Journal of Combinatorial Optimization

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 221–247 | Cite as

Matching patients and healthcare service providers: a novel two-stage method based on knowledge rules and OWA-NSGA-II algorithm

  • Xi Chen
  • Liu Zhao
  • Haiming LiangEmail author
  • Kin Keung Lai


The matching between patients and healthcare service providers is an important issue in healthcare. Searching an appropriate matching for both patients and healthcare service providers can not only facilitate efficiency of diagnosis and treatment, but also make both of them more satisfied with the matching results. This paper proposes a two-stage method for searching the optimal matching between the patients and healthcare service providers. In the first stage, where a large number of patients are involved in the matching problem, the knowledge rules are proposed to classify the patients with similar categories of disease into the same group. In the second stage, patients in each group are compared in terms of aspiration levels and the evaluation levels of the healthcare service providers, and satisfaction degrees of patients are calculated. Then, a multi-objective optimization model is built by maximizing the satisfaction degrees of patients, maximizing the number of treated patients and balancing the workload of healthcare service providers. To solve this model, the ordinal weighting average non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II (OWA-NSGA-II) is developed. Furthermore, a practical example of service in rehabilitation therapy is used to illustrate the feasibility of the proposed method. Additionally, several simulation experiments in different large scale problems are conducted to test the performance of OWA-NSGA-II. Simulation results show that the proposed NSGA-II algorithm has better convergence in the large scale problem, yields a more stable distribution of non-dominated solutions, as well as non-dominated solutions much faster.


Matching patients and healthcare service providers Knowledge rules Multi-objective optimization model Ordinal weighting average non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II (OWA-NSGA-II) 



This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grants 71473188, 71601133, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities under Grant JB170606.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xi Chen
    • 1
  • Liu Zhao
    • 1
  • Haiming Liang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kin Keung Lai
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementXidian UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Department of Management SciencesCity University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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