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Hassan M. Selim

Department of Business Administration, College of Business and Economics,

United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal

Faculty of Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, Jiddah, Saudi Arabia

Araby I. Mahdi

Faculty of Engineering, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt

Introduction

International competitiveness and market

demand for rapid response have led many

low to medium volume manufacturing firms

to consider alternative approaches to the

design and control of manufacturing

systems. One approach that appeared in the

1970s is the application of cellular

manufacturing (CM). In CM, similar parts

are grouped into part families and dissimilar

machines are grouped into machine groups

or manufacturing cells. The ideal

manufacturing cell:

.

is independent and requires no inter-cell

movements, i.e. part family(ies) are

completely produced within single

manufacturing cell;

.

has minimum setups; and

.

requires minimal backtracking.

The result is simplified scheduling, control,

and implementation of automation

(Vakharia and Selim, 1994). CM provides the

benefits of a mass manufacturing system for

a discrete batch manufacturing system

including reduced setup times, work in

progress, throughput time, and material

handling as well as encouraging improved

product quality.

The problem of designing CM systems, i.e.

identification of machine groups and

corresponding part families, is known as

manufacturing cell formation (MCF)

problem. Several taxonomies and reviews of

the MCF problem exist in the literature (e.g.

Shambu et al., 1996; Joines et al., 1996; Selim

et al., 1998). Over the past three decades, a

number of different approaches to solve the

MCF problem have been proposed (e.g.

Stanfel, 1985; Joines et al., 1996; Selim et al.,

1998; Vakharia et al., 1999). One of the MCF

solution approaches is to deal with the MCF

problem as a formation of clusters in a (0, 1)

machine-part incidence matrix or using

similarity or dissimilarity measures between

machines or parts. This category of

approaches is referred to as cluster analysis

or cluster formation based techniques.

This paper introduces an enhancement of

one of the MCF cluster formation-based

techniques. The modified heuristic has been

compared and evaluated against three

well-established MCF methods using four

published performance measures. A total of

35 problem data sets have been used in the

comparative and evaluative study. In the

next section, the literature of the MCF cluster

formation-based methods is reviewed.

Literature review

The MCF cluster formation based techniques

can be classified as:

.

array-based clustering techniques;

.

hierarchical clustering techniques; and

.

non-hierarchical clustering techniques.

The array-based clustering techniques try to

allocate machines to cells and parts to

corresponding part families by appropriately

rearranging the order of rows and columns,

which represent machines and parts

respectively, to find a block diagonal form of

the entries in the machine-part matrix. The

literature yields at least seven array-based

clustering heuristics, namely:

1 bond energy analysis (McCormick et al.,

1972);

2 rank order clustering (King, 1980a, b; King

and Nakornchai, 1982);

3 modified rank order clustering

(Chandrasekharan and Rajagopalan,

1986a);

4 direct clustering analysis (Chan and

Milner, 1982);

5 occupancy value method (Khator and

Irani, 1987);

6 cluster identification method (Kusiak and

Chow, 1987); and

The research register for this journal is available at

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/researchregisters

The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/0957-6061.htm

[ 123]

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

# MCB UP Limited

[ISSN 0957-6061]

[DOI 10.1108/09576060310459429]

Keywords

Cellular manufacturing,

Cluster analysis, Groups,

Effectiveness, Measurement

Abstract

This paper introduces a modified

single linkage clustering heuristic

(MOD-SLC). The proposed

MOD-SLC objective is to test the

application of Baroni-Urban and

Buser (BUB) similarity coefficient

to the manufacturing cell

formation (MCF) problem instead

of Jaccard's similarity coefficient.

The MOD-SLC has been compared

and evaluated against three

cluster formation-based heuristics

for MCF. The three heuristics are:

the single linkage clustering,

enhanced rank order clustering,

and direct clustering algorithm.

The MCF methods considered in

this comparative and evaluative

study belong to the cluster

formation approach of solving the

MCF problem. The comparison and

evaluation are performed using

four published performance

measures. A total of 25 published

and ten hypothetical and randomly

generated problem data sets are

used in the proposed evaluative

study. Results analysis is carried

out to test and validate the

proposed BUB based MOD-SLC.

Finally the pros and cons of each

method are stated and discussed.

Received July 2001

Revised March 2000

Accepted May 2002

7 Hamiltonian path heuristic (Askin et al.,

1991).

In hierarchical clustering, the data in the

machine-part incidence matrix are not

partitioned into manufacturing cells in one

step. Rather a similarity coefficient matrix

(for machines or parts) is formed from the

binary machine-part matrix. Then, from the

formed similarity matrix, machines (parts)

with maximum similarity are grouped to

form machine cells (part families).

Essentially, hierarchical techniques may be

subdivided into agglomerative methods that

proceed by a series of fusions of the machines

or the parts into groups, and divisive

methods which partition the set of machines

or parts successively into finer groups. All

agglomerative hierarchical techniques

ultimately reduce the data to a single cluster

containing all the machines (parts), and

divisive techniques will finally split the

entire set of machines (parts) into

one-machine (one-part) cells. Hierarchical

classifications may be represented by

inverted tree structure or dendrograms,

which are 2D diagrams illustrating the

fusions or divisions that have been made at

each successive stage of the analysis. Few

researchers applied a divisive method to the

MCF problem (Stanfel, 1985); therefore,

attention is focused on agglomerative

clustering algorithms. The most widely used

technique is the single linkage clustering

(SLC) (Sneath, 1957a, b; McAuley, 1972;

Carrie, 1973; Waghodekar and Sahu, 1984).

The SLC method merges clusters based on

the maximum similarity of their members.

Vakharia and Wemmerlo v (1990) proposed

the average linkage clustering (ALC)

heuristic. The ALC method merges clusters

based on the average similarity of their

members.

Non-hierarchical clustering methods are

iterative methods and they begin with either

an initial partition of the data set or the

choice of a few seed points. In either case, one

had to decide the number of clusters (C) in

advance. Arbitrariness in the choice of seed

points (or initial partition of data) could lead

to unsatisfactory results. Several researchers

have developed non-hierarchical procedures

(Lemoine and Mutel, 1983; Chandrasekharan

and Rajagopalan, 1986a, b; Srinivasan and

Narendran, 1991).

Several research studies have been devoted

to the comparison and evaluation of

clustering algorithms. Seifoddini (1989a)

compared the SLC and ALC methods only.

Chu and Tsai (1990) compared three

array-based machine-part grouping methods:

ROC, DCA and BEA. Miltenburg and

Zhang (1991) compared nine cell formation

methods including similarity measure

method, non-hierarchical clustering, and

rank order methods. Cheng (1992) analyzed

several MCF clustering techniques by

example. Shafer and Rogers (1993a) validated

a newly developed similarity measure by

comparing four clustering methods.

Kaparthi and Suresh (1994) compared the

performance of several procedures for

part-machine grouping using data sets

of wide-ranging sizes and perfection.

Cheng et al. (1995) provided a narrative

comparison and used a real-life example to

demonstrate the effectiveness of various

clustering algorithms. Park and Wemmerlo v

(1995) studied several cell formation

techniques with different data

requirements and illustrated some of the

problems related to securing compatibility.

Dimopoulos and Mort (2001) used the

grouping efficacy performance measure in

evaluating and comparing a genetic

programming based SLC method to five other

procedures.

The enhanced rank order clustering

(ROC2) (King and Nakornchai, 1982), DCA

(Chan and Milner, 1982), and SLC (McAuley,

1972) are among the popular cluster analysis-

based MCF problem solution methods.

Although each one of these methods uses a

different strategy for cluster formation, their

relative performance has often been

compared in terms of the number of inter-cell

moves they generate. The MCF problem

cluster analysis-based solution approaches

consist of two phases. The first is to develop a

similarity coefficient and the second phase is

to apply a solution methodology to solve the

MCF problem. This paper focuses on the first

phase by using a similarity measure that has

not been applied to the MCF cluster analysis-

based approaches. In this paper, a modified

SLC (MOD-SLC) method is proposed. The

MOD-SLC is compared to three cluster

formation methods selected from the

literature, namely ROC2, DCA, and SLC. The

comparison and evaluation are based on four

different performance measures selected

from the literature (Chu and Tsai, 1990; Islam

and Sarker, 2000; Sarker and Khan, 2001).

In the next section, the two selected

array-based cluster formation and the

hierarchical SLC methods are explained

using examples. An explanation of the MOD-

SLC method is introduced in the fourth

section. The fifth section presents a

comparison and evaluation of the solutions

obtained by ROC2, DCA, SLC, and MOD-SLC.

Finally, concluding remarks are presented in

the last section.

[ 124]

Hassan M. Selim,

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal and

Araby I. Mahdi

Formation of machine groups

and part families: a modified

SLC method and comparative

study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

Cluster formation methods

In this section, the selected two array-based

cluster formation methods (ROC2 and DCA)

followed by the hierarchical cluster

formation method (SLC) are illustrated by

example in order to contrast them with the

MOD-SLC method.

Array-based cluster formation methods

The array-based cluster formation methods

that are addressed in this paper can be stated

as follows (Veramani and Mani, 1996): Given

a (0, 1) incidence matrix, partition it into a

maximal number (C) of clusters, C > 2, such

that the number of exceptional elements is

minimized.

If the matrix is a machine-part incidence

matrix, then C represents the number of

manufacturing cells. The exceptional

elements are cases where either the parts

must move from one cell to another for one or

more operations or a machine has to be

replicated in another cell.

ROC is a well known cluster formation

technique that attempts to create a block

diagonal form by repeatedly reallocating the

columns and rows of a machine-part matrix

according to binary values (King, 1980a, b).

The binary values are calculated by reading

the pattern of cell entries as a binary word.

Each row and column is assigned a weight

that is the decimal equivalent of its binary

word. Although ROC is easy to apply, it has

several disadvantages. First, the quality of

the results is strongly dependent on the

initial disposition of the machine-part

matrix. Second, the binary value that is used

for the reallocation restricts the size of the

problem that the technique can handle. This

results in a storage problem. A revised

version, called ROC2, has been developed by

King and Nakornchai (1982) to overcome this

limitation and increase computational

efficiency. The ROC2 algorithm is depicted in

Figure 1.

To illustrate the ROC2 method, an

application to the problem represented by

machine-part matrix given in Table I is to be

considered.

Table II shows the results of ordering the

machine rows based on the positive entries

in their associated part columns. The first

row in Table II represents part-column 8 in

Table I that shows positive entries in

machine-rows 2, 3, 5 and 7 respectively

(shown in italic in Table II). Accordingly,

rows 2, 3, 5 and 7 are moved to the top of the

matrix and the procedure is repeated on part-

column 7 represented by the second row in

Table II. The last row of Table II shows the

final row order after applying the procedure

on the eight part columns. Table III shows the

results of ordering the part-columns using

the same procedure. The last row of Table III

shows the final part-column order. The whole

process is repeated until two consecutive

machine-part matrices are identical. Table IV

shows the final solution of applying ROC2 to

the matrix shown in Table I. ROC2 tends to

produce one cluster in the northwest corner

leaving the rest of the matrix relatively

disorganized.

DCA rearranges the rows with the left-

most positive cells to the top and the

columns with the top-most positive cells to

the left of the machine-part matrix (Chan

and Milner, 1982). After several iterations,

all the positive cells will form diagonal

blocks from the top left corner to the

bottom-right corner of the matrix. The DCA

algorithm including the correction made by

Wemmerlo v (1984) is shown in Figure 2

which is depicted from Chu and Tsai (1990).

This method allows more flexibility in the

problem size. Furthermore, the sensitivity

of the ROC and ROC2 algorithms to the

initial matrix is eradicated because DCA

initiates the procedure by counting the

number of positive cells instead of

depending on intuition. The same machine-

part matrix shown in Table I is used to

illustrate the DCA method. Table V shows

rows and columns ranked in descending

order of K (number of positive cells in each

row and column). Table VI shows the final

machine-part matrix and the clusters are

clearly visible. As shown in bold in Table

VI, there are three inter-cell moves

(exceptional elements) in the final matrix.

SLC formation methods

The SLC first developed by Sneath (1957a, b)

for the classification of bacteria, was

followed by McAuley (1972) in the context of

the MCF problem for forming machine cells

through iterative process. SLC method

groups two individuals i and j with highest

level of similarity into one cluster, ij. The

combined cluster behaves as if it is a single

individual. The similarity between this

cluster and individual k, as defined by the

SLC algorithm, is the maximum of the

similarities between k and the component

members of the cluster ij. Iterations continue

to merge the groups with the largest

similarity coefficient until a single group

exists. The SLC algorithm is shown in

Figure 3.

Several researchers have proposed

different similarity measures for the

cluster formation problem, but the

measures in most cases are suitable for

specific problems (Sneath and Sokal, 1973;

[ 125]

Hassan M. Selim,

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal and

Araby I. Mahdi

Formation of machine groups

and part families: a modified

SLC method and comparative

study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

Romesburg, 1984; Seifoddini and Djassemi,

1991; Askin et al., 1997). Among these

measures, is the Jaccard similarity

measure by Jaccard (1908). The property of

this measure is that there exists a

maximum similarity of one between a pair

of machines/parts when both of the

machines/parts have identical binary

values in the machine-part incidence

matrix. This measure is sensitive to the

direction of coding, meaning that

interchanging the elements 1 and 0 in an

incidence matrix usually changes the

similarity values between machines/parts

(Islam and Sarker, 2000).

The SLC method uses Jaccard similarity

measure in evaluating the machine pair

similarity based on the common part-

operations between them. Jaccard similarity

measure can be expressed as follows:

SJ

ij

= X

iy

=(X

i

X

j

X

ij

) where:

SJ

ij

= Jaccard similarity between

machine i and machine j, 0 < SJ

ij

_ 1.

X

ij

= number of parts processed by both

of machines i and j (number of

matches).

Figure 1

The ROC2 cluster formation method

Table II

Row ordering

Columns Row order

8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

7 2 3 5 7 1 4 6

6 2 7 1 4 6 3 5

5 2 7 3 5 1 4 6

4 5 2 7 3 1 4 6

3 1 4 6 5 2 7 3

2 5 3 1 4 6 2 7

1 1 2 7 5 3 4 6

Final 2 5 7 1 3 4 6

Table I

Initial ROC2 machine-part matrix

Part

Machine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1 1 1

2 1 1 1 1 1

3 1 1 1

4 1 1

5 1 1 1 1 1

6 1 1

7 1 1 1 1 1

Table III

Column ordering

Rows Column order

6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

4 4 7 1 2 3 5 6 8

3 4 7 1 2 3 5 6 8

1 3 6 8 4 7 1 2 5

7 4 7 2 3 6 8 1 5

5 7 6 8 1 4 2 3 5

2 6 8 1 3 5 7 4 2

Final 6 8 1 2 3 5 7 4

Table IV

Final ROC2 machine-part matrix

Part

6 8 1 7 2 3 5 4

2 1 1 1 1 1

7 1 1 1 1 1

5 1 1 1 1 1

3 1 1 1

1 1 1 1

4 1 1

6 1 1

[ 126]

Hassan M. Selim,

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal and

Araby I. Mahdi

Formation of machine groups

and part families: a modified

SLC method and comparative

study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

X

i

= Number of parts processed by

machine i only.

X

j

= Number of parts processed by

machine j only.

Y

ij

= Number of parts that are not

processed by either machine i nor

machine j (number of misses).

The most common way to display the

hierarchy of clusters generated by the SLC

algorithm is the form of a dendrogram. The

CM designer must choose a similarity level or

threshold value in order to define the number

of clusters. As the threshold value increases,

the number of cells increases while the size of

the cells decreases. When SLC is used in

machine grouping, it is assumed that part

operations have been pre-assigned to machine

types or to individual machines. Table VII

shows the machine similarity matrix created

from the machine-part incidence matrix

shown in Table I using Jaccard similarity

coefficient. The similarity matrix is

symmetric. The dendrogram shown in Figure

4 shows the machine groups at different

values of Jaccard similarity coefficient. For

example, at similarity coefficient value of 0.67,

there are four machine groups as indicated in

Figure 4 by the vertical dotted line

intersections with the horizontal machine/

group lines. The similarity scale indicates the

amount of similarity between clusters at each

branching of the tree. The threshold value of

the similarity measure is selected based on

the preferred number of cells and the

Figure 2

The DCA cluster formation method

Table V

DCA initial matrix

Part

Machines 7 6 8 1 2 4 3 5 K

7 1 1 1 1 1 5

5 1 1 1 1 1 5

2 1 1 1 1 1 5

3 1 1 1 3

1 1 1 1 3

6 1 1 2

4 1 1 2

K 5 4 4 3 3 3 2 1

Table VI

DCA final matrix

Part

Machine 7 4 2 8 6 1 3 5

6 1 1

4 1 1

1 1 1 1

2 1 1 1 1 1

7 1 1 1 1 1

5 1 1 1 1 1

3 1 1 1

[ 127]

Hassan M. Selim,

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal and

Araby I. Mahdi

Formation of machine groups

and part families: a modified

SLC method and comparative

study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

minimum intercell moves. Table VIII shows

the machine-part matrix at similarity

measure of 0.43 and the clusters are clearly

visible.

Modified single linkage cluster

(MOD-SLC) formation

In this section, the MOD-SLC formation

method is explained. The MOD-SLC method

is proposed in order to test a non-Jaccardian

similarity measure instead of Jaccard's

measure used in the SLC method. The

similarity measures used in solving the MCF

problem as a cluster formation problem have

been surveyed by several researchers

(Kusiak and Cho, 1984; Shafer and Rogers,

1993a, b; Mosier et al., 1997; Islam and Sarker,

2000; Selim, 2002). Sarker (1996), Sarker and

Islam (1999), and Islam and Sarker (2000)

analyzed most of the existing similarity

measures in the literature based on a set

of important properties developed by

Baroni-Urban and Buser (1976) and modified

by Islam and Sarker (2000).

Similarity coefficients are either

Jaccardian or non-Jaccardian, with respect

to the Jaccard similarity coefficient (Jaccard,

1908). The Jaccardian similarity coefficients

are expressed as a measure of level of

matches, in which the number of matches

(X

ij

) is divided by a normalized quantity

Table VII

The SLC similarity matrix

Machine

Machine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1 0.33 0.67 0.67 0.33

2 0.33 0.17 0.43 0.17 1.00

3 0.60 0.33

4 1.00 0.17

5 0.43

6 0.17

7

Table VIII

SLC final matrix

Part

Machine 4 7 1 2 3 5 6 8

4 1 1

6 1 1

1 1 1 1

2 1 1 1 1 1

7 1 1 1 1 1

3 1 1 1

5 1 1 1 1 1

Figure 4

The SLC dendogram

Figure 3

The SLC cluster formation method

[ 128]

Hassan M. Selim,

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal and

Araby I. Mahdi

Formation of machine groups

and part families: a modified

SLC method and comparative

study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

usually represented by the expected number

of matches. Non-Jaccardian similarity

coefficients have an additional term, the

number of misses (Y

ij

), appears in the

numerator and then divided by the

normalizing term. The status of the number

of misses (Y

ij

) in similarity coefficients

applied to the CM problem is ambiguous. It

refers to the number of parts not processed

by either machine or the number of

machines not needed by either part type. The

researchers who adopt Jaccardian similarity

coefficients assume that the similarity

coefficients measure the degree of

commonality between the two machines in

terms of parts processed (McAuley, 1972;

Rajagopalan and Batra, 1975; Kusiak and

Cho, 1984; Waghodekar and Sahu, 1984;

Mosier and Taube, 1985; Seifoddini and

Wolfe, 1986; Wei and Kern, 1989; Seifoddini,

1989b). Therefore, the number of misses does

not contribute to the machine pair similarity

coefficient. On the other hand, a significant

part of the literature (Mosier, 1989; Islam and

Sarker, 2000) shows that Jaccardian

similarity coefficients are unable to reflect

the true values of similarity, as the

Jaccardian measures do not consider the

number of misses (Y

ij

). The number of

misses, in the CM context, represents the

similarity of a machine pair indicated by the

number of parts that both are not capable of

processing or the similarity of a product pair

indicated by the number of attributes that

both products do not have.

Baroni-Urban and Buser (1976) defined a

set of properties of similarity coefficients and

applied these properties to the several

similarity coefficients. There does not exist

any similarity coefficient which follows all

the properties defined by Baroni-Urban and

Buser (1976). Islam and Sarker (2000)

modified the properties proposed by Baroni-

Urban and Buser (1976) and stated them as

follows (S

ij

is the machine i and machine j

similarity coefficient):

1 No mismatch, S

ij

1 for X

i

= X

j

= 0.

2 Minimum match, S

ij

0 for X

ij

, Y

ij

0.

3 No match, S

ij

0 for X

ij

, = 0.

4 Complete match, S

ij

= 1 for X

ij

= number

of parts.

5 Maximum match, S

ij

1 for X

ij

+ Y

ij

number of parts.

The similarity measure developed by Baroni-

Urban and Buser (1976) BUB measure has

conformed to the five properties. This

similarity coefficient has superior properties

of distribution compared to other coefficients

because the distribution of its values are

more normal and continuous (Sarker, 1996).

The BUB similarity coefficient is defined

as follows:

SB

ij

=

X

ij

X

ij

Y

ij

p

X

i

X

j

X

ij

X

ij

Y

if

p (1)

where SB

ij

= BUB similarity between

machine i and machine j, 0 _ SB

ij

_ 1.

In order to justify the application of non-

Jaccardian similarity coefficients to the MCF

problem, Islam and Sarker (2000) used

properties 2 and 5 to conclude that both

matches (X

ij

) and misses (Y

ij

) must be

included in the numerator of the defining

similarity coefficient. To satisfy properties 2,

3, 4, and 5, the product X

ij

Y

ij

is considered in

addition to X

ij

in the numerator. The square

root is used to maintain the order

consistency (Baroni-Urban and Buser, 1976).

When there are no misses (Y

ij

= 0), BUB

measure is reduced to Jaccard's measure

which is the ratio of the number of parts

processed by both machines to the total

number of parts processed by both or one of

the machines. If (Y

ij

) ~ the BUB coefficient

value increases to reflect the real similarity

of machine/part pairs. Islam and Sarker

(2000) modified BUB measure by adding the

number of misses (Y

ij

) to the denominator

and called it ``relative matching measure''.

The Jaccard measure has conformed to

only three out of the same five properties

namely, properties 1, 3 and 4. The Jaccard

similarity measure has several additional

limitations that have been discussed for

years by a number of researchers (Shafer and

Rogers, 1993a):

.

The first limitation occurs when there is a

high similarity between two machines and

the Jaccard measure does not detect it.

Consider the machine-part matrix given in

Table IX, even though machine two can

perform 100 percent of the operations

performed by machine one (operations 4

and 5), SJ

12

= 2/(0 + 2 + 2) = 0.5.

.

The second limitation is that it does not

include the parts that do not need

processing by machine pairs (Islam and

Sarker, 2000; Yasuda and Yin, 2001).

.

The third limitation is that it is sensitive

to the direction of coding, meaning that

interchanging the elements 1 and 0 in an

incident matrix usually changes the

similarity values between machines/parts

(Islam and Sarker, 2000).

For the same case example shown in Table IX

that explained the deficiency in Jaccard

Table IX

Machine-part matrix

Part

Machine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1 1 1

2 1 1 1 1

[ 129]

Hassan M. Selim,

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal and

Araby I. Mahdi

Formation of machine groups

and part families: a modified

SLC method and comparative

study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

measure, BUB measure yielded a higher

similarity value of SB

ij

= 0.71 compared with

SJ

ij

= 0.50 and a value of 0.446 resulted from

the modified BUB (relative matching

measure) developed by Islam and Sarker

(2000). This indicates that the original BUB

measure more closely reflects true similarity

between machine/part pairs, overcomes

Jaccard's measure drawbacks, and satisfies

the five properties defined by (Islam and

Sarker, 2000).

The MOD-SLC method replaces Jaccard

measure with BUB similarity measure to

initialize the SLC method shown in Figure 3.

The modified initialization of the SLC

method enhances the accuracy of the

similarity matrix. The machine-part

incidence matrix shown in Table I is used to

illustrate the MOD-SLC method. Table X

shows the BUB similarity values of all

machine pairs of Table I. The resulting

dendrogram is shown in Figure 5, which

indicates different machine groups and

higher similarity values compared to

Figure 4. The minimum number of machine

groups resulting from the MOD-SLC is three

groups (see Figure 5). The machine-part

incidence matrix for a similarity measure of

0.75 is shown in Table XI, which shows a

three-cluster (cells) solution to the example

under consideration.

In the next section, ROC2, DCA, SLC, and

MOD-SLC cluster formation methods will be

compared and evaluated using 35 data sets

and four published performance measures.

Comparative and evaluative

analysis

In this section, a general procedure for

comparing and evaluating the MCF problem

solutions using the four cluster formation

methods is presented. The ROC2, DCA, SLC,

and MOD-SLC are coded in the C

programming language and run on an IBM

Pentium III 800MHz Station.

Performance measures

The performance of cluster formation methods

can be evaluated either according to

computational efficiency or according to

clustering effectiveness (Chu and Tsai, 1990).

Clustering efficiency is normally measured in

terms of program execution time, the amount

of memory needed, and the complexity of the

algorithm. In this paper, four measures were

selected due to their wide usage in the

literature (Seifoddini and Djassemi, 1991; Islam

and Sarker, 2000).

Number of exceptional elements (PE)

The number of off-diagonal positive entries

(exceptional elements) in the final machine-

part incidence matrix can measure the

quality of the cluster formation method

(King, 1980a, b; Chan and Milner, 1982). PE

can be computed as:

PE = e

0

(2)

where e

0

is the number of exceptional

elements or the off-diagonal positive entries.

Machine utilization (MU)

MU indicates the percentage of times the

machines within clusters (cells) are used in

production. MU can be computed as

(Chandrasekharan and Rajagopalan, 1986a):

Mu =

e

d

P

C

i=1

m

k

n

k

(3)

where e

d

is the number of positive entries in

the diagonal blocks, m

k

is the number of

machines in the kth cell, n

k

is the number of

parts in the kth cell, and C is the number of

Table X

The MOD-SLC similarity matrix

Machine

Machine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1 0.50 0.84 0.84 0.50

2 0.50 0.33 0.54 0.33 1.00

3 0.75 0.50

4 1.00 0.33

5 0.54

6 0.33

7

Table XI

MOD-SLC final matrix

Part

Machine 4 7 1 2 8 5 6 3

4 1 1

6 1 1

1 1 1 1

2 1 1 1 1 1

7 1 1 1 1 1 1

3 1 1 1

8 1 1 1 1 1

Figure 5

The MOD-SLC dendrogram

[ 130]

Hassan M. Selim,

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal and

Araby I. Mahdi

Formation of machine groups

and part families: a modified

SLC method and comparative

study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

cells. The higher the value of MU, the better

the machines are being utilized.

Grouping efficiency (GE)

GE is an aggregate measure that takes both

the number of exceptional elements and the

machine utilization into consideration. A

convex combination of both terms is

considered to reveal the relative importance

of each term. GE can be defined as

(Chandrasekharan and Rajagopalan, 1986a):

GE = MU (1 )

e

0

M v N

P

c

k=1

m

k

n

k

(4)

where is a weight; 0 _; _ 1, M is the total

number of machines, N is the total number of

parts, as a general rule, the higher the

grouping efficiency, the better the clustering

results.

Grouping efficacy (GC)

GC overcomes the problems of selecting

and the limiting range of GE. GC has the

requisite properties like non-negativity, zero

to one range and is not affected by the size of

the machine-part matrix. GC is defined by

Kumar and Chandrasekharan (1990) and

Sandbothe (1998) as in equation (5):

GC =

e e

o

e

(5)

where e

diagonal blocks. Generally, the higher the

GC, the better the cluster formation results.

Data problems overview

Most of the cluster formation methods are

data dependent. The testing data can be

either randomly generated via computer or

collected from the literature. In order to

evaluate and compare the performance of the

four cluster formation methods and validate

the applicability of the BUB similarity

coefficient in designing CM systems, 25 data

problems have been selected from the

literature in addition to ten randomly

generated data problems. Jaccard's

coefficient three limitations mentioned in the

previous section exist in most of the 35 data

problems used in the comparative study.

Table XII shows the data problems, sources,

sizes, and densities (D = e/(M

.

N) that are

calculated by dividing the total number of

ones in the machine-part incidence matrix

(e) by M

.

N.

Experimental framework

The 35 data sets have been classified into

three groups based on the number of

machines (M), three groups based on the

number of parts (N), and three groups based

on the density level (D). Table XIII shows the

value ranges of M, N and D for each group.

The selected density range values are based

on the selected data sets and specific

implementation in the literature. Densities

between 0.10 and 0.30 represent the different

scenarios adequately.

Computational results

The four performance measures, PE, MU, GE,

and GC are computed for each data set in

each group of the nine groups. The

performance measures are averaged for each

group.

PE results

Table XIV summarizes the computational

results of PE for each data set group. The first

column shows the data set group labels and

each cluster formation method's PE average

values are shown in the succeeding columns.

The last row shows the overall performance

of each cluster formation method based on

average PE performance measure values.

In Table XIV, all the cluster formation

methods under consideration performed very

well with medium number of machines

(represented by group M2), which yielded the

best PE values. Both ROC2 and DCA

methods' PE values increase with the

increase in the number of parts. The SLC and

MOD-SLC performed very well with high

number of parts as indicated by the PE

values of group N3. As the matrix density

increases, the PE measure associated with

both SLC and MOD-SLC methods increases.

This indicates that both SLC and MOD-SLC

methods do not perform well on dense

matrices. The MOD-SLC was the best in the

overall performance over all the problem

data sets. As shown in Figure 6, MOD-SLC

achieved the lowest value of PE at the

aggregated level over all the data sets

considered.

MU results

Table XV summarizes the computational

results of MU average values for each data set

group.

In Table XV, as the number of machines

increases the machine utilization decreases

which is intuitive. For groups M1 and M2,

MOD-SLC method dominated the other

cluster formation methods and for group M3,

the SLC method generated the maximum

MU. The group N3 that represents the

maximum number of parts generated the

minimum MU for all the four cluster

formation methods, this is due to the

increase in the number of cells generated to

process the high number of parts. The

results of matrix density were intuitive for

groups D1, D2, and D3. As the matrix density

[ 131]

Hassan M. Selim,

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal and

Araby I. Mahdi

Formation of machine groups

and part families: a modified

SLC method and comparative

study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

increases the machine utilization increases

accordingly. As shown in Figure 7, SLC and

MOD-SLC yielded the highest values of MU

at the aggregated level.

GE results

Table XVI summarizes the computational

results of GE average values for each data set

group. The GE values are calculated using

= 0.5. Generally, as the number of machines

and number of parts increase the grouping

efficiency GE decreases. All the four methods

generated their minimum GE values at the

highest level of M that is represented by

Table XIII

The data set groups and factor ranges

Factor Group label Value range Data problems

M M1 M _ 8 10

M2 8 < M _ 16 12

M3 M > 16 13

N N1 N _ 10 13

N2 10 < N _ 25 12

N3 N > 25 10

D D1 D _ 0.2 14

D2 0.2 < D _ 0.3 10

D3 D > 0.3 11

Table XIV

PE values for each data set group

Group ROC2 DCA SLC MOD-SLC

M1 8.8197 7.0179 9.8054 7.6404

M2 5.7583 4.9013 2.6786 3.6402

M3 15.5804 14.348 6.0133 6.0508

N1 6.0653 6.7029 3.3804 4.1899

N2 11.0154 6.9867 8.3567 7.2227

N3 14.8807 14.4546 5.5058 5.5103

D1 8.2717 6.5401 3.6776 3.5758

D2 12.1430 12.1979 4.3256 4.9919

D3 11.1461 9.2712 10.0365 9.4346

Overall 10.2812 9.0150 5.8155 5.6444

Table XII

The data problems used in the evaluative study

Problem Source M N D

1 Kumar et al. (1986) 30 41 0.104

2 Chandrasekharan and Rajagopalan (1987) 24 40 0.136

3 Chandrasekharan and Rajagopalan (1987) 24 40 0.135

4 Chandrasekharan and Rajagopalan (1987) 24 40 0.136

5 Chandrasekharan and Rajagopalan (1987) 24 40 0.136

6 Chandrasekharan and Rajagopalan (1986a) 20 35 0.193

7 Randomly generated 20 35 0.200

8 Randomly generated 20 35 0.204

9 Randomly generated 20 35 0.215

10 Randomly generated 20 35 0.211

11 Harhalakis et al. (1990) 20 20 0.197

12 Shafer and Rogers (1993b) 20 20 0.147

13 Randomly generated 20 20 0.210

14 Chan and Milner (1982) 15 10 0.306

15 Chan and Milner (1982) 15 10 0.330

16 Balasubramanian and Panneerselvam (1993) 15 10 0.280

17 Randomly generated 15 10 0.193

18 Askin et al. (1991) 14 24 0.181

19 McAuley (1972) 12 10 0.316

20 Srinivasan et al. (1990) 10 20 0.245

21 Randomly generated 10 20 0.195

22 Askin et al. (1991) 10 15 0.326

23 Mukhopadhyay and Golpalakrishnan (1995) 10 10 0.240

24 Randomly generated 10 10 0.190

25 Arvinh and Irani (1994) 10 8 0.325

26 Srinivasan and Narendran (1991) 8 20 0.381

27 Kusiak et al. (1993) 8 9 0.236

28 Randomly generated 8 9 0.194

29 Mukhopadhyay et al. (1994) 7 11 0.270

30 Randomly generated 7 11 0.194

31 Mukhopadhyay et al. (1994) 7 9 0.412

32 Kusiak and Cho (1984) 6 8 0.458

33 Seifoddini (1989c) 5 18 0.470

34 Mukhopadhyay et al. (1994) 5 18 0.511

35 King and Nakornchai (1982) 5 7 0.400

[ 132]

Hassan M. Selim,

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal and

Araby I. Mahdi

Formation of machine groups

and part families: a modified

SLC method and comparative

study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

group M3 and the highest level of N

represented by group N3.

As shown in the three rows representing

D1, D2 and D3 in Table XVI, the general trend

shows that as the matrix density increases

the GE values increase, this is due to the

increase in the within cell utilization. As

shown in Figure 8, MOD-SLC yielded the

highest values of GE at the aggregated level.

GC results

Table XVII summarizes the computational

results of GC average values for each data

set group.

The best performance of GC was with

medium number of machines and small

number of parts as shown in Table XVII.

Generally, the GC measure was high at a

small number of parts. The best GC values

were obtained at high matrix density values.

As shown in Figure 9, MOD-SLC yielded the

highest values of GC at the aggregated level.

MOD-SLC performed poorer than SLC when

high number of machines and number of

parts were used as indicated by groups M3

and N3.

In this section, the performance of the

four cluster formation methods was

evaluated and compared using 25 published

Figure 7

MU overall values

Table XVI

GE values for each data set group

Group ROC2 DCA SLC MOD-SLC

M1 0.8250 0.8000 0.8387 0.8420

M2 0.8642 0.8467 0.8373 0.8554

M3 0.7033 0.7022 0.7927 0.7887

N1 0.8432 0.8257 0.8212 0.8322

N2 0.8160 0.7471 0.8396 0.8482

N3 0.7011 0.6952 0.7983 0.7875

D1 0.7614 0.7498 0.7904 0.7887

D2 0.7580 0.7546 0.8110 0.8180

D3 0.8658 0.8405 0.8707 0.8827

Overall 0.7933 0.7797 0.8207 0.8265

Figure 8

GE overall values

Table XVII

GC values for each data set group

Group ROC2 DCA SLC MOD-SLC

M1 0.6580 0.5541 0.6517 0.6869

M2 0.7210 0.6916 0.6695 0.7036

M3 0.4279 0.4250 0.6011 0.5710

N1 0.6864 0.6576 0.6606 0.6643

N2 0.6361 0.6164 0.6592 0.6910

N3 0.4239 0.4135 0.6165 0.5736

D1 0.5273 0.5083 0.5958 0.5723

D2 0.5357 0.5257 0.6101 0.6332

D3 0.7323 0.7010 0.7225 0.7628

Overall 0.5941 0.5738 0.6388 0.6489

Table XV

MU values for each data set group

Group ROC2 DCA SLC MOD-SLC

M1 0.7154 0.6625 0.7310 0.7439

M2 0.7545 0.7173 0.6876 0.7281

M3 0.4551 0.4514 0.6269 0.5824

N1 0.7208 0.6927 0.6591 0.6910

N2 0.6895 0.6427 0.7208 0.7390

N3 0.4480 0.4384 0.6142 0.5877

D1 0.5428 0.5176 0.6124 0.5847

D2 0.5635 0.5566 0.6274 0.6537

D3 0.8085 0.7536 0.8047 0.8332

Overall 0.6321 0.6029 0.6759 0.6748

Figure 6

PE overall values

[ 133]

Hassan M. Selim,

Reda M.S. Abdel Aal and

Araby I. Mahdi

Formation of machine groups

and part families: a modified

SLC method and comparative

study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

14/2 [2003] 123-137

problem data sets and ten randomly

generated. The 35 problem data sets were

classified into nine groups based on three

dimensions: M, N and D. Four different

performance measures were used in the

evaluative and comparative analysis. The

results showed that MOD-SLC method

slightly improved the average values of the

four performance measures used. This

indicate that, the replacement of Jaccard

similarity measure with the BUB similarity

measure improved the SLC method

performance in addition to the accuracy

improvement in the initial similarity

matrix.

Conclusion

This paper has proposed a cluster formation

method that is adapted from the SLC method.

The MOD-SLC method has been tested

against three MCF solution methods using

the cluster formation approach, namely ROC,

direct clustering algorithm, and SLC. The

paper also demonstrated an evaluative and

comparative analysis using four different

performance measures, percentage of

exceptional parts, within cell machine

utilization, grouping efficiency, and grouping

efficacy.

The following results have been obtained

based on 35 problem data sets that have been

classified into nine groups based on the

number of machines, number of parts, and

machine-part incidence matrix:

.

The MOD-SLC improved the average

values of the four performance

measures, PE, MU, GE and GC. This

indicates that the modification made to

the SLC to overcome the deficiencies of

Jaccard measure by using BUB non-

Jaccardian measure has resulted in

better performance by the MOD-SLC

method.

.

The performance of the two array-based

cluster formation methods considered

(ROC2 and DCA) is poorer than the

hierarchical methods used (SLC and

MOD-SLC).

Further research is needed to add more

dimensions to the cluster formation methods

when applied to the MCF problem. The

dimensions include machine loading, part

volumes, multiple machines of each type, the

arrangement of machines in each cell, and

worker assignments.

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SLC method and comparative

study

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Systems

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