Proceedings of the 9th international conference on the practice and theory of automated timetabling. pages:10-14
Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling
PATAT edition:9 location:Son, Norway date:28-31 August 2012
Personnel scheduling can become a particularly difficult optimisation problem due to human factors. And yet: people working in healthcare, transportation and other round the clock service regimes perform their duties based on a schedule that was often manually constructed. The unrewarding manual scheduling task deserves more attention from the timetabling community so as to support computation of fair and good quality results. The present abstract touches upon a set of particular characteristics of personnel rostering problems for which, for the time being, only very scattered models and algorithms exist.
Besides being hard to solve, personnel scheduling never occurs as an isolated problem in real life. The interconnectedness of personnel scheduling and other vertical decision levels of the organisation constitutes the second focus of this extended abstract. Not only is it difficult to produce an acceptable solution to a personnel rostering problem, it is also cumbersome to detect possible infeasibilities or conicting constraints, caused by decisions at a higher level than the scheduling level. Part of the contribution is dedicated to mutual parameters at the manpower, staffing and rostering level.
Next to the vertical inuences, personnel scheduling cannot be ignored as an optimisation problem that is in
uenced by other optimisation problems in an organisation, e.g. patient admission scheduling, operating theatre scheduling and personnel scheduling cannot really be solved independently. Another interesting set of problems consists of strongly intertwined personnel rostering and other problems, such as vehicle routing and rostering combined in the home care scheduling problem.
Each separate decision level includes challenging research questions and opportunities. Large margins for improvement exist when crossing the borders of decision levels or optimisation problems interfering with personnel scheduling.