The problem can be stated as follows :

*“Given a set of n jobs all of which must be scheduled on a single resource such that all jobs arrive at time s and each job has a deadline d _{i} and a length t_{i}, minimize the maximum lateness of the resulting schedule.”*

We need to assign a start time s_{i} to each job i. Jobs are allowed to be late i.e., a job i may finish at time f_{i} = s_{i} + t_{i} > d_{i}. If job i is late, its lateness is defined to be l_{i} = f_{i} – d_{i}. Otherwise, l_{i} = 0. So the objective is to find a schedule that minimizes the maximum lateness, L = max_{i} l_{i}.