of other lots via simulation was investigated in [13]. The results showed that as the fraction of HLs

in the WIP increases, both the mean cycle time and the corresponding standard deviation for all other lots increase dramatically. In [15], an aggregate simulation model representation of

workstations with integrated processing equipment was developed. In particular, a curve fitting procedure was introduced to

deal with the typically limited number of arrival and departures

encountered in semiconductor manufacturing practice. In [1], a

simulation-based methodology was proposed for quick development for the relationship between cycle time and product

mix in semiconductor manufacturing. Some empirical analysis has also been conducted for investigating the relationship

between volume and product mix flexibility [17]. Superior to

the analytical models, simulation models can accommodate

all the technical details that are important to the manufacturing process. However, its disadvantage is that it may require a

substantial amount of time to produce statistically valid results.

III. T HE P ROPOSED M ODEL

In semiconductor industry, engineering lots are implemented

not only to enable the detection of problematic equipments,

but also to provide marketing and business with extra flexibility regarding delivery lead times. To enable the control of

the risk associated with the selected product mix, we propose

a quantile-based simulation optimization model. Three types

of products in the manufacturing process are considered, i.e.,

RLs, HLs, and NLs. Let x = [x1 , x2 , x3 ] be the vector of product mix where each component corresponds to the fraction of

RLs, HLs and NLs, respectively. Further, let the response variable of interest be cycle time (CT), so GCT,1 (x, ) be CT of

RLs and GCT,3 (x, ) be CT of NLs, where denotes the randomness involved in the manufacturing system and Cnl is a

prescribed value. Mathematically, the product mix model can

be expressed as follows.

The Quantile-Based Product Mix Model:

Minx 1 GCT,1 (x, )

s.t. 2 GCT,3 (x, ) Cnl

3

xi = 1

i=1

xi 0,

for all i.

(1)

The above model aims at seeking the product mix that can

result in minimized 1 th quantile of CT of RLs subject to

that 2 th CT of NLs is not greater than a prescribed value

Cnl , where the values of 1 and 2 are determined by production managers. Due to the complexity of semiconductor

manufacturing, 2 [GCT,1 (x, )] and 2 [GCT,3 (x, )] are not

analytically available but can be estimated only by simulation, which inevitably contains noise. This in turn imposes

challenges to telling whether or not a solution is feasible and

one solution is superior to another. Seeking the optimal solution(s) of the proposed model is even more challenging. In

Section IV, we will present a solution method that possesses

an efficient search strategy to identify the optimal solution.

IV. S OLUTION M ETHOD

AGLS-QC is essentially a direct search method. The advantage of the direct search method is that it does not require

gradient estimation in the search process. Instead, it uses only

the (noisy) objective function values and determines the moving direction by comparing a set of solutions. As discussed

in [18], another advantage of the direct search method is

that it is computationally efficient when the feasible region

is not large,

which is the case in this research due to the

constraint 3i=1 xi = 1. In [3], a direct search method, called

SNM-Q, is proposed to solve the unconstrained quantile-based

simulation optimization problems. In [19], SNM-Q is further

extended, called SNM-QC, to solve the constrained quantilebased simulation optimization problems where the constraints

are linear and analytically known. This contrasts with the

proposed model in Section III where the constraint is quantilebased, not analytically available, and has to be estimated via

simulation.

AGLS-QC incorporates the quantile estimation techniques

and the penalty function method from [19] but further employs

an efficient search strategy based on a novel neighborhood

structure to enable quick identification of the optimal solution. The idea is to sequentially divide the feasible region into

several subregions that encompass solutions that have close

objective function values, and then identify the most promising region where the truly optimal solution is likely to reside

in. Because the algorithm samples a region rather than a

solution in each iteration, the search process for the optimal solution is significantly accelerated. In what follows, we

first present the main framework of AGLS-QC, followed by

the introduction of the quantile estimation technique and the

penalty function method.

A. Main Framework

For each iteration, AGLS-QC performs both global sampling and local sampling for a new solution with a nice balance

between exploring the whole feasible region (i.e., global sampling) and exploiting the local region (i.e., local sampling).

Specifically, for any iteration k, let the whole feasible region

be X. And (x) be the quantile estimate at the solution x.

Further let Q(x) = k (x) + rk P(x), where Q(x) is the Q

value evaluated at x, P(x) is the penalty function that has

a large value when the solution is infeasible, and rk is the

Fig. 1.

413

penalty parameter at iteration k, a positive real number satisfying limk rk = . Let 0 = be an empty set and k the

sampled-solution set that collects all sampled solutions up to

iteration k. Let the most promising region be the neighborhood

of xk , which is the solution that has the minimum Q value in

k .

For any iteration k, AGLS-QC conducts the following four

steps.

Step1. Perform local sampling to select t solutions in the

most promising region and update k .

Step2. Perform global sampling to select s solutions in X

and update k .

Step3. Define/update the neighborhood of each solution

in k . Estimate and compare the Q value of all

solutions in k . Identify the the most promising

region.

Step4. If the termination criterion is satisfied, return the

solution xk . Otherwise, let k = k + 1 and return to

Step 1.

The neighborhood of each sampled solution is defined as

follows. Let Dist(u,v) be the Euclidean distance between

the two solutions u, v. The neighborhood of solution xi is

defined as

(xi ) = x : Dist(x, xi ) min Dist xi , xj , j = i ,

(2)

which represents the region defined in a way that any neighborhoods of two sampled solutions will not overlap with each

other. It is remarkable that the neighborhood of one solution,

say xi , is defined dependent on its neighboring solutions and

their relative locations; both are iteratively changed. The values of t and s are selected by users according to the problem

dimension. For example, for a problem of low dimension, the

value of t and s may not be selected large; on the other hand,

when the problem dimension is large, a large value of t and s

are suggested in order to accelerate the convergence speed of

the algorithm.

As shown in Fig. 1, suppose 10 solutions are sampled

through global and local sampling. The algorithm defines the

neighborhood of each solution and identifies the neighborhood

of the solution with minimum quantile estimate as the most

promising region, for example, the neighborhood of x3 . It can

be easily seen that as the algorithm continues to iterate, more

solutions are sampled, making the the most promising region

smaller, in turn increasing the probability that the solutions in

the most promising region being sampled. In the meantime,

due to more solutions are sampled in the feasible region, the

414

eventually the algorithm can find the true optimal solution as

desired.

One issue worth discussing is the sample size schedule

{Nk }

k=0 , which corresponds to the sample size taken for each

solution in k at iteration k. In order to ensure that the quantile estimation is accurate, the sample size should not be too

small, otherwise it is possible to wrongly replace a good solution with a poor solution. On the other hand, the sample size

should not be too large, otherwise the computational budget

may be exhausted before the algorithm achieves convergence.

We suggest an increasing sequence that starts with a small integer in early

iterations and gets large later on. One example is

Nk =

k.

B. Global and Local Sampling

The global and local sampling focus simulation effort on

the region that is most likely to contain the optimal solution,

i.e., the most promising region while, in the mean time, ensure

that other solutions

elsewhere are considered. However, due to

the constraint 3i=1 xi = 1, performing the global and local

sampling may not be a straightforward task. Suppose the current best solution is xk . Let d be the minimal distance between

xk and other solutions in k . The global and local sampling

are given as follows.

Global Sampling:

Step1. Uniformly take a value from [0, 1]. Call it x1 .

Step2. Uniformly take a value from [x1 , 1]. Call it x2 .

Step3. Uniformly take a value from [1 x1 x2 , 1]. Call

it x3 .

Step4. Return x = [x1 , x2 , x3 ] as the new solution.

Local Sampling:

Step1. Calculate the distance from xk to the boundary

line, x1 + x2 = 1, x1 + x3 = 1, x2 + x3 = 1,

respectively. Suppose the distance is s1 , s2 , s3 . Let

s = min{s1 , s2 , s3 }. Let r = min{d, s}

Step2. Take uniformly from [, ]. Let x1 =

r cos , x2 = r sin , x3 = 1 x1 x2 .

Step3. Return x = [x1 , x2 , x3 ] as the new solution.

C. The Penalty Function Method

We apply the penalty function method given in [19] to handle the quantile-based constraint. The goal is to distinguish

the infeasible solutions. Let h1 (x) = 2 [GCT,3 (x, )] Cnl

and Model (1) in fact requires that h1 (x) 0.

To extend the applicability, suppose there are l constraints.

Without loss of generality, suppose hi (x) 0, i = 1, . . . , l.

The selection of P(x) must satisfy that P(x) is an increasing

function of the constraint functions hi (x) for any i. Specifically,

it is desired that P(x) > 0 if and only if hi (x) > 0 for any

i; P(x) as hi (x) and P(x) b(b 0) as

hi (x) . One possible choice of the penalty function

satisfying the above conditions is given as follows:

P(x) = max {max{0, hi (x)}}.

i=1,...,l

(3)

Let X

= {x X : +

}, which denotes

optimal solution, we will need the following assumption.

V. N UMERICAL S TUDY

In this section, we conduct an extensive numerical

study to understand the effectiveness and efficiency of the

AGLS-QC. Three existing algorithms, including Nelder-Mead

simplex method (NM), simulated annealing (SA), and pattern

search (PS) are used to compare with AGLS-QC. However,

because their development is not intended for dealing with

constrained quantile-based simulation optimization problems,

we incorporate the single-sample-based quantile estimator 1 ,

as well as the penalty function method P(x), into their algorithmic frameworks to enable the comparison. To sum up, four

algorithms (AGLS-QC, SA, NM and PS) are compared under

12 scenarios, constituted by 3 types of test problems, 2 choices

of values and 2 types of distributions of the randomness.

The test problems are created by putting together a deterministic test function (where its optimum is known) and an

additive noise, i.e., G(x, ) = g(x) + x . All the test problems

are provided in the Appendix. This is to mimic the proposed

specific model given in Section III where both the objective

function and constraint are quantile-based. For each test problem, the additive noise x is generated from Normal(0, g(x))

and Exponential( = g(x)). Note that the subscript x in x

implies that the distribution of noise is dependent upon the

parameter x; for example, the variance of noise is increasing

with x. In fact, this setting is realistic and fits the practical

situation better. The two choices of values are 0.8 and 0.9.

The test functions are obtained from different sources with

appropriate modifications. In particular, Problems 1 and 2 are

obtained from [21] and Problem 3 is from [22]. All the problems are given in the Appendix. The sample size for the

single-sample quantile

estimate is 30; the sample size schedule

is set as Nk =

k, rk = 105 k0.1 For the four algorithms

under comparison, we do not adjust their parameter setting in

order to achieve the best performance. Instead, the parameter setting is chosen merely based on an educated guess.

As it is known that the parameter setting can significantly

affect the algorithm performance, this numerical study is not

intended to conclude that one algorithm is dominantly superior to the another. Instead, this numerical study aims to shed

some light into how the algorithm performance might be when

it is applied to solve a set of numerical problems.

The performance measure is defined by

xk

,

(4)

(x0 )

where xk and correspond to the best solution found when

the algorithm is terminated and the true globally optimal function value, respectively. This quantity measures how much the

objective function value has been reduced by the algorithm

when it is terminated. Therefore, when it is close to zero, it

means the algorithm is around the optimum; on the other hand,

when it is close to one, the algorithm is far from the optimum

or even diverges.

Due to the consideration that users may have limited knowledge about the optimal solution, the initial solution x0 is

415

TABLE I

P ERFORMANCE C OMPARISON W HEN X N ORMAL(0, g(X)), = 0.9

TABLE II

P ERFORMANCE C OMPARISON W HEN X N ORMAL(0, g(X)), = 0.8

TABLE III

P ERFORMANCE C OMPARISON W HEN X E XPONENTIAL( = g(X)), = 0.9

TABLE IV

P ERFORMANCE C OMPARISON W HEN X E XPONENTIAL( = g(X)), = 0.8

30 macroreplications are run. For each macroreplication, we

stop the algorithm when the maximum function evaluations

30,000 are reached and report the performance measure as

well as the associated standard deviation (given in the parenthesis). Note that this is not to imply that all algorithms would

converge when 30,000 observations are consumed. Instead,

it is simply a termination criterion used as a fair basis for

comparing the performance of four algorithms.

All the problems are solved using the computer with

Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU (2.26 GHz, 2.27 GHz) and

4 GB of RAM. Tables IIV show the results of Eqn. (4) for 12

scenarios solved by four algorithms under comparison. Overall

speaking, AGLS-QC has robust and satisfactory performance

over 12 scenarios. In particular, under the same computational

budget, AGLS-QC is able to find a solution of much better quality compared to NM, SA, and PS. This is because

AGLS-QC has an efficient search strategy and incorporates

effective quantile estimation techniques. The other three algorithms, on the other hand, lack effectiveness and efficiency

values are available.

VI. A N E MPIRICAL S TUDY

In order to validate the viability of this research, we conduct

an empirical study based on real data in collaboration with

a leading semiconductor company in Taiwan. This study is

parallel to that given in [2]. Figure 2 shows a partial simulation

model developed for evaluating the system performance, i.e.,

cycle time, under different scenarios of product mix. While

the developed simulation model is a scaled-down version of

an actual fab, it includes the important characteristics of the

real semiconductor manufacturing process including re-entrant

flow, batch machines, and engineering lots with equipment

reservation policy.

A few details of the simulation model are given as follows:

Priority among lot types: RLs > HLs > NLs.

Both RL and HL are processed based on equipment reservation policy: an entire machine is reserved for RL, and

a load port of a machine is reserved for HL.

416

TABLE VI

O PTIMAL P RODUCT M IX BY AGLS-QC

product mix problem is defined as follows:

Minx 0.9 GCT,1 (x, )

s.t. 0.8 GCT,3 (x, ) 65

3

TABLE V

E XAMPLES OF ROUTE S HEET

infinite capacities.

The batch mode is enforced strictly, and the batch size

can vary with machine groups (from 2 to 6 lots).

The number of load ports can be different with machine

groups (from 2 to 6).

The rework rates are assumed 15% and 1% for engineering lots (RLs and HLs) and NLs, respectively.

Table V provides some examples of the route sheet. In

particular, the column of Step encoded by a sequence of

numbers represents the next processing step. In order to simplify the simulation model for reducing execution time, a

machine group is used to replace a machine, and additional

noise is added with raw processing time to emulate the flow

time in the actual manufacturing system.

The simulation model is verified and validated with the

assistance of domain experts to ensure that it can faithfully

represent the actual manufacturing process. In addition, statistical analysis is performed to ascertain the outputs of the

simulation model have the similar behavior with those of the

actual manufacturing process.

xi = 1.

(5)

i=1

The above model is to seek the product mix that can achieve

0.9-quantile of CT of RLs, while ensuring that the 0.8-quantile

of CT of NLs can be less than 65. Table VI provides the

optimal product mix solved by AGLS-QC. It is suggested that

the fractions of RLs, HLs and NLs, should 0.12, 0.2 and 0.68,

respectively.

This optimal product mix is then implemented in the wafer

fab as follows. Based on the wafer start in the fab, the optimal product mix can be converted into the quantity of wafers

of RLs, HLs, and NLs that would be released into the manufacturing system. It is remarkable that since the cycle times

of RLs, HLs and NLs are different, the fraction of RL, HL

and NL in the WIP may change with time. Therefore, production engineers typically monitor the product mix in the WIP

and determine how many more wafers of RLs, HLs and NLs

should be released into the manufacturing system on a daily

basis in order to stick to the optimal product mix.

After the suggested product mix is implemented, it is found

that, compared to the current practice, the 0.9-quantile of CT

of RLs is decrased by 28% and the constraint of CT of NLs

is also satisfied. This result shows that the proposed model

and the solution method can truly result in the product mix

that has satisfactory performance in practice, thus validating

the viability of this research in practical settings.

VII. C ONCLUSION

In this paper, we proposed a quantile-based simulation optimization model to characterize the risk-controlled product mix

planning in semiconductor manufacturing and applied a solution method, AGLS-QC, to obtain the optimal product mix in

semiconductor manufacturing with risks taken into consideration. As opposed to the existing analytical models that require

assumptions to obtain mathematical tractability, the proposed

model and the solution method use simulation as a tool to

evaluate the system performance where all the important manufacturing details are allowed to be taken into consideration.

Moreover, the novel quantile-based formulation allows for the

control of the upside risk associated with the selection of

the product mix. An extensive numerical study shows that

the performance AGLS-QC is promising and is more efficient

compared to three existing heuristics. Finally, an empirical

study conducted in collaboration with a leading semiconductor

practical settings.

Future research includes extending AGLS-QC to solve problems with more complex constraints, e.g., chance constraints.

One example is that the probability that the CT of NLs is

greater than 60 days is less than 10%. This type of constraints

is often encountered in many practical situations. Moreover,

because AGLS-QC is essentially a direct search method, it

may not be able to find the optimal solution efficiently when

the feasible region is extremely large, for example, when

the number of decision variables is large. There is a need

to improve the algorithm efficiency for problems of large

dimensionality.

A PPENDIX

A. Test Problems

5

min 50

x

+ 47.5x5 + 17 + x

s.t. [20x1 + 12x2 + 11x3 + 7x4 + 4x5 + x ] 50

5

xi = 1

i=1

xi 0, i = 1, . . . , 5.

5

(6)

i=1

xi 0, i = 1, . . . , 6

(7)

Problem 3:

2

2

min

10 xi+1 xi2

+ (1 xi )2

2

2

90 xi+3 xi+2

+ (1 xi+2 )2

2

+

10(xi+1 + xi+3 2)

2

+ 1/ 10(xi+1 xi+3 ) + x

+

Wi G(i)

(10)

xi = 1

i=1

xi 0, i = 1, . . . , 6.

(1 )(n + 1)} and where Ix (a, b) denotes the incomplete beta

function. Reference [25] proved that 2 is also asymptotically

unbiased.

All the above discussion is focused on single-sample-based

quantile estimators, which requires extensive storage space

to save all observations. Moreover, the computation requires

sorting all observations once again when there are new observations and thus takes much more time. We propose the use

of the multiple-sample-based quantile estimator given in [19].

The quantile is estimated by computing the sample mean of N

independent single-sample quantile estimates 2 . Specifically,

(i)

let (x; l) denote the ith single-sample quantile estimate

obtained based on l observations, i = 1, . . . , k. Then, the

multiple-sample estimator is the sample average of the N

single-sample estimators

N

(11)

Compared to the single-sample-based quantile estimator, the

multiple-sample estimator has the advantage that the algorithm only needs to keep track of (x) and updates it

when more independent single-sample quantile estimates are

obtained. More importantly, when N is appropriately chosen, the multiple-sample estimator can allow the algorithm to

correctly rank a set of solutions.

R EFERENCES

s.t. 127 + 2x12 + 3x24 + x3 + 4x44 + 5x5 + x 0

5

n

i=1

i=1

i=1

n. The upsides of 1 are that it is strongly consistent for

(x) and that it is asymptotically normal [23]. However, the

downside of 1 is that it is an inefficient estimator due to its

large variance. To address this, the following L-estimator is

proposed to estimate quantiles using linear combinations of

order statistics [24]:

(x) = N 1

6

xi = 1

For any fixed x, let G(1) G(2) . . . G(n) be order statistics obtained by sorting the observations {Gi , i = 1, 2, . . . , n}

in an ascending order. One traditional quantile estimator is:

G[n]

if = 0

1 =

(9)

if > 0

G[n]+1

i=1

i=1

min 0.5

B. Quantile Estimation

2 =

Problem 1:

Problem 2:

417

(8)

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Wiley, 1995.

418

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[8] J. G. Shanthikumar, S. Ding, and M. T. Zhang, Queueing theory for

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[9] E. Zarifoglu, J. J. Hasenbein, and E. Kutanoglu, Lot size management

in the semiconductor industry: Queueing analysis for cycle time optimization, IEEE Trans. Semicond. Manuf., vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 9299,

Feb. 2013.

[10] A. A. Kalir, Segregating preventive maintenance work for cycle

time optimization, IEEE Trans. Semicond. Manuf., vol. 26, no. 1,

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[11] F. Yang, B. Ankenman, and B. L. Nelson, Efficient generation of cycle

time-throughput curves through simulation and metamodeling, Naval

Res. Logistics, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 7893, 2007.

[12] L. M. Wein, Scheduling semiconductor wafer fabrication, IEEE Trans.

Semicond. Manuf., vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 115130, Aug. 1988.

[13] B. Ehteshami, R. G. Petrakian, and P. M. Shabe, Trade-offs in cycle

time management: Hot lots, IEEE Trans. Semicond. Manuf., vol. 5,

no. 2, pp. 101106, May 1992.

[14] A. I. Sivakumar and C. S. Chong, A simulation based analysis

of cycle time distribution, and throughput in semiconductor backend

manufacturing, Comput. Ind., vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 5978, 2001.

[15] C. P. L. Veeger, L. F. P. Etman, J. V. Herk, and J. E. Rooda,

Generating cycle time-throughput curves using effective process time

based aggregate modeling, IEEE Trans. Semicond. Manuf., vol. 23,

no. 4, pp. 517526, Nov. 2010.

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[17] M. Hallgren and J. Olhager, Flexibility configurations: Empirical analysis of volume and product mix flexibility, Omega, vol. 37, no. 4,

pp. 746756, 2009.

[18] K.-H. Chang, Stochastic NelderMead simplex methodA new globally convergent direct search method for simulation optimization, Eur.

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[19] K.-H. Chang and H.-K. Lu, Quantile-based simulation optimization

with inequality constraints: Methodology and applications, IEEE Trans.

Autom. Sci. Eng., vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 701708, Apr. 2016.

[20] K.-H. Chang, A quantile-based simulation optimization model for sizing hybrid renewable energy systems, Simulat. Model. Pract. Theory,

vol. 66, pp. 94103, Aug. 2016.

[21] C. A. Floudas and P. M. Pardalos, A Collection of Test Problems

for Constrained Global Optimization Algorithms, vol. 455. Berlin,

Germany: Springer-Verlag, 1990.

[22] H.-P. Schwefel, Evolution and Optimum Seeking: The Sixth Generation.

New York, NY, USA: Wiley, 1993.

[23] R. J. Serfling, Approximation Theorems of Mathematical Statistics.

New York, NY, USA: Wiley, 1980.

[24] F. E. Harrell and C. E. Davis, A new distribution-free quantile

estimator, Biometrika, vol. 69, no. 3, pp. 635640, 1982.

[25] T. Dielman, C. Lowry, and R. Pfaffenberger, A comparison of quantile estimators, Commun. Stat. Simulat. Comput., vol. 23, no. 2,

pp. 355371, 1994.

from Purdue University. He is an Associate Professor with the Industrial

Engineering and Engineering Management, National Tsing Hua University.

His research interests include simulation optimization, stochastic models, and

Monte Carlo simulation. He was a recipient of the 2012 Bonder Scholar

Research Award by INFORMS, 2015 IIE Transactions Best Application

Award by IIE, and the 2015 K. D. Tocher Medal by the OR Society. He

has consulted with many industrial companies including TSMC, VisEra,

YOMURA, and ITRI. He has been serving as an Executive Editor of the

Journal of Industrial and Production Engineering since 2012. He is a member

of INFORMS, IIE and IEEE.

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