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Solving multi-activity multi-day shift scheduling problems with a hybrid heuristic

Abstract

This paper addresses a multi-activity multi-day shift scheduling problem in a continuous and flexible environment including a heterogeneous workforce. Given days-off schedules associated with each employee, our objective is to construct and assign admissible multi-activity shifts to employees on their work days in a way that minimizes under-staffing and over-staffing with a restricted budget on workforce cost. A hybrid heuristic which combines tabu search with a branch-and-bound procedure is proposed to solve the problem. The computational experiments prove that our method provides good schedules in relatively short computing times.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec Nature et Technologie (FRQNT) through its new researchers start-up grant. This support is gratefully acknowledged. We are grateful to two anonymous referees for their valuable comments.

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Correspondence to Monia Rekik.

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Dahmen, S., Rekik, M. Solving multi-activity multi-day shift scheduling problems with a hybrid heuristic. J Sched 18, 207–223 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10951-014-0383-z

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Keywords

  • Shift scheduling
  • Multi-activity context
  • Multi-day planning horizon
  • Heterogeneous workforce
  • Hybrid heuristic
  • Tabu search
  • Integer programming