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Scheduling in the service industries: An overview

Abstract

Scheduling plays an important role in many different service industries. In this paper we provide an overview of some of the more important scheduling problems that appear in the various service industries. We focus on the formulations of such problems as well as on the techniques used for solving those problems. We consider five areas of scheduling in service industries, namely (i) project scheduling, (ii) workforce scheduling, (iii) timetabling, reservations, and appointments, (iv) transportation scheduling, and (v) scheduling in entertainment. The first two areas are fairly general and have applications in many different service industries. The third, fourth and fifth areas are more related to some very specific service industries, namely the hospitality and health care industries, the transportation industries (of passengers as well as of cargo), and the entertainment industries. In our conclusion section we discuss the similarities and the differences between the problem formulations and solution techniques used in the various different industries and we also discuss the design of the decision support systems that have been developed for scheduling in the service industries.

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Correspondence to Michael Pinedo.

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Michael Pinedo received the Ir. degree in mechanical engineering from the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands in 1973 and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in operations research from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978. He is the Julius Schlesinger Professor of operations management in the Department of Information, Operations and Management Sciences (IOMS) at the Stern School of Business at New York University. His research focuses on the modeling of production and service systems, and, more specifically, on the planning and scheduling of these systems. Recently, his research also has been focusing on operational risk in financial services. He has (co-)authored numerous technical papers on these topics. He is the author of the books “Scheduling: Theory, Algorithms and Systems” and “Planning and Scheduling in Manufacturing and Services”. He is Editor of the Journal of Scheduling.

Christos Zacharias is a visiting assistant professor of management science at the University of Miami. He received his PhD in operations management from the Stern School of Business at New York University, and his BSc in Mathematics from the University of Athens, Greece. His research focuses on designing and optimizing service operations, with an emphasis on health care delivery. Broader areas of interest include stochastic modeling, applied probability, scheduling, and simulation.

Ning Zhu is currently an assistant professor at College of Management and Economics, Tianjin University in China. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in information systems and information management from the Xi’an University of Technology in 2006 and 2009, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in management science and engineering from the Tianjin University in 2012. His research interests include modeling and optimization of transportation systems and operations management.

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Pinedo, M., Zacharias, C. & Zhu, N. Scheduling in the service industries: An overview. J. Syst. Sci. Syst. Eng. 24, 1–48 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11518-015-5266-0

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Keywords

  • Schedule Problem
  • Time Slot
  • Service Industry
  • Project Schedule
  • Project Schedule Problem