Metaheuristics for solving a multimodal home-healthcare scheduling problem

  • Gerhard Hiermann
  • Matthias Prandtstetter
  • Andrea Rendl
  • Jakob PuchingerEmail author
  • Günther R. Raidl
Original Paper


We present a general framework for solving a real-world multimodal home-healthcare scheduling (MHS) problem from a major Austrian home-healthcare provider. The goal of MHS is to assign home-care staff to customers and determine efficient multimodal tours while considering staff and customer satisfaction. Our approach is designed to be as problem-independent as possible, such that the resulting methods can be easily adapted to MHS setups of other home-healthcare providers. We chose a two-stage approach: in the first stage, we generate initial solutions either via constraint programming techniques or by a random procedure. During the second stage, the initial solutions are (iteratively) improved by applying one of four metaheuristics: variable neighborhood search, a memetic algorithm, scatter search and a simulated annealing hyper-heuristic. An extensive computational comparison shows that the approach is capable of solving real-world instances in reasonable time and produces valid solutions within only a few seconds.


Home health care Vehicle routing Optimization Metaheuristics 



This work is part of the project CareLog, partially funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) within the strategic programme I2VSplus under grant 826153. We thankfully acknowledge the CareLog project partners Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region GmbH (ITS Vienna Region), Sozial Global AG, and ilogs mobile software GmbH. We also thank our reviewers for their helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Hiermann
    • 1
  • Matthias Prandtstetter
    • 2
  • Andrea Rendl
    • 2
  • Jakob Puchinger
    • 2
    Email author
  • Günther R. Raidl
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Computer Graphics and AlgorithmsVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria
  2. 2.Mobility Department, Dynamic Transportation SystemsAIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbHViennaAustria

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