Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 261–277

A column generation-based heuristic for rostering with work patterns


  • R Lusby
    • Technical University of Denmark
  • A Dohn
    • Technical University of Denmark
  • T M Range
    • University of Southern Denmark
  • J Larsen
    • Technical University of Denmark
General Paper

DOI: 10.1057/jors.2011.27

Cite this article as:
Lusby, R., Dohn, A., Range, T. et al. J Oper Res Soc (2012) 63: 261. doi:10.1057/jors.2011.27


This paper addresses the Ground Crew Rostering Problem with Work Patterns, an important manpower planning problem arising in the ground operations of airline companies. We present a cutting stock-based integer programming formulation of the problem and describe a powerful heuristic decomposition approach, which utilizes column generation and variable fixing, to construct efficient rosters for a six-month time horizon. The time horizon is divided into smaller blocks, where overlaps between the blocks ensure continuity. The proposed methodology is able to circumvent one step of the conventional roster construction process by generating rosters directly based on the estimated workload. We demonstrate that this approach has the additional advantage of being able to easily incorporate robustness in the roster. Computational results on real-life instances confirm the efficiency of the approach.


manpower planning optimization cutting stock problem column generation

Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2012