Lawler’s algorithm is a powerful technique for solving a variety of constrained scheduling problems. The algorithm handles any precedence constraints. It schedules a set of simultaneously arriving tasks on one processor with precedence constraints to minimize maximum tardiness or lateness. Precedence constraints occur when certain jobs must be completed before other jobs can be started.
The objective function is assumed to be in the form , where is any nondecreasing function and is the flow time. When , the objective function corresponds to minimizing the maximum lateness, where is due time for job and lateness of job . Another expression is , which corresponds to minimizing the maximum tardiness.