Paired and Altruistic Kidney Donation in the UK: Algorithms and Experimentation
We study the computational problem of identifying optimal sets of kidney exchanges in the UK. We show how to expand an integer programming-based formulation [1,19] in order to model the criteria that constitute the UK definition of optimality. The software arising from this work has been used by the National Health Service Blood and Transplant to find optimal sets of kidney exchanges for their National Living Donor Kidney Sharing Schemes since July 2008. We report on the characteristics of the solutions that have been obtained in matching runs of the scheme since this time. We then present empirical results arising from the real datasets that stem from these matching runs, with the aim of establishing the extent to which the particular optimality criteria that are present in the UK influence the structure of the solutions that are ultimately computed. A key observation is that allowing 4-way exchanges would be likely to lead to a significant number of additional transplants.
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