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We study a problem of scheduling n jobs on machines of two types: in-house machines and third-party machines. Scheduling on in-house machines incurs no additional costs, while using third-party machines implies costs depending on their number and the time of usage. Each job has a fixed time interval for being processed which can be divided and allocated among several machines, as long as there is only one machine processing the job at any time. No machine can process more than one job at a time. Jobs can be rejected, and they are of different importance that is reflected in the weight of each job. The objective is to find a subset of the jobs and the number of third-party machines for any period of time so that the accepted jobs can be feasibly scheduled, the total weight of the accepted jobs is maximized, and the total machine usage costs does not exceed a given upper bound. We also study a similar problem in which the objective is to maximize the total time at which at least one job is processed. Both problems are encountered in situations in which certain activities with given start and completion times have to be serviced by human operators. Examples are air traffic control and the monitoring safe vehicle unloading. Other examples are the employment of subcontractors in agriculture, construction or transportation. We will present NP-hardness proofs, polynomial and pseudo-polynomial optimal algorithms and an approximation algorithm for these problems and their special cases. These problems admit graph-theoretical interpretations associated with finding independent sets and a proper vertex coloring in interval graphs.

We study a scheduling problem for a container block, in which there are incoming containers only. Container placement is served by two non‐passing stacking cranes based at the opposite sides of the container block. The same time is required for any crane to move between two adjacent bays of the container block and the same different time is required for any crane to perform any down‐and‐up operation related to container lifting at the pick‐up point or container lowering at the storage point. Containers are assigned to the cranes according to one of the following policies: (1) two fixed sequences policy where a container processing sequence is given for each crane, (2) dedicated crane policy where containers are preassigned to the cranes, (3) one fixed, one arbitrary sequence policy where a container processing sequence is given for one crane and it can be arbitrary for the other crane, (4) flexible policy where any container can be assigned to any crane at any time, and (5) global fixed sequence policy where the container sequence is given and the relative processing order of containers in this sequence must be preserved by any crane. The objective is to minimize the completion time of the latest operation. We show that the problem is polynomially solvable for policy 1 and, if the number of containers to be placed in the same bay is no more than a half of all containers, for policy 4. It is NP‐hard in the strong sense for policies 2 and 3. Approximation algorithms with guaranteed absolute and relative deviations from the optimum are devised for policies 4 and 5. The results translate for the case of outgoing containers only.