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Finite and Infinite Scheduling

Updated Aug 30, 2023

Finite and infinite scheduling are two distinct strategies that play a pivotal role in managing resources effectively. These strategies determine how a system allocates resources, such as machines or personnel, based on their capacities and operational requirements.

Finite scheduling and infinite scheduling are approaches used during detailed scheduling to determine how resources are allocated to various tasks and operations. The choice between these strategies depends on whether the system should restrict the scheduling to the resource's capacity (finite scheduling) or allow an unlimited number of operations to be scheduled on a resource simultaneously (infinite scheduling).

What is Finite Scheduling? 

Finite scheduling is a resource allocation strategy used in production planning and manufacturing to optimize the utilization of resources while respecting their finite capacities. This scheduling approach ensures that operations, tasks, or jobs are assigned to resources in a way that does not exceed their available capacity at any given time. In other words, finite scheduling takes into account the constraints imposed by the limited availability of resources, such as machines, labor, or tools.

Features of Finite Scheduling

  • Capacity Awareness: Considers resource capacity before scheduling tasks.
  • Efficient Utilization: Optimizes resource usage by preventing overloading.
  • Controlled Workflow: Maintains a stable and controlled production environment.
  • Alerts for Overload: Generates alerts when a resource's capacity is exceeded.
  • Predictable Output: Enhances production predictability and stability.

What is Infinite Scheduling?

Infinite scheduling is a resource allocation strategy used in production planning and manufacturing that allows tasks or operations to be scheduled without strict consideration for the finite capacities of resources. Unlike finite scheduling, which takes into account resource constraints and capacities, infinite scheduling focuses on maximizing resource utilization and throughput by scheduling tasks based on their availability and priority, regardless of whether a resource's capacity is exceeded.

Features of Infinite Scheduling

  1. Maximized Utilization: Tasks are scheduled regardless of immediate resource capacity.
  2. Flexibility: Prioritizes task completion speed and workflow flexibility.
  3. High Throughput: This can lead to increased production throughput and efficiency.
  4. Complex Dependency Handling: Suitable for processes with intricate task dependencies.
  5. Alerts for Overload: Generates alerts if resource overload occurs.
  6. Potential for Inefficiencies: Risk of resource bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

Finiteness Level: Customizing Resource Scheduling

To tailor the scheduling approach further, a concept known as finiteness level comes into play. This level allows different applications to specify whether a finite resource should be scheduled finitely or infinitely. The finiteness level is defined for each resource and application, guiding the scheduling behavior. Some key points about finiteness levels include:

  • For finite scheduling, the application's finiteness level should be equal to or greater than the resource's finiteness level.
  • For infinite scheduling, the application's finiteness level should be smaller than the resource's finiteness level.
  • Values for finiteness levels are typically chosen in multiples of 100 for flexibility.
  • The maximum value is 9999, indicating that all finite resources will be scheduled finitely.
  • A value of 0 implies finite scheduling for resources without an assigned finiteness level.


Finite and infinite scheduling strategies are essential tools in the field of production planning and resource management. These approaches allow manufacturers to strike a balance between resource utilization and operational efficiency. By tailoring scheduling modes and utilizing finiteness levels, businesses can fine-tune their production processes, minimize delays, and maximize output while considering the inherent limitations and capacities of their resources. Effective scheduling not only ensures smooth operations but also contributes to improved customer satisfaction and overall business success.