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Int. J. Production Economics 107 (2007) 125138


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The effects of learning and forgetting on the optimal production


lot size for deteriorating items with time varying demand and
deterioration rates
Adel. A. Alamri, Zaid T. Balkhi
Department of Statistics and Operations Research, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Received 29 April 2004; accepted 9 August 2006
Available online 20 October 2006

Abstract

In this paper, we shall study the effects of learning and forgetting on the production lot size problems for an innite
planning horizon. Items deteriorate while they are in storage, and both demand and deterioration rates are arbitrary
functions of time. The instantaneous production rate presented herein is dependent on the time required to produce the
rst unit at the beginning of production process, the number of units remembered, and the xed learning slope component.
The forgetting slope is represented by an approximation of the minimum break to which the manufacturer assumes total
forgetting so that it allows variable total forgetting breaks. The system is subject to learning in the production stage and to
forgetting while production ceased so that the optimal manufactured quantity for any given cycle is dependent on the
instantaneous production rate. A closed form for the total relevant costs is derived, and rigorous mathematical methods
that guide to a minimum total cost of the underlying inventory system are introduced. Illustrative examples, which explain
the applications of the theoretical results as well as their numerical verications, are also given.
r 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Learning; Forgetting; Variant time to total forgetting; Instantaneous production rate; Varying demand; Deterioration;
Optimality

1. Introduction tasks and work environment, and enhanced manage-


ment efciency (Jaber and Bonney, 1999). These
It is often the case that the performance of a factors can be reected on the manufacturing
system engaged in repetitive manufacturing opera- system as a reduction in cost and/or time of
tions improves with time. This is due to the learning production. The Learning Phenomenon intro-
phenomenon, which is a decrease in the cost and/or duced by Wright (Wright, 1936) to study factors
the time required to produce each successive unit. affecting the cost of airplanes, which was the rst
Factors usually inherent to this improvement may attempt to link the performance of a specic task to
include the more effective use of tools and the number of times that task is repeated, resulted in
machines, increased familiarity with operational the theory of the learning curve. Wrights power
function formulation is expressed as
Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: adel_nlp@msn.com (A.A. Alamri),
ztbalkhi@ksu.edu.sa (Z.T. Balkhi). tn t1 nr , (1)

0925-5273/$ - see front matter r 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2006.08.004
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126 A.A. Alamri, Z.T. Balkhi / Int. J. Production Economics 107 (2007) 125138

where tn is the time required to produce the nth unit, model are treated in Section 5. Illustrative examples,
t1 is the time required to produce the rst unit, n is which explain the applications of the theoretical
the production count, and r is the slope of the results of Section 5 as well as their numerical
learning curve, computed as r log l/log 2 where verications are given in Section 6, while concluding
l is the learning rate. The learning curve introduced remarks are provided in Section 7. The paper closes
by Wright (1936) is a common used model, because, with an Appendix where we provide an approxima-
it has a simple and applicable mathematical form. tion of the forgetting slope.
However, it implies a decrease in the cumulative
time per unit as the quantity produced approaches 2. Review of past contributions
to n. That is, for r40 then tn ! 0 as n ! 1, which
implies that the time required to produce the nth Learning and forgetting phenomena have
unit can be neglected as n takes on relatively large received the attention of many researchers (Adler
values. This, in fact, is unreasonable conclusion, and Nanda, 1974; Balkhi, 2003; Carlson, 1975;
since in real-world problems, it is often that, after a Carlson and Rowe, 1976; Elmaghraby, 1990;
certain time of cumulative learning in a production Globerson et al., 1989; Hancock, 1967; Hoffman,
system, the system reaches a steady-state situation, 1968; Keachie and Fontana, 1966; Muth and
in which case tn will approach an almost certain Spermann, 1983; Spradlin and Pierce, 1967;
value, where then tn tmin 40. On the other hand, a Steedman, 1970; Sule, 1978; Wortham and Mayyasi,
break in production will have an adverse effect on 1972; Wright, 1936). Salamah et al. (1993) presented
tn. For example, it is reasonable to assume that if a a modied production lot-sizing inventory model
large amount of time has elapsed between con- that incorporates the effect of full transmission of
secutive production runs then we would not follow learning, which may be achieved during production
the same learning curve at the point where produc- period. They treated the innite horizon case, where
tion resumes. The production rate at the recom- production rate is not signicantly higher than the
mencement of production might not be as high as demand rate, in which inventory level during
when the production ceased. Hence, the cost and/or production period rises in an increasingly nonlinear
the time needed to produce the rst unit in the next rate. Jaber and Bonney (1996) extended the work of
production run will increase as the length of the Salamah et al. (1993) by developing a mathematical
break increases. This loss of performance over the model that describes the learningforgetting rela-
production break is due to the forgetting phenom- tionship, referred to as the learnforget curve model
enon. Carlson and Rowe (1976) described the (LFCM). The LFCM was tested and shown to be
forgetting or interruption portion of the learning consistent with the model presented by Globerson et
cycle by a negative decay function equivalent to the al. (1989) with less than 1% deviation. With the
decay observed in electrical losses in condensers. LFCM, it is possible to determine the value of the
The forgetting curve relation presented by Carlson forgetting rate once its mathematical form is
and Rowe (1976), is expressed as assumed. Jaber and Bonney (1996) assumed that
the forgetting slope is dependent on three factors.
t^m t^1 ml , (2)
These factors are the equivalent accumulated output
where t^m is the equivalent time for the mth unit of of continuous production at the point of interrup-
lost experience of the forgetting curve, m is the tion, the minimum break to which the manufacturer
amount of units that would have been produced if assumes total forgetting, and the learning slope.
interruption did not occur, t^1 is the intercept of the They showed that forgetting had an adverse effect
forgetting curve, and l is the slope of the forgetting because of the drop in labor productivity. Jaber and
curve reecting the increase in the production time Bonney (1998) developed three models for the
required per unit. The remainder of this paper is innite and nite planning horizon. They showed
organized as follows. In the next section, we review that when the system experiences a partial transmis-
relevant literature. In Section 3, we formulate the sion of learning the optimal policy was to carry
general model without the consideration of learning fewer inventories in later lots. Jaber and Bonney
and forgetting effects. The learnforgetlearn rela- (1997) studied the effect of learning and forgetting
tionship is introduced in Section 4. Reformulation on the optimal manufactured quantity with the
of the general model under learnforgetlearn consideration of intracycle, within cycle, backor-
effects and solution procedures for the resulting ders. They showed that the presence of interruptions
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A.A. Alamri, Z.T. Balkhi / Int. J. Production Economics 107 (2007) 125138 127

results in longer cycle runs causing further increase the empirical ndings reported by Nembhard and
in labor and inventory costs. These costs tend to be Uzumeri (2000) in an industrial setting (Jaber and
more critical in the case when only a partial Kher, 2002). Scientists and practitioners have not
transmission of learning is assumed. For more yet agreed on acceptable form affecting the forget-
details about learning and forgetting, see the out- ting process. This is due to the difculties involved
standing review of Jaber and Bonney (1999). Jaber in obtaining the time in which total forgetting
and Bonney (1997) studied the differences and occurs. Jaber and Kher (2004) improved the
similarities of three previously proposed models of limitation of the LFCM, which assumes a xed
learning and forgetting effects. These models are the value for the total time of forgetting by proposing
LFCM (1996), the variable regression to invariant the following lower bound:
forgetting (VRIF) (Elmaghraby, 1990), and the  
variable regression to variable forgetting (VRVF) d max X virr1  1 tvi ,
(Carlson and Rowe, 1976). They found that the
LFCM satises two relationships, the rst one is where dmax is the time in which total forgetting
that when total forgetting occurs, the time to occurs, t(vi) is the time required to perform vi tasks,
produce a unit reverts to the time required to and r is the learning slope. They used regression
produce the rst unit at the beginning of the methods to determine the parameters of the forget-
process, and the second relationship is that the ting curve which depend on the estimated value of
performance time on the learning curve equals that dmax. Jaber and Sikstrom (2004) investigated and
on the forgetting curve at the point of interruption. discussed the differences and similarities of three
Whereas the VRIF satises the rst one and the promising models. These models are the LFCM
VRVF satises the second one. Jaber et al. (2003) (Jaber and Bonney, 1996), the RC (Nembhard and
studied training and deployment polices using the Uzumeri, 2000), and the power integration diffusion
LFCM, and then they identied seven character- (PID) (Sikstrom and Jaber, 2002). The results
istics of forgetting that should be considered by indicate that for a moderate learning scenario, the
learning and forgetting models. These characteris- three models produce very close predictions to one
tics are (1) the amount of experience gained before another for all values of production breaks and
interruption occurs in the learning process inu- initial processing times. Furthermore, the PID and
ences the level of forgetting, (2) the length of the RC models, and the PID and the LFCM models,
interruption interval inuences the level of forget- could be best differentiated for cases characterised
ting, (3) relearning rate is the same as the original by high initial processing times, long production
learning rate, (4) the power function is appropriate breaks, and tasks that identied as being more
for capturing forgetting, (5) learning and forgetting motor than cognitive. Numerical results for the PID
are mirror images of each other, (6) the level of and LFCM suggested that as learning becomes
forgetting depends upon the rate at which a worker slower forgetting becomes faster. This result is
learns, and (7) the nature of the task being inconsistent with that of the RC model, which
performed inuences the amount of forgetting. suggests that fast (slow) learners forget faster
Further, they evaluated the extent to which existing (slower). It seems from the above review that several
learning and forgetting models incorporate these researchers have shown that the LFCM is advanta-
characteristics. They found that the LFCM incor- geous to some of the models being investigated. The
porates six out of the seven characteristics. They above-mentioned authors assumed a constant de-
also introduced a modication to the LFCM mand rate and did not incorporate product dete-
to accommodate the degree of task similarity. rioration in their models, though time varying
Jaber and Sikstrom (2004) tted the LFCM demand and product deterioration rates have been
to the empirical data provided by Nembhard and frequently treated in the literature. The assumption
Osothsilp (2001). They showed that the LFCM of a constant demand rate is usually valid in the
performed better than the recency model (RC) of mature stage of the life cycle of the product. In the
Nembhard and Uzumeri (2000), who based their growth and/or ending stage of the product life cycle
studied on the assumption of varying learning demand rate can be well approximated by a linear
slopes. Jaber and Kher (2002) showed that if demand function. In fact, the variation of demand
individual learns rapidly, then he tends to forget and /or product deterioration with time (and may
rapidly. Such behavior of the model coincides with be with some other factors) is a quite natural
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128 A.A. Alamri, Z.T. Balkhi / Int. J. Production Economics 107 (2007) 125138

phenomenon. For instance, seasonal variations, The process is repeated. The behavior of such
occasions (e.g., Christmases, new years, festivals) system is depicted in Fig. 1.
may cause an increase or decrease in the demand of The changes in the inventory level depicted in
certain commodity. Also, the increase of time Fig. 1 are given by the following differential equations:
storage as well as the changes in the environments dI j t
of storage may also result in an increase or decrease Pt  Dt  dtI j t; T 0j ptoT 1j (4)
dt
in the deterioration rate of certain items.
with the initial condition I j T 0j 0, and
3. Formulation of the general model dI j t
Dt  dtI j t; T 1j ptpT 2j (5)
dt
In this paper, we shall generalize the work of with the ending condition I j T 2j 0.
Jaber and Bonney (1996) under the following The solutions of the above differential equa-
assumptions: tions are
Z t
 
1. A single item is produced in batches at an I j t egt Pu  Du egu du; T 0j ptoT 1j ,
increasing production rate (due to learning) T 0j
denoted by P(t). (6)
2. The items are subject to deterioration and there is Z T 2j
no repair or replacement of deteriorated items.
I j t egt Du egu du; T 1j ptpT 2j , (7)
3. The demand and deterioration rates are arbitrary t
functions of time denoted by D(t) and d(t), respectively, where
respectively. Z
4. We shall require that Dta0, dta0, D0 ta0 gt dt dt. (8)
and d0 ta08tX0.
R t2
5. The instantaneous production rate at time t is Let It1 ; t2 t1 Iu du, then from (6) and (7) we
given by the following differential equation have
dqt Z T 1j
Pt, (3) I j T 0j ; T 1j egt
dt
T 0j
where q(t ) is the number of units produced up to Z !
t
time t.  Pu  Du e gu
du dt, 9
6. The production process is subject to learnforge- T 0j
tlearn. Z 
Z T 2j T 2j
7. The time in which total forgetting occurs is a
I j T 1j ; T 2j egt Du egu du dt,
function of the number of units remembered. T 1j t
8. Shortages are not allowed.
(10)
9. The cost parameters are as follows: a labor
cost per unit time; c unit cost, which includes respectively.
materials cost; h unit holding cost per unit per
unit time; k setup cost per cycle.

For cycle j, Ij(t) denotes the inventory level at


Inventory level

time t. In each cycle j (j 1, 2, y), the system starts


operating at time T0j by which the production
process starts and the inventory level increases at a
rate Pt  Dt  dtI j t until time T1j where the
inventory level reaches its maximum, and the
production stopped. The system now is subject to
T0 j T1 j T2 j Time
forgetting from time T1j up to time T2j. During this
intervening period, the inventory level declines Cycle length
continuously at a rate Dt dtI j t where it Fig. 1. Inventory variation of an economic production quantity
becomes zero by time T2j (the end of the cycle). (EPQ) model under learningforgetting effects for one cycle.
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Now using integration by parts, Eq. (9) is re- fact that the inventory level must have an equal
duced to value for t T 1j . Thus, our goal is to solve the
Z T 1j following optimization problem, which we shall call
 
I j T 0j ; T 1j GT 1j  Gu problem (p)
T 0j (
Minimize ZT 1j ; T 2j given by 14;
 Pu  Du egu du, 11 p
subject to 15 and g1 0;
similarly, Eq. (10) is reduced to
Z T 2j where
 
I j T 1j ; T 2j Gu  GT 1j Du egu du, Z T 1j Z T 2j
T 1j gu
g1 Pu  Du e du  Du egu du.
(12) 0 T 1j

where
Z The solution procedure for similar problem has
been introduced in details in Balkhi (1998, 2000,
Gt egt dt. (13)
2003). The most important point to be remembered
from Balkhi (1998, 2000, 2003) is that, if we
Note that we can set T 0j 0 without loss of
temporarily ignore the monotony constraints (15)
generality. Now, the per cycle cost components for
and call the resulting problem as (p1) then as a result
the given inventory system are as follows:
from the Kuhn-Tucker necessary conditions, rela-
tion (15) do satisfy any solution of (p1). Hence
The labor cost R aT1j.
T (p)and (p1) are equivalent. Next, we shall introduce
Items cost c 0 1j Pu du. Note that this cost
the relationship between learning and forgetting.
includes the deterioration cost.
Holding cost hI j 0; T 1j I j T 1j ; T 2j .
4. The learnforgetlearn (LFL) relationship
Thus, the total cost per unit time of the under-
lying inventory system during the cycle [0, T2j], as a Let bj denotes the amount of equivalent units of
function of T1j and T2j say ZT 1j ; T 2j is given by experience remembered at the beginning of produc-

Z T 1j tion run j, with the initial amount b1 0. In each
 1
Z T 1j ; T 2j aT 1j c Pu du h production run j (j 1, 2, y), the system starts the
T 2j 0 production stage at time T0j, in which learning takes
Z T 1j
place and the amount bj increases due to learning
 GT 1j  Gu Pu  Du egu du effect up to time T1j by which the production ceases,
0
Z T 2j # ) and the level of equivalent units of experience

gu
Gu  GT 1j Du e du k , 14 increases by Qj units, where Qj is the number of
T 1j units produced in cycle j. At this time the forgetting
phenomenon starts its inuence so that the amount
where g(u) is given by (8) and G(u) is given by (13).
of equivalent units of experience bj Qj will
Our goal is to nd T1j and T2j, that minimize
decrease due to forgetting up to time T2j where an
ZT 1j ; T 2j where ZT 1j ; T 2j is given by (14). But
equivalent amount bj+1 bj1 pbj Qj is reached
the variables T1j and T2j are related to each other
and the recommencement for the next production
through the following relations:
run is restarted. The process is repeated. It is to be
0oT 1j oT 2j , (15) noted that in the case that the transmission of
Z learning from cycle to cycle does not occur, then
T 1j
bj1 bj 0 and t1j1 t1j t11 , where t1j is the
egT 1j Pu  Du egu du
0 time required to produce the rst unit in cycle j.
Z T 2j Moreover, for the case there is a full transmission
P of
egT 1j Du egu du. 16 learning from cycle to cycle, then bj1 ji1 Qi
T 1j
and t1j1 pt1j . Note that the equality allows the
Relation (15) represents the natural monotony possibility that t1j tmin 40. Fig. 2 depicts the effect
constraints, since otherwise the given problem, of learning and forgetting on the time required to
would have no meaning. Relation (16) ensures the produce a unit.
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5. Model formulation under (LFL) there had been no interruption in the production,
then from (18) we have
First, we shall present an approximation form for 
t11  1r
(1). Let tij be the time required to produce the ith T 2j  T 0j bj Qj S j  b1r
j .
unit in the jth cycle then, from (1) and the denition 1r
of bj we have (22)
tij t11 bj ir . (17) Next, we shall present an approximation form for
(2). Let t^mj be the equivalent time to produce the mth
From (17), if tj is the time required to produce qj unit of lost experience in the jth cycle of the
units in the jth cycle, where tj XT 1j and qjXQj, then forgetting curve, then from (2) and the denition of
bj qj
X Z bj qj bj we have
tj t11 kr  t11 kr dk  l
kbj bj t^mj t^1j bj m j . (23)
 1r 
t11
bj q j  b1r
j . 18 The time required to produce the rst unit at the
1r beginning of production run j+1 can be found from
Solving for qj, the total number of units produced (17) in terms of bj+1 as follows:
up to time tj is given by  r
t1j1 t11 bj1 1 . (24)
1=1r
1  rtj
qj tj b1r
j  bj . (19) The amount of equivalent units of experience by
t11
time T1j, where the production ceases is equal to the
From which and (3) we have same amount at the beginning of the forgetting
h ir=1r phase, namely bj Qj , which is the experience
1  rtj =t11 bj1r gained plus the amount produced in the interval
Pj tj . (20) [T0j, T1j]. This can be obtained by equating Eqs. (17)
t11 and (23) yielding
Thus, if Qj is the amount produced in the interval  r  l j
[T0j, T1j], then from (18) we have t11 bj Qj t^1j bj Qj . (25)

t11  1r
1r Thus, for each interruption, the intercept of the
T 1j  T 0j bj Qj  bj . (21)
1r forgetting curve in the jth cycle is given by
 rl j
Also, if Sj is the amount that could have been
t^1j t11 bj Qj . (26)
produced in the interval [T1j, T2j] assuming that

t11
Time

t1 j

01 j + Qj j + Qj + Sj j + Qj + Yj
Number of units

Fig. 2. The effect of learning and forgetting on the time required to produce a unit.
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Substituting (26) in (23) we obtain which can be reduced to


 rl j  l j  
t^Qj t11 bj Qj bj Qj . r log bj Qj
lj h i. (30)
log 1 Y j =bj Qj
The amount of equivalent units of experience at
time T2j, where the forgetting phase ceases is equal
to bj+1, which is the experience retained at the end Now, let us suggest an approximation form for
of the cycle. This amount can be obtained by cQj Y j so that
equating Eqs. (23) and (17) where we obtain  
bj Qj
t^1j bj Qj Sj l j t11 br
j1 .
Yj . (31)
t1j

From which and (26) it follows that


Further discussion on how to compute Yj is
 l j  rl j provided in Appendix A.
t11 br
j1 t11 bj Qj S j bj Qj . In Eq. (31), we consider the value of t1j as a
constant that takes on distinct values that depend
Solving for bj+1 we obtain on the corresponding j until it attains a stable value,
i.e. t1j tmin 40. Therefore, the value of Yj is
2 l j 31=r measured in units and depends on three known
bj Qj S j values, which vary from cycle to cycle to allow
6 7
bj1 4  rl j 5 . (27) variable total forgetting breaks. To justify such
bj Qj suggestion, we note that right-hand side (RHS) of
(31) is a function of the number of units remem-
Now, let cQj Y j be the corresponding quan- bered at the point of interruption and the time
tity that could have been produced during the required to produce the rst unit at the beginning of
interval [T1j, tlj], where tlj XT 2j under the assump- production run j. So it is quite reasonable to say
tion that there had been no interruption in the that as the produced units build up, the total
production, then from (18) we have forgetting accumulates. Also, note that Yj levels off
 once bj and (t1j and Qj) attain their maximum
t11  1r
1r (minimum) values, respectively. Thus, the forgetting
tlj  T 0j bj Qj Y j  bj . (28)
1r slope can be rewritten as
 
Suppose that tlj is the time required to forget the r log bj Qj
lj  . (32)
equivalent amount of bj Qj units of experience, log 1 1=t1j
then the amount of experience retained by time tlj
can be obtained by equating Eqs. (23) and (17) In Eq. (32), if there is no learning involved, i.e.
yielding r 0 then there is nothing to forget, i.e. lj 0. Note
that we can normalize our scales so that t1j can take
 l j
on a value less than one unit of time, i.e. t1j o1.
t^1j bj Qj Y j t11 , (29)
Also, for the case that the time for total forgetting is
assumed to be xed, then this model still valid by
Substituting (26) in (29) we obtain using Eq. (30), since the value of Yj is known by Eq.
 l j  rl j (19).
bj Qj Y j bj Qj 1. Now, for T 0j 0, (21) implies

t11  1r
T 1j bj Qj  bj1r . (33)
Taking the logarithm of both sides, we obtain 1r
  From (33) we note that T1j can be determined as a
r log bj Qj
lj    , function of bj and Qj, hence of Qj, say
log bj Qj Y j  log bj Qj T 1j f 1j Qj . (34)
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In addition, from (16) we have Moreover, from (39) to (41) we have


h  h i i
Z T 1j Z T 2j f 2j af 01j;Qj f 01j;Qj Pf 1j c h egf 1j Gf 2j  Gf 1j
gu
Pue du Du egu du. (35) w
f 02j;Qj
.
0 0
(42)
From which and (34) we nd that T2jcan be
Also, (39)
determined as a function of T1j, hence of Qj, say
w w0Q
T 2j f 2j Qj . (36) 3W 0 j , (43)
f 2j f 2j;Qj

Thus, if we substitute (16), (34) and (36) in (14) where W is given by (37) and w0Qj is given by (41).
then problem (p)will be converted to the following Eq. (42) can, now, be used to determine the optimal
unconstrained problem with the variable Qj (which value of Qj. Then the optimal values of T1j and T2j
we shall call problem (p2)) can be found from (34) and (36), respectively,

Z f 1j whereas the minimum total cost can be determined
1 from (43).
minimize W Qj af 1j c Pu du
f 2j 0
Z f 1j Remark 1. In this remark we shall give some of the

h Gu Pu  Du egu du properties of the instantaneous production rate.
0
Z # )
f 2j (A) If the system is subject to no learning, i.e. r 0
GuDu egu du k . 37 then Eqs. (19) and (20) are reduced to qj tj
f 1j
tj =t11 and Pj tj 1=t11 , respectively. Note here
that, when tj 0 then Eq. (20) is reduced to
Note that the unconstrained case happens since
(34) and (36) were obtained by direct substitution brj
from one into the other and by direct substitution in Pj 0 . (44)
t11
the objective function.
Now, the necessary condition for having a Also, if r 0 then Eq. (44) is reduced to
minimum for problem (p2) is Pj 0 1=t11 . Further, P1 0 br1 =t11 0
dW which represents the initial production rate,
0. (38) since b1 0. These results imply that Pj(tj) is
dQj
dependent on the amount of equivalent units of
To nd the solution of (38), let W w=f 2j then experience remembered at the beginning of
0 0 production run j. This is so, since both the slope
dW wQj f 2j  f 2j;Qj w of the learning curve and the time required to
,
dQj f 22j produce the rst unit have xed values.
(B) In the case where the transmission of learning
where w0Qj and f 02j;Qj are the derivatives of w and f 2j from cycle to cycle does not occur, then
with respect to (w.r.t) Qj, respectively. Hence, (38) is
equivalent to  r=1r
1  rtj =t11
w0Qj f 2j f 02j;Qj w. (39) Pj tj . (45)
t11
Also, taking the rst derivative of both sides of
(16), (w.r.t) Qj we obtain On the other hand, denote f1j as the time
required to produce Qj units in cycle j, then this
f 01j;Qj Pf 1j egf 1j f 02j;Qj Df 2j egf 2j . (40) time remains constant in each cycle. As a result,
the production rate at the end of each produc-
tion period j is given by
From which, (34), (36), and (37) we have
 r=1r
w0Qj af 01j;Qj f 01j;Qj Pf 1j 1  rf 11 =t11
Pj f 1j P1 f 11 .
 h i t11
 c hegf 1j Gf 2j  Gf 1j . 41 (46)
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Further, in the case that there is a full First, we shall calculate the theoretical functions
transmission of learning from cycle to cycle, f ij , f 0ij;Qj i 1; 2, and w as they are dened in the
then previous sections for the above demand rate. Now,
h ir=1r from (33) and (34) we have
1  rf 1j =t11 b1r 
j t11  1r
Pj f 2j Pj f 1j f 1j bj Q j  b1r
j . (49)
t11 1r
brj1
Pj1 0 , 47 From which, (16) and (20) we have
t11 h ir=1r
P Z f 1j 1  ru=t11 b1r
where bj1 ji1 Qi , and f2j is the cycle j
du
length. 0 t11
Z f 2j
(C) Finally, in the case that there is a partial
transmission of learning from cycle to cycle, bu d du.
0
then
h ir=1r Recalling (19), the last relation implies
1  rf xj =t11 b1r 1=1r
Pj f 2j Pj f xj
j 1  rf 1j bf 22j
t11 b1r
j df 2j bj .
t11 2
brj1
Pj1 0 , 48 From which f2j is given by
t11
s

where f xj is the time required to produce xj 1=1r
1rf 1j b1r t11
units, xj is the number of units retained in each 2d 2 d 2 2b t11
j
 2bbj
cycle j and added to the previous experience, f 2j .
2b
and bj+1 is the amount of equivalent units of
(50)
experience remembered at the beginning of
production run j+1(or the experience retained (Note here that, values of f 2j o0 are to be
at the end of cycle j). Note that xj oQj and rejected.) Now, from the above relations we have
bj1 obj Qj .  r
f 01j;Qj t11 bj Qj , (51)
In order to avoid mathematical complications and h ir=1r
for ease of computations, we shall t our model f 01j;Qj 1  rf 1j =t11 bj1r
without product deterioration so that we can easily f 02j;Qj . (52)
bf 2j dt11
compare our results with the results of the most
relevant papers particularly with that of Jaber and Using these results and with some algebra, then
Bonney (1998). from (37) we have
1=1r !
1  rf 1j 1r
6. An illustrative example for the (LFL) case and w af 1j bj  bj
t11
numerical verication !
ht11 bj1r ht11
As an example of time varying demand rate,  c
1  r 1  r2  r
which has a wide use in the literature we shall 2r=1r !
consider a production lot-size inventory model with 1  rf 1j 1r 2r
 bj  bj
a linear demand rate function given by t11
Dt bt d; d40; tX0. hbf 32j hdf 22j
k. 53
The parameter b represents the rate of change 3 2
in the demand rate. The case b 0 allows the Now, (53) is to be substituted in (42) in order to
possibility for a constant demand rate where then nd the solution of the given example.
Dt d, 8tX0. Also, if b 0 and the system is The above theoretical results have been coded in
subject to a full transmission of learning, then this a nonlinear package for several values of the
model gives the model of Salamah et al. (1993). model parameters from which we have chosen the
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134 A.A. Alamri, Z.T. Balkhi / Int. J. Production Economics 107 (2007) 125138

following specic values so that we can compare our are shown in Table 1. In the rst cycle, we have
numerical results with those obtained by previous taken t11 .0625 days resulted in a total number of
authors. Q1 111 units, which produced at time T11 4.81
days, and consumed by time T21 6.99 days. These
The slope of the learning r 0.1.
optimal values can be determined from Eqs. (49)
curve
and (50) as
The time required to produce t11 0.0625 days
the rst unit in the rst cycle 0:0625  
T 11 0 1110:9  00:9 4:81 days,
Unit cost c $50 0:9
Unit holding cost per unit per h $0.1
day

r
h i
1=0:9
0:94:8100:9 0:0625
2  15 2 152 2  0:25  0:0625  2  0:25  0
T 21 6:99 days;
2  0:25

Labor cost per day a $80 respectively. The amount that could have been
Setup cost per cycle k $300 produced if the production had not been interrupted
Parameters of demand rate b 0.25 unit/day, over the interval [T11, T21] can be determined from
d 15 units/day Eq. (19) or (22) as
1=0:9
The optimal values of Qj, T1j, T2j, lj, bj+1, t1j, P(T1j), 0:9  6:99
Q1 S1 q1 6:99 00:9 0
P(T2j), and the corresponding total minimum cost 0:0625
for 23 successive cycles are obtained and the results 168 units
or
Table 1
0:0625 h 0:9 i
Optimal results under partial transmission of learning for the 6:99  0 0 Q1 S 1  00:9
illustrative example with r 0.1, which corresponds to an 93.3% 0:9
learning rate 168 units:
Cycle t1j Qj bj T1j T2j P(T1j) P(T2j) lj W w This means that the system has lost the oppor-
no. j
tunity of producing 57 additional units over a
1 0.0625 111 0 4.81 6.99 25.62 23.92 0.1662 893 6244 period of T 21  T 11 2:18 days due to the inter-
2 0.0417 107 56 4.18 6.73 26.62 25.17 0.1582 888 5977 ruption. The forgetting slope after the rst inter-
3 0.0397 106 93 4.03 6.68 27.16 25.82 0.1621 887 5927
4 0.0387 106 120 3.94 6.66 27.51 26.22 0.1647 886 5903 ruption is given from Eq. (32) as
5 0.0381 105 140 3.89 6.65 27.51 26.50 0.1665 886 5890 0:1  log0 111
6 0.0377 105 155 3.86 6.64 27.74 26.70 0.1678 885 5881 l1  1
 0:1662,
7 0.0374 105 167 3.83 6.64 27.90 26.84 0.1687 885 5875 log 1 0:0625
8 0.0372 105 176 3.82 6.63 28.01 26.95 0.1694 885 5871
9 0.0371 105 184 3.80 6.63 28.20 27.04 0.1701 885 5667 which corresponds to an 89.12% forgetting rate.
10 0.0370 105 190 3.79 6.63 28.25 27.11 0.1706 885 5865 The intercept of the forgetting curve after the rst
11 0.0369 105 195 3.78 6.63 28.30 27.16 0.1710 885 5862
12 0.0368 105 199 3.77 6.63 28.34 27.21 0.1712 885 5861 interruption can be determined from Eq. (26) as
13 0.0367 105 202 3.77 6.62 28.37 27.24 0.1714 885 5860
t^11 0:06250 1110:10:1662 0:0178 days:
14 0.0367 105 204 3.77 6.62 28.39 27.26 0.1716 885 5859
15 0.0367 105 206 3.76 6.62 28.40 27.28 0.1718 884 5858
16 0.0366 105 208 3.76 6.62 28.42 27.30 0.1718 884 5858
The amount of equivalent units of experience
17 0.0366 105 209 3.76 6.62 28.43 27.31 0.1719 884 5857 remembered at the beginning of the next production
18 0.0366 105 210 3.76 6.62 28.44 27.32 0.1720 884 5857 run, after an interruption period of T 21  T 11
19 0.0366 105 211 3.75 6.62 28.45 27.33 0.1721 884 5857
20 0.0366 105 212 3.75 6.62 28.46 27.34 0.1722 884 5856
2:18 days, is given from Eq. (27) as
21 0.0365 105 213 3.75 6.62 28.47 27.35 0.1723 884 5856 1=0:1
22 0.0365 105 213 3.75 6.62 28.47 27.35 0.1721 884 5856 0 1680:1662
b2 56 units:
23 0.0365 105 213 3.75 6.62 28.47 27.35 0.1721 884 5856
0 1110:10:1662
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The production rate at the end of production units build up, the total forgetting accumulates. The
period T 11 4:81 days, can be determined from tabulated results indicate that the time required to
Eq. (20) as produce the rst unit, the total minimum cost per
0:94:81  day and the total minimum cost per cycle (last two
0:9 0:1=0:9
0:0625 0 columns in Table 1, respectively), and the total time
P1 4:81
0:0625 required to produce the optimum production
25:62 units=day: quantity decrease as the number of production runs
increase. The decrease in both the optimum
The production rate at the cycle end quantity produced and the cycle length, as shown
T 21 6:99 days, can be determined from Eq. (20) in columns 3 and 6, respectively, also reect these
or (48) as reductions. Such decreases are due to the increase in
0:92:6 
0:9 0:1=0:9 the production rate for successive cycles. Note that
0:0625 0 the number of units retained in each cycle j
P1 2:6 23:92 units=day;
0:0625 decreases for successive cycles. This decrease, in
where T x1 2:6 days is the theoretical time required fact, is due to the increase of the length of the
to produce the number of units retained in the rst consumption period in which forgetting occurs
cycle and added to the previous experience, i.e. compared to the production period. The decrease
x1 b2  b1 56  0 56 units in the production rate at the end of each cycle is due
to the forgetting effect occurs during the non-
or production period. The slight decrease in both the
optimum quantity produced and the cycle length
br2 560:1
P1 6:99 23:92 units=day: may be justied by the presence of linear trend in
t11 0:0625 demand rate, which results in slight decrease in
These results signify that the instantaneous labor and inventory costs. Such demand rate
production rate can be computed at any given time. suggests that the optimal policy is to produce small
The percentage of wasted effort (PWE) after an quantities in each cycle. The production quantity
interruption period of T 21  T 11 2:18 days, can and the cycle length level off after the fourth and
be determined as 13th cycle respectively, while the system reaches
steady-state situation after the 22nd cycle. (Recall
25:62  23:92
PWE  100 7:1%. Table 1.)
23:92 In the example provided by Jaber and Bonney
Finally, from Eq. (24) we found the time required (1998) they have taken r 0.1, t11 0.0625
to produce the rst unit in the second cycle, days, c $100; h $0:2, a $80, k $200,
namely unit number 112 is equal to t112 d 12 units/day.
0:062556 10:1 0:04174 days. If the system is For comparison purposes, we have tted these
subject to a full transmission of learning, then the values in our model with b 0 and obtained the
time required to produce the unit number 112 is numerical results as tabulated below (Table 2).
equal to t112 0:0625111 10:1 0.03899 days.
The same procedure is repeated for the other cycles.
It is worth noting here, that in the rst cycle, Table 2
Eq. (31) yields Y 1 0 111=0:0625 1776 units, Optimal results under partial transmission of learning for the
and then substituting this value in Eq. (28), the time same set of values as in Jaber and Bonney (1998)
in which total forgetting occurs is equal to Cycle t1j Qj bj T1j T2j P(T1j) P(T2j) lj W w
tl1 61:64 days. This result implies that the experi- no. j
ence gained from producing the rst lot in a period
1 0.0625 248 0 9.92 20.67 27.77 23.71 0.1946 1260 26046
of T 11 4:81 days, is totally forgotten after an 2 0.0421 228 51 8.66 19.04 28.10 24.70 0.1755 1259 23974
interruption period of tl1T11 61.644.81 3 0.0404 224 77 8.35 18.66 28.31 25.04 0.1757 1259 23489
4 0.0399 222 88 8.24 18.53 28.40 25.17 0.1760 1259 23323
56.82 days2 months.
5 0.0397 222 93 8.19 18.48 28.44 25.25 0.1761 1258 23253
In the second cycle, we have T12 4.18 days, 6 0.0396 221 96 8.17 18.45 28.46 25.28 0.1763 1258 23213
Y2 3909 units, tl2 120.55 days, and t12Tl2 7 0.0395 221 97 8.16 18.44 28.47 25.31 0.1762 1258 23200
8 0.0395 221 98 8.15 18.43 28.48 25.31 0.1763 1258 23187
120.554.18 116.35 days4 months. These re-
9 0.0395 221 98 8.15 18.43 28.48 25.31 0.1763 1258 23187
sults coincide with the fact that as the produced
ARTICLE IN PRESS
136 A.A. Alamri, Z.T. Balkhi / Int. J. Production Economics 107 (2007) 125138

The results in Table 2 indicate that our model is t249 0.0625(248+1)0.1 0.0360 days. These re-
consistent with that of Jaber and Bonney (1998). sults are identical with that of Jaber and Bonney
The only notable difference is that the number of (1998). Consequently, the proposed model is prac-
units remembered in this model is less than that of ticable for two cases, the case in which the time for
Jaber and Bonney (1998). This may be justied by total forgetting is assumed to be of xed value, and
the difference in the time in which total forgetting the case in which the approximation presented
occurs, where in our case, we have considered that herein is applied.
this time is dependent on the number of units
remembered at the point of interruption and the 7. Concluding remarks
time required to produce the rst unit at the
beginning of production run j. Moreover, let us In this paper, we generalize and reformulate the
assume that the time for total forgetting is of xed LFCM presented by Jaber and Bonney (1996). The
value and is set to be equal to 300 days as in Jaber generality of our model comes from the fact that the
and Bonney (1998). Then, from Eq. (19) we have demand and product deterioration rates are arbi-
1=0:9 trary functions of time. A new denition of the
0:9  300 0:9 production rate together with its properties is
Y 1 q1 300 248  248
0:0625 introduced as the instantaneous number of units
11; 105 units produced. The advantageous of this denition is
that it can compute the production rate at any given
substituting this value in Eq. (30), then the
time. Hence, it may be applicable in many areas in
forgetting slope l1 is computed as
which the units remembered are treated as the
0:1  log0 248 performance level. The forgetting slope is repre-
l1 h i 0:1442,
11105
log 1 0248 sented by an approximation of the minimum break
to which the manufacturer assumes total forgetting
which corresponds to an 90.49% forgetting rate. as a function of the number of units remembered at
The amount that could have been produced if the the point of interruption and the time required to
production had not been interrupted over the produce the rst unit at the beginning of production
interval [T11, T21] is given from Eq. (19) or run j so that it allows variable total forgetting
Eq. (22) as breaks. We believe that this is reasonable since total
1=0:9 forgetting breaks should vary from cycle to cycle. In
0:9  20:67 0:9 order to avoid mathematical complications, and to
Q1 S1 q1 20:67 0 0
0:0625 easily compare our numerical results with those
560 units obtained by previous authors we dropped the
product deterioration from the illustrative example
or
but we kept it in the formulation of the general
0:0625 h 0:9 i
model. An illustrative example for the LFL case,
20:67  0 0 Q1 S 1  00:9
0:9 which explains the application of the theoretical
560 units: results under partial transmission of learning and a
numerical verication of this illustrative example
The amount of equivalent units of experience are also given. The obtained numerical results
remembered at the beginning of the next production clearly reect the incorporated learning and forget-
run, after an interruption period of T21T11 ting effects in the proposed model. The incorpora-
20.679.92 10.75 days, is given from Eq. (27) as tion of linear demand function suggests that the
1=0:1 optimal policy is to produce small quantities in each
0 5600:1442
b2 77 units: cycle. This suggestion is found to have two major
0 2480:10:1442 properties, the rst one is that it decreases the cycle
From Eq. (24) we found the time required to length, and the second one is that it increases the
produce the rst unit in the second cycle, namely experience gained causing further decrease in the
unit number 249 is equal to t249 0.0625(77+1)0.1 time required to produce the unit for each
0.0404 days. If the system experiences a full consecutive cycle. We also verify the example given
transmission of learning, then the time required to in Jaber and Bonney (1998) and nd very close
produce the unit number 249 is equal to results. Further, we illustrate the possibility that the
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A.A. Alamri, Z.T. Balkhi / Int. J. Production Economics 107 (2007) 125138 137

proposed model can t both the xed value for total Table 3
forgetting and the approximation presented herein. Approximation results under partial transmission of learning for
We show that attening can now be achieved by our t11 0.0625 days, Qj Q1 200 units, T2jT1j 10 days, and
r 0.1, which corresponds to an 93.3% learning rate
approximation to the denition of total forgetting.
The general learnforget curve model (GLFCM) Cycle T1j Qj Sj bj T1j T2j lj Yj Yj/bj+Qj 1/t1j
no. j
proposed herein incorporates (1)(6) out of (7)
characteristics of forgetting that should be consid- 1 0.0625 200 285.9 0 8.176 18.176 0.1870 3200 16 16
ered by learning and forgetting models identied by 2 0.0433 200 289.2 38.03 7.728 17.728 0.1720 5494 23.08 23.08
3 0.0414 200 291.0 60.61 7.584 17.584 0.1725 6296 24.16 24.16
Jaber et al. (2003). This seems to be the rst time 4 0.0407 200 291.9 71.50 7.526 17.526 0.1729 6667 24.56 24.56
where such GLFCM is formulated, investigated, and 5 0.0404 200 292.3 76.84 7.499 17.499 0.1732 6847 24.73 24.73
6 0.0403 200 292.5 79.50 7.486 17.486 0.1733 6936 24.81 24.81
numerically veried. Based on the ndings presented 7 0.0402 200 292.6 80.82 7.480 17.480 0.1733 6980 24.85 24.85
herein, further research to test the GLFCM against 8 0.0402 200 292.6 81.48 7.477 17.477 0.1734 7002 24.87 24.87
empirical data may enhance our understanding of 9 0.0402 200 292.6 81.82 7.475 17.475 0.1734 7013 24.88 24.88

learning and forgetting phenomena.

Acknowledgments are somehow difcult to estimate. In the last


relation, the value of t1j is considered as a constant
The authors would like to express their great only for approximation purposes, elsewhere, t1j is
thanks for the valuable remarks and suggestions of the time needed to produce the rst unit in cycle j,
the referees, which greatly improved the paper. which is measured in units of time/unit. This
approximation is simply our suggestion to over-
Appendix A. Checking the approximation of Yj come the inadequacy in the assumption that the
value for total forgetting is xed. Therefore,
First, we shall recall Eqs. (26), (29) and (30) substituting (A.4) in (A.3), the forgetting slope can
be rewritten as
t^1j t11 bj Qj rl j , (A.1)  
 l j r log bj Qj
lj h i . (A.5)
t^1j bj Qj Y j t11 , (A.2)
log 1 t11j
 
r log bj Qj As the approximation of Y j =bj Qj by 1=t1j
lj h i, (A.3) produces very close results for the parameters
Yj
log 1 b Q suggested in Tables 1 and 2, it also works ne, as
j j
we shall see, when using different parameters
respectively. Substituting (A.1) in (A.2) we obtain suggested in Table 3. Now, consider the case where
 l j  rl j
an interruption in the production run occurs each
bj Qj Y j bj Qj 1,
time the batch size reaches 200 units, the length of
  rl j =l j the break is arbitrarily set for a period of 10 days,
) bj Qj Y j bj Qj 1,
and the time required to produce the rst unit in the
 r=l j rst cycle is t11 0.0625 days.
  bj Qj
) bj Q j Y j   1,
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