Advertisement

Scheduling Agents Using Forecast Call Arrivals at Hydro-Québec’s Call Centers

  • Marie Pelleau
  • Louis-Martin Rousseau
  • Pierre L’Ecuyer
  • Walid Zegal
  • Louis Delorme
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8656)

Abstract

The call center managers at Hydro-Québec (HQ) need to deliver both low operating costs and high service quality. Their task is especially difficult because they need to handle a large workforce (more than 500 employees) while satisfying an incoming demand that is typically both time-varying and uncertain. The current techniques for determining the schedule of each employee according to the forecast call volumes at HQ are often unreliable, and there is a need for more accurate methods. In this paper, we address the concerns of the call center managers at HQ by modeling the problem of multi-activity shift scheduling. This model has been implemented and tested using real-life call center data provided by HQ.The main contribution of this paper is to demonstrate that a constraint programming (CP) model with regular language encoding can solve large problems in an industrial context. Furthermore, we show that our CP-based formulation has considerably better performance than a well-known commercial software package.

Keywords

Column Generation Call Center Constraint Programming Current Tool Schedule Agent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Buist, E., L’Ecuyer, P.: A java library for simulating contact centers. In: Proceedings of the 37th Conference on Winter Simulation, pp. 556–565 (2005)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Côté, M.-C., Gendron, B., Rousseau, L.-M.: Grammar-based column generation for personalized multi-activity shift scheduling. INFORMS Journal on Computing 25(4), 461–474 (2013)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dahmen, S., Rekik, M.: Solving multi-activity personalized shift scheduling problems with a hybrid heuristic. Technical report, Faculté des sciences de l’administration, Université Laval (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dantzig, G.B.: A comment on edie’s “traffic delays at toll booths”. Journal of the Operations Research Society of America 2(3), 339–341 (1954)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Demassey, S., Pesant, G., Rousseau, L.-M.: A cost-regular based hybrid column generation approach. Constraints 11(41), 315–333 (2006)CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Elahipanah, M., Desaulniers, G., Lacasse-Guay, È.: A two-phase mathematical-programming heuristic for flexible assignment of activities and tasks to work shifts. Journal of Scheduling 16(5), 443–460 (2013)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gange, G., Stuckey, P.J., Van Hentenryck, P.: Explaining propagators for edge-valued decision diagrams. In: Schulte, C. (ed.) CP 2013. LNCS, vol. 8124, pp. 340–355. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lequy, Q., Bouchard, M., Desaulniers, G., Soumis, F., Tachefine, B.: Assigning multiple activities to work shifts. Journal of Scheduling 15(2), 239–251 (2012)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
    Quimper, C.-G., Rousseau, L.-M.: A large neighbourhood search approach to the multi-activity shift scheduling problem. Journal of Heuristics 16(3), 373–392 (2010)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Restrepo, M.I., Lozano, L., Medaglia, A.L.: Constrained network-based column generation for the multi-activity shift scheduling problem. International Journal of Production Economics 140(1), 466–472 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Salvagnin, D., Walsh, T.: A hybrid mip/cp approach for multi-activity shift scheduling. In: Milano, M. (ed.) CP 2012. LNCS, vol. 7514, pp. 633–646. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie Pelleau
    • 1
  • Louis-Martin Rousseau
    • 2
  • Pierre L’Ecuyer
    • 1
  • Walid Zegal
    • 3
  • Louis Delorme
    • 3
  1. 1.Université de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Polytechnique MontréalMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Institut de recherche d’Hydro-QuébecMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations