Resource allocation

Resource allocation

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Resource allocation is used to assign the available resource
A resource is a source or supply from which benefit is produced, typically of limited availability.Resource may also refer to:* Resource , substances or objects required by a biological organism for normal maintenance, growth, and reproduction...

s in an economic way. It is part of resource management
Resource management
In organizational studies, resource management is the efficient and effective deployment of an organization's resources when they are needed. Such resources may include financial resources, inventory, human skills, production resources, or information technology...

. In project management
Project management
Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end , undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value...

, resource allocation is the scheduling of activities and the resources required by those activities while taking into consideration both the resource availability and the project time.

Strategic planning

In strategic planning
Strategic planning
Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. In order to determine the direction of the organization, it is necessary to understand its current position and the possible avenues...

, resource allocation is a plan
A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective. See also strategy. It is commonly understood as a temporal set of intended actions, through which one expects to achieve a goal...

 for using available resources
Natural resource
Natural resources occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural form. A natural resource is often characterized by amounts of biodiversity and geodiversity existent in various ecosystems....

, for example human resources
Human resources
Human resources is a term used to describe the individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, although it is also applied in labor economics to, for example, business sectors or even whole nations...

, especially in the near term, to achieve goals for the future. It is the process of allocating resources among the various project
A project in business and science is typically defined as a collaborative enterprise, frequently involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim. Projects can be further defined as temporary rather than permanent social systems that are constituted by teams...

s or business units.

The plan has two parts: Firstly, there is the basic allocation decision and secondly there are contingency mechanisms. The basic allocation decision is the choice of which items to fund
Funding is the act of providing resources, usually in form of money , or other values such as effort or time , for a project, a person, a business or any other private or public institutions...

 in the plan, and what level of funding it should receive, and which to leave unfunded: the resources are allocated to some items, not to others.

There are two contingency mechanisms. There is a priority ranking of items excluded from the plan, showing which items to fund if more resources should become available; and there is a priority ranking of some items included in the plan, showing which items should be sacrificed if total funding must be reduced.

Resource Leveling

The main objective is to smooth resources requirements by shifting slack jobs beyond periods of peak requirements. Some of the methods essentially replicate what a human scheduler would do if he had enough time; others make use of unusual devices or procedures designed especially for the computer. They of course depend for their success on the speed and capabilities of electronic computers.


Resource allocation may be decided by using computer programs applied to a specific domain to automatically and dynamically distribute resources to applicants. It may be considered as a specialized case of automatic scheduling
Scheduling (production processes)
Scheduling is an important tool for manufacturing and engineering, where it can have a major impact on the productivity of a process. In manufacturing, the purpose of scheduling is to minimize the production time and costs, by telling a production facility when to make, with which staff, and on...


This is especially common in electronic devices dedicated to routing and communication. For example, channel allocation in wireless
Wireless telecommunications is the transfer of information between two or more points that are not physically connected. Distances can be short, such as a few meters for television remote control, or as far as thousands or even millions of kilometers for deep-space radio communications...

 communication may be decided by a base transceiver station
Base Transceiver Station
A base transceiver station or cell site is a piece of equipment that facilitates wireless communication between user equipment and a network. UEs are devices like mobile phones , WLL phones, computers with wireless internet connectivity, WiFi and WiMAX gadgets etc...

 using an appropriate algorithm
In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an effective method expressed as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning...


One class of resource allocation algorithms is the auction
An auction is a process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder...

 class, whereby applicants bid for the best resource(s) according to their balance of "money", as in a online auction business model
Online auction business model
The online auction business model is one in which participants bid for products and services over the Internet. The functionality of buying and selling in an auction format is made possible through auction software which regulates the various processes involved.Several types of online auctions are...

 (see also auction theory
Auction theory
Auction theory is an applied branch of economics which deals with how people act in auction markets and researches the properties of auction markets. There are many possible designs for an auction and typical issues studied by auction theorists include the efficiency of a given auction design,...


In one paper on CPU time slice allocation
an auction algorithm is compared to proportional share scheduling
Proportional Share Scheduling
Proportional Share Scheduling is a type of scheduling which preallocates certain amount of CPU time to each of the processes. In a proportional share algorithm every job has a weight, and jobs receive a share of the available resources proportional to the weight of every job....


See also

  • Project planning
    Project planning
    Project planning is part of project management, which relates to the use of schedules such as Gantt charts to plan and subsequently report progress within the project environment....

  • Project management
    Project management
    Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end , undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value...

  • Earned value management
    Earned value management
    Earned value management is a project management technique for measuring project performance and progress in an objective manner. EVM has the ability to combine measurements of scope, schedule, and cost in a single integrated system. Earned Value Management is notable for its ability to provide...