Journal of Scheduling

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 553–563 | Cite as

A pattern based, robust approach to cyclic master surgery scheduling

  • Carlo ManninoEmail author
  • Eivind J. Nilssen
  • Tomas Eric Nordlander


The Master Surgery Scheduling problem consists of finding a suitable allocation of operating resources to surgical groups. A myriad of variants of the problem has been addressed in literature. Here we focus on two major variants, arising during a cooperation with Sykehuset Asker og Bærum HF, a large hospital in the city of Oslo. The first variant asks for balancing patient queue lengths among different specialties, whereas the second for minimizing resort to overtime. To cope with these problems we introduce a new mixed integer linear formulation and show its beneficial properties. Both problems require the estimation of demand levels. As such estimation is affected by uncertainty, we also develop a light robustness approach to the second variant. Finally we present computational results on a number of real-world instances provided by our reference hospital.


Health-care optimization Master surgery scheduling Robust optimization Mixed-integer programming 



The authors wish to thank Tone Jensen and Anne Dorthe Røsvik from the hospital ’Sykehuset Asker og Bærum HF’ for providing us with data and their precious comments and suggestions throughout our research. We also thank the anonymous referees for their comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Mannino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eivind J. Nilssen
    • 2
  • Tomas Eric Nordlander
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer and System SciencesSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Applied MathematicsSINTEF ICTOsloNorway

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